My ultralight backpacking experience has its roots in a trip I took when I was 14. My friend Bob and I made an overnight backpacking trip to our favorite place deep in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. It wasn’t the first time we had taken this trip, but my approach to packing took a radical turn from anything I had done in the past. Instead of loading my large external frame pack with a heavy sleeping bag and bulky tent, I determined to see if I could fit all I needed for a night in the woods into my small book bag from school.

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