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The "Wise" in the title of this series signifies a couple of things. The first is that we, Sue and Jean, are "mature" ladies. With age comes wisdom, and we've had six (or nearly so) decades to earn our wisdom. The second is that when you truly understand lightweight backpacking, it becomes clear that it really is the wiser choice over carrying everything, including the kitchen sink, on your back. We started backpacking later in life and it didn't take us long to figure out that lighter is better so we contacted Backpacking Light for help. This three-part series documents our transition from a 20 pound to 13 pound base weight (Jean) and from a 14 pound to 9 pound base weight (Sue), so that other hikers new to lightweight backpacking equipment and techniques can learn from our experiences. Part 1 is a basic introduction to us and our "heavy" gear. Part 2 discusses our process of choosing lighter gear. This conclusion details gear choices and performance in the field and our lessons learned.


  • Introduction
  • The Shakedown Hike
    • Jean's gear notes:
    • Sue's trip reflections:
  • The Big Hike
  • The Coda:
  • Gear Lists for Sue and Jean
    • Sue's Gear List: 8 Day Trip
    • Sue's Gear List Weight Summary
    • Jean's Gear List: 8 Day Trip
    • Jean's Gear List Weight Summary

# WORDS: 10150
# PHOTOS: 10

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