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HOW TO LIGHTEN THE LOAD

The biggest question we ask ourselves when packing gear for a backpacking trip is “how to lighten the load”? With the Ultra Lightweight craze that has hit the mainstream hiking community, some find themselves buying lightweight gear only to find it isn’t for them. Or it isn’t what they thought the gear would provide…a better outdoor experience.

Lightning your pack weight is a science and there is a strategy. So let’s be clear on something first: Just because you buy a lightweight pack, doesn’t mean you have entered into the lightweight community. It’s only one piece of gear. Moreover, if you place mid weight gear in a lightweight pack, you are probably going to be uncomfortable. For example: The Hyperlite Southwest 3400 is a great lightweight pack. But it can only hold 40lbs (which is kind of heavy anyway) without the structure of the pack failing. So don’t put heavy items in a lightweight pack.

Lightweight Backpack means, lightweight Sleeping Bag, lightweight Tent, and Lightweight Sleeping Pad. Your base weight has to compliment each other.

The Sleep System is going to be a relative key into lightning the load. That is where the rubber meets the trail so to speak. Some weight can be shed from the type of backpack you buy. But you can really convert pounds into ounces with your Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Sleeping Pad. AND that’s where you start shedding the pounds.

BACKPACKS We Suggest

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack. …
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 3400 Backpack. …
Granite Gear Crown 2 60 Backpack.
Zpacks Arc Blast Backpack. …

REI Flash 55 Backpack (women’s) …

SLEEPING BAGS We Suggest

Remember, your sleep system is the most effective way to lighten the load. This is where weight can be strongly trimmed down.

Sleeping Pads

Vapor Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xtherm Sleeping Pad – Regular

Therm-A-Rest Neoair Xlite Sleeping Pad, Regular

Exped SynMat XP 9

Always do your due diligence when buying gear. Backpacking gear should fit your trail lifestyle. In full disclosure some of these links are affiliate links, and at no cost to you, we do receive a slight commission from products. Have questions about our suggestions: Always welcome to e-mails us at scottandariane@trustthetrailpodcast.com

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In 2003 I completed a Thru-Hike on the Appalachian Trail. Since then I have over 12,000 miles underfoot and 20 years of backpacking, and camping experience. Certifications include WFA, WFR, LNT Trainer, and belong to AORE. Have been guiding backpacking trips for over 10 years. The outdoors has taught me one thing. Trusting the Trail! really does provide everything a person needs.

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