Ben Kilbourne explores the need for backpackers to be amateur naturalists in our effort to steward our natural environment.
If some of humanity is threatened, then our humanity’s collective intimacy with nature is also broken.
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.
After a lifetime of pole-supported shelters and sleeping pads, I’d decided to give hammock camping a try.
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!”
Lightweight backpacking gear for winter temperatures: two-layer insulation systems, vapor barrier systems, and really puffy stuff.
R-values alone are not enough for many consumers choosing new sleeping pads, and much of the current guidance is inconsistent.
Having accessible “pockets” on your pack is useful for keeping little bits of gear handy without taking off your pack. But consider a multi-use pouch that can also be worn as a standalone fanny-style pack.