Podcast Episode November 23, 2021

Episode 50 | Listener Q & A

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It’s our 50th episode! To celebrate, we reached out to listeners and asked them to submit their big backpacking questions. We received fantastic questions about gear, philosophy, and skills and enjoyed chatting about the answers.

Also in this episode, an interview with Backpacking Light grant recipient Narinda Heng and some upcoming educational opportunities at Backpacking Light. Enjoy!

text reads "episode 50, listener Q and A. The Backpacking Light Podcast.


  • Happy 50th episode!
  • Good shelter for a family of three in Scandinavia? Hyperlight Mountain Gear UltaMid 4 or Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3.
  • Adapting gear to tropical environments? Hiking sandals like the Bedrock Sandals Cairn Pro II. Try a big, airy mesh tent with a tarp with lots of coverage, or a hammock. Go for a silk liner and/or a tropical-specific sleeping pad with 3D compression-resistant mesh. And uh, you might need a machete.
  • Keeping a full 3-season kit packed at all times – pros and cons? Duplicate items, don’t switch stuff out. Don’t compress your insulation!
  • Aluminum vs. titanium pots – especially when it comes to fuel use!
  • What’s a seriously waterproof bivy sack? Check out the Mountain Laurel Designs eVENT Soul Bivy for moderately rowdy conditions. If things get more wild than that, look for something with more of a structure.
  • Thoughts on Southern Lite packs? We like the customization that makes them good for winter gear storage!
  • Are there any negative environmental impacts when using a backcountry bidet system? Not really, just do LNT!
  • Going backpacking with two adults and two kids – should you have one giant shelter or two smaller shelters? Try the Nemo Dagger 3P.
  • Why are large pads and bags so common but shelters that can accommodate a tall person so rare? In short? Market pressures and gram-shaving wars. If you want a great shelter for tall users, take a look at the Durston X-Mid series or the Tarptent Stratospire series (Stratospire 1, Stratospire 2, and Stratospire Li).
  • Do you talk to yourself when you hike?
  • Applying ultralight philosophy to canoeing?
  • Going ultralight by switching to tarps and quilts? You don’t necessarily have to…
  • What can you gain by going ultralight early? Mostly health, and you’ll save some money to boot.
  • To set up camp in rainy weather – site selection, shelter selection, and bring a tarp to provide a dry space to stage your gear while you set up.
  • How to build skills and transition from hiking in groups to solo backpacking (safely)?
  • Interview with Backpacking Light grant recipient – Narinda Heng.
  • Narinda’s goals and challenges.
  • The craziest adventure Narinda has been on.
  • Narinda’s art and how it intersects with the outdoors.
  • Her pottery and how it reflects the input of Narinda’s adventures.
  • Narinda’s contacts: web and Instagram.
  • It’s okay to go slow.
  • Narinda’s next adventure.
  • Updates to the Ultralight Backpacking Boot Camp.
  • Publisher’s Gear Guide.
  • The Locus Gear Khufu.
  • The Food Planning Member Q and A.

About the Backpacking Light Podcast


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