by Ryan Jordan
Ryan Jordan is the founder and publisher of Backpacking Light, created in 2001 to inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts to go lighter in the backcountry as a means to more safety, more comfort, and more fun.
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.
This 13-minute screencast presentation offers a critical piece of that foundation. The core principles presented herein should be considered wherever you are in your journey on lightening up, and are as applicable to me even today, after decades of “working on my pack weight”, as they were to me more than 25 years ago when I started this journey.
I hope you find as much value in this presentation as the thousands other backpacking enthusiasts that have watched it in one form or another through the years!
Now you have a foundation – you know the principles required to reduce your pack weight. Time to build on it, and learn more about the gear, skills, and philosophies required to become an expert at lightweight backpacking without sacrificing comfort and safety.
Become a subscriber and join the thousands of others who have made this journey, and are enjoying a completely new and radically transformed wilderness experience: