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More Ultralight Backpacking Gear Videos

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It is time for more ultralight backpacking videos. The three collected here are about gear. Specifically we look at stoves, trekking poles, and what is carried by a couple of recent converts to ultralight backpacking.

Trekking Poles

I do not use trekking poles, although now that I am approaching 50 I may start. They do help save your knees, and especially with the downhill stretches. I have made a walking stick while on the trail quite a few times (see my page on hand carved walking sticks for more on that) A good dead and dry poplar or white cedar will work for a long walking stick (I'm 6'3") that weighs less than a pound. In any case, I did like the trekking poles that are reviewed in the video below...

Less than 10 ounces isn't bad, but the $150 price tag on that pair might keep me from considering it. The other poles were probably only a few ounces more (they didn't say how much they weigh), but $70 less. Both pairs reviewed are from Black Diamond, and having used some of their other equipment I suspect they are of top-notch quality. There are a lot of other options as well, and probably some that are lighter and cheaper (certainly making a walking stick meets the latter criteria).

Lightening the Load: An Example

The couple who did the following video had pack weights of 47 and 35 pounds a year before they did this production. They dramatically lightened their load after a "miserable" time lugging their heavier loads on the Appalachian Trail. Each of their backpacks weigh less than a pound, and they are going out with hammocks instead of a tent. I have not tried backpacking with a hammock, but I do have a page on this, written by a hiker who gave it a try. Of course this is appropriate only in certain areas, since you do need trees to tie the end lines to.

Like most backpackers they like to have cooked food, and so have the weight of a stove, cooking kit and fuel. I would not make a quilt, but then that's probably the only way you get one that is light and works for the hammocks. You'll notice that there are a lot of ideas about the little "extras" each backpacker carries. This, I think, highlights one big advantage of cutting your base weight way down; you get to add a few luxuries without over-packing.

Ultralight Backpacking Stoves

As I have mentioned many times before, I have not generally carried any cooking gear when backpacking. I am one of the rare people who is perfectly comfortable going without a cooked meal for a week at a time (as long as I have enough good food). But I liked the following video when I saw it, because it shows some examples of many light stoves, including ones that were purchased and several that were made.

I love that little tea light stove. It might be the lightest I have seen, since it probably weighs less than a half-ounce. But even some of the purchased stoves are no more than a couple ounces.



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