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An Ultralight Guide to Hiking and Backpacking Equipment

May 16, 2018 - Comment

This guide is intended to help you prepare for backpacking trips on established trails. My goal is to give an overview of what equipment choices are available to you and to help you develop an understanding of the essential knowledge and skills that will help you get out on trail with a lighter backpack. This

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This guide is intended to help you prepare for backpacking trips on established trails. My goal is to give an overview of what equipment choices are available to you and to help you develop an understanding of the essential knowledge and skills that will help you get out on trail with a lighter backpack. This guide is directed towards hikers, however, lessons learned from this writing may help you in other “one bag” applications such as general traveling, 72-hour disaster bags as recommended to be kept by disaster relief organizations, and bug-out-bags commonly packed by the “prepper” community. Please note that this guide does not address hiking and camping in extreme cold, as I have only hiked in daytime low temperatures above 5 degrees Fahrenheit and camped in nighttime temperatures above -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, this guide does not address the safe traversing of technical slopes such as scree slopes or the use of more technical climbing and mountaineering equipment such as ice-axes, climbing harnesses, anchorings, and climbing rope. This is not intended to be a comprehensive hiking and survival guide, but rather a focused guide that will give you the confidence to get on trail. If there is something that this guide doesn’t fully discuss, it will at least point you in the right direction for further research. I have decided against including pictures other than the cover as it would make the guide clunky, larger to download, and you can easily browse pictures online now that you will know what to search for. I am writing this guide because when I started hiking I knew a lot less than I thought I did, and it took some time to bring the weight of my pack down. I brought the wrong kinds of things I did need; I bought a bunch of stuff I absolutely didn’t need; and I didn’t bring a bunch of stuff that would have made my experience much more enjoyable. It took a long time for me to get comfortable being alone in the woods on a long hike. I want my guide to help people get to a place of competency and safety more quickly.

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