Tag Archives: Ultralight backpacking tips

July 1, 2018 An ultralight backpacker in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

The Top 5 Tips For Better Ultralight Backpacking

In Backpacking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

I field a lot of questions from readers about gear and backpacking, and I find the conversation often boiling down to one issue: how much weight they have in their packs. The biggest lesson I’ve drawn from three decades of backpacking is that the predominant factor dictating my enjoyment of any hike is how much weight I’m carrying. If I could convince my readers who backpack to follow one piece of advice from me—no matter your age, how much you hike, or how fit or experienced you are—it would be this: Lighten up. You’ll make backpacking more fun.

Here are my five most important rules for accomplishing just that. Continue reading →

June 13, 2018 Backpacking the Tonto Trail on the Grand Canyon's Royal Arch Loop.

Ask Me: What ‘Luxury’ Backpacking Gear Do You Carry?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

[Note: I received the two similar, reader questions below about choosing which “luxury” items, like camp chairs and sandals, to carry when backpacking—ML]

Michael,

I really enjoy your reviews and articles. I’m 52 and enjoy backpacking in the Southern Appalachians, typically 10 to 15 miles a day, and head out around eight times a year. I carry around 20 pounds in my Osprey Exos 58. I have the EMS Velocity 1 tent, Thermarest NeoAir all season air mattress, MSR PocketRocket with Titan Kettle, and The North Face Gold Kazoo bag. So I travel pretty light.

I currently use the Therm-a-rest Z Seat Pad, but have been considering stepping up to the Crazy Creek Hex 2.0 Original Camp Chair weighing in at 21 oz. Do you think it would be worth the extra weight to go with the chair? At the end of the day it sure would be nice to kick back in it rather than leaning against a tree or rock while sitting on the Z pad.

Best regards,
Pete
Charlotte, NC Continue reading →

May 21, 2015

Ultralight Backpacking’s Simple Equation: Less Weight = More Fun

In Backpacking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   19 Comments

By Michael Lanza

What if you could do one thing to make every backpacking trip more enjoyable? Three decades of backpacking have taught me what that one thing is: keeping my pack light. Every superfluous ounce removed from it makes each trip better. My evolution was partly about comfort, but also emerged from a gradual rethinking about why I’m out there: It’s not about having stuff. It’s about experiencing a place.

In this article, I’ll share my strategy, which doesn’t aim for having the absolute lightest pack on the trail, but rather minimizing pack weight while being safe and comfortable on every trip. Continue reading →

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Grand Canyon Hiker