Why Most People Flounder When they Start Lightweight Backpacking
When I started the process of lightening my pack, I floundered – I spent an inordinate amount of time and money guessing my way through a framework that was broken. It looked like this:
- I realized that my pack was too heavy.
- I went to an outdoor specialty shop seeking help, or worse, shopped at online retailers for stuff that looked better than what I had.
- I purchased hundreds of dollars of new gear.
- I went backpacking with the new gear.
- I realized the new gear didn’t really keep the promises it made to me for a lighter pack and a more satisfying outdoor experience.
- I came home and my pack was still heavy.
- I went back to #2 and repeated the process.
There had to be a better way.
Over time, I invested countless hours into developing a cautious, intentional, careful, and methodical approach to lightening my pack, learning lightweight backpacking skills, and developing the solid foundations required to have a safe, comfortable, and satisfying experience with less weight in the wilderness.
Core Principles of Lightweight Backpacking
Eventually, I settled into a core framework that has been the foundation of my writing, instruction, clinics, seminars, and schools for more nearly two decades:
- Take inventory;
- Limit contingencies;
- Value core function;
- Consider multiple use;
- Build systems;
- Develop your skills.