It’s four-thirty in the afternoon and I’m feeling a sleepiness only caffeine, napping, or walking can fix. English tea time. Spanish siesta. Utah amble.
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.
This is a story about a 40-day backpacking trip in the Far East (Russia) where I started with a pack that weighed 95 lb (43 kg).
We need to take a hard look at what it means to be a long-distance backpacker in 2020 – what types of trips should be off the table, what types of trips are still okay, and how to keep yourself sane if you can’t make a backpacking trip work this year.
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.
Nature Therapy in the Backcountry is an exploration of mindfulness, wellness, and the mental/emotional aspects of ultralight backcountry travel.
How do trails form? Why do trails form? Come to think of it, what is a trail? These are but a few of the (deceptively simple) questions author Robert Moor attempts to answer in his book On Trails (Simon and Schuster, 2016). Moor – a lifelong backpacker and Appalachian Trail thru-hiker in addition to being a writer – approaches his subject with lyrical language and journalistic due-process. The result is a book as quietly spiritual as it is wildly informative.
To me, ultralight backpacking is the idea that one should solve a problem using as little as possible, but that which is used to solve the problem should be as effective as possible. Defined as such, the actual weight of individual pieces of gear, or one’s pack, matters less, and takes a back seat to the performance-to-weight ratio of a piece of gear.