It is amazing how removing so much from one's hands puts so much at one's fingertips.
At the onset of my affiliation with Backpacking Light, my base weight stood at a whopping sixty pounds. After several months worth of hand-wringing and basic re-education in the art of backpacking, I'd dropped my base weight to nineteen pounds.
Compared to the expertise written into surrounding pages, a nineteen-pound base weight must look like an embarrassingly tight pair of pants. With another ten pounds in food and water, my thirty-pound pack still needs heavy trimming.
At the trailhead, I saddle up: I don't carry my pack. It rides me. My steel-toed boots thunder along the trail, resonating tremors deep into the ground of high country tundra. My shirt clings heavily with perspiration, the soles of my feet cry out for air, and my shoulders ache for reprieve. My name is Nathan Boddy, and I have a backpacking problem.