Ultralight Backpacking

There has been an increasing trend in recent years in minimalist/ultralight backpacking, which means taking only the bare essentials in their lightest form. Most gear is manufactured within a commercial mind-set with extra bells and whistles that help to sell a product, but also add unnecessary strength and weight. The ultralight conversion should happen all-inclusively since reducing gear weight allows you to switch to products that require less strength to carry. For example, you can switch from boots to trail running shoes or to a lighter simpler pack if your overall load doesn’t require the same amount of support.

Some ultralight backpackers carry everything necessary for overnight camping trips with an overall weight of under 10 lbs/4.5 kg (not including food and water).  Although there are certain compromises with the comfort of the gear, this approach can greatly increase daily distances and the versatility of your hiking experience.

Ultralight Examples

  • GoLite packs with foam sleeping pads as frames
  • Tarps/mosquito netting instead of tents
  • Sleeping bag liner instead of sleeping bag, space blanket as ground sheet, sleeping in clothes (warmer climates only)
  • Ethanol-burning stove that can be made from two tin cans
  • Titanium cookware