Internet pundits often insist that new lightweight backpackers should buy a pack last, so that it will hold all their new gear and a week’s worth of food. Sometimes the advice is to buy the pack first, a little larger in volume than the backpacker thinks they’ll need. But both approaches can misfire, and I think there’s a better way.
There are many good motives for altering equipment. Mostly we focus on reducing weight, fixing problems, or adding features. Here are a few more reasons.
What you’re really hooked on is the dopamine rush from buying and trying new gear – which doesn’t last very long.
Simple backpacking navigation: turn-by-turn hiking directions aren’t for everybody, but try them before you scoff and proclaim “Never!”
R-values alone are not enough for many consumers choosing new sleeping pads, and much of the current guidance is inconsistent.
The most comprehensive review of backpacking scissors for ultralight hiking and camping: 11 models compared in 13 tests! You just may leave your knife at home.
Rescue Insurance can be the difference between hefty bills and peace of mind. In either case getting rescued is the main priority, but your most expensive bill might surprise you.
A thermometer allows you to establish trends that relate temperature to how you feel while hiking and camping. This can lead to better preparation and execution in the field.
A voice recorder is a great way to reflect on your journey without compromising safety or the experience.
Part 3 in our series on satellite communications focuses on the currently available two-way texting devices suitable for lightweight backpacking.