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I feel like a wobbly-kneed fawn. I've got all the confidence of a gawky tourist, clutching at his phrasebook in a foreign country. I'm like a pimple-faced teenager at a school dance, craning in anxiety at the ladies across the room...

But, my base weight has dropped 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. With this base weight, however, I have just barely squeezed into the unremarkable "light" category. Unremarkable, that is, until you consider the base weight I've dropped from: sixty pounds.


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