I have always looked forward to reading the trip reports on backpackinglight.com, every time I get an email I love to immediately drop what I'm doing to see what other people are up to in the wilderness! I pour over the beautiful photos of grandiose western mountain ranges and epic ridgelines, open trails that stay above tree-line for miles, and I long for the day when I can get enough time off in one contiguous shot to experience what backpacking is like for so many UL backpackers in other parts of the country.
I also have learned a lot from this website, converting my gear slowly over the years to lighter and more useful items, dropping unnecessary gear, and trying to incorporate minimalism into my backpacking mentality. Thanks to what I have learned, I have dropped my back weight from an almost unbelievable 45 lbs to just under 30 lbs skin-out. I have a few friends who like to come on weekend backpacking trips in the northeastern US, and we have been working our way across as many northeastern mountains as we can. Because of work schedules and location, we primarily backpack in the Adirondacks in upstate NY, and also in the White Mountains of northern NH. I always push my fellow backpackers to go lighter with me and leave more stuff behind, and over time they too have started to adopt a more lightweight mentality. You can see from the photos that we still don't carry UL packs, but we are working our way in that direction.
I have found it extraordinarily challenging both in mentality and in my experiences in these mountains to fully adopt a true ultra-light backpacking gear list, and hopefully this article can shed some light on why there seem to be so many fewer UL backpackers in the northeast than out west, while also, hopefully, gaining some insight from the community's comments on my groups' experiences.
- The Adirondacks
- The Journey
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