Aug 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm #1261982
This is my first year of lightweight backpacking and I want to share what I have learned so far.
My mental well being is much healthier on the trail. I no longer dread putting my pack on in the morning. I am much more aware of my surroundings and I enjoy every second I am out there. When I approach a big uphill section I don't even think about it and just keep walking.
Early this week I went up to the Superior Hiking Trail for two nights. On the first day I didn't encounter any other hikers. I started thinking I was not moving any faster than I did with traditional gear but I was having fun. The next morning when I was packing up a couple people went past my campsite with HUGE packs on. I was in no rush so I took off about 15 minutes after they passed. At the first uphill section of the day I caught them with no problem. I kept seeing berry bushes so I would stop for a bit and have a snack. I would usually catch the other group within a couple minutes but then I would see more berries and stop. I then realized I was moving pretty fast due to my light pack because when I was behind them I felt like a snail.
The one thing that amuses me is how my shadow looks when the sun is behind me. There is no pack!
I could never go back to the traditional gear. I feel a lot safer and have more confidence in my backpacking skills doing the lightweight thing. The best piece of gear I ever bought was my digital scale. This place is a very important resource for my education.
Light is right!Aug 6, 2010 at 7:38 pm #1635534
Nick TruaxBPL Member
@nicktruaxLocale: SW Montana
That is great to hear!
Had a friend (thanks Dave F) not turned me on to LW and UL packing, along w/this site and the good books, I could still be beating myself into the turf. Not any longer – and so many options out there for the lighter crowd now – we're not doing too shabby to say the least.
Keep up the good work Michael.Aug 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm #1636629
Hey Michael, it sounds like we are traveling the same road. I stopped backpacking since I was getting older and the pack was just too heavy to enjoy the journey. Started hiking again last year and realized I can still enjoy this hobby with a lighter pack! I also have a 3 day SHT trip coming up in a couple of weeks. The SHT in the fall is truly beautiful. Hope to see you on the trail someday!Aug 11, 2010 at 6:24 am #1636684
Piper S.BPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I've had similar experiences, especially the feeling of not worrying about hills and having the experience be as enjoyable as dayhiking. Because it's not an ordeal to backpack anymore, I can just pack up in a few minutes and go somewhere without a lot of training or anxiety.
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