Posted by: fiddlehead | August 19, 2007

10 Commandments for Ultra-lite Backpacking

Fiddlehead’s 10 commandments for light weight hiking on the AT. (Appalacian Trail) in answer to the question: “So what are your 10 commandments for UL hiking?”

If you’re not living on the edge, your taking up too much space!
1/ Every item shall be used daily or it shall be left behind.
2/ All of your life you must search for anything out there in the world that is lighter weight than what you are now carrying but still do the job: spoon, toothbrush, knife (do you even need one? for what?) stuff sax? water bottles? etc.
3/ Only carry as much water as you need and learn the art of “cameling up” at water sources. You should be good for at least 5 or 6 miles by chugging a quart!
4/ Learn what you can do without: Some people hike without: socks, sleeping pad, knife, rope, stuff sacks, hat, extra clothes, etc.
5 Use a Drop Box. You can keep fingernail clippers, razor, big toothpaste tube, spare clothes, town clothes, new sox, duct tape, etc.
6/ Buy a small pack only. Then you can’t take along that extra book and wool sweater. (the bigger the pack, the more you will find to put in it)

7/ You don’t need a flashlight in the summer. If 14 hours of daylight aren’t enough for you to get your days walk in, then carry one, if not, you don’t need it!
8/ Floorless tents save weight and are dryer! Tents with floors are like bathtubs: a good way to collect water. Learn how to stay dry in a tarp and use “Tyvek” to keep the dirt off.
9/ Carry only the data book!. (AT Data Book) Most everything else you really need to know is more fun finding out by arriving without a (mis) conception!
10/ Keep an OPEN MIND!

The Most Important Here of course is the last one. I learned a lot from watching Lynn Wheldon’s “Lightweight Backpacking Video” Which is designed to transform a closed mind into a more open one. It worked for me.

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