Ultralight Backpacking Versus Traditional Backpacking
Contrary to what many think, ultralight backpacking is not just about the freedom to hike more miles or to take your whole pack up the mountain with you. It is also about comfort and safety. Backpackers with heavy loads work too hard and threaten their joints too much. Challenges may add to the experience, but why suffer more than is necessary?
The Disadvantages Of Traditional Backpacking
Lack Of Freedom
You can't easily take a side trip up that hill, just to see what is there. If you do it without your pack, you have to go back the same way to get your pack.
It's A Hassle
Putting on and taking off your heavy pack quickly becomes a chore. You start leaving it on even during rest stops, just so you don't have to deal with it.
Backpacking is clearly more tiring with a heavy pack, and you probably won't enjoy yourself as much when you are tired.
Sprained ankles, blistered feet, sore muscles, and back and knee problems are just some of the common consequences of too much weight on your back.
More weight equals slower progress, which means less access to wild places (you can't go as far on your four-day trip), or it means less time to for enjoyable activities, like a swim in a mountain lake, or a relaxing evening in camp.
More injuries, and the inability to move quickly when a storm is coming or an emergency requires you to get to a road, means that backpacking can actually be more dangerous with a heavy load. Add to that the possibility of bad decisions due to tiredness.
The Ultralight Backpacking Alternative
Done the right way, ultralight backpacking gives you more freedom, more comfort, more safety, more enjoyment and less suffering than traditional backpacking. It allows you to move faster, but notice that I say "allows." It doesn't require it. It just gives you the option. That's more freedom.
I have yet to meet or hear about a person who has tried lightweight backpacking for a while, and then gone back to a heavy load. I'm not saying it is for everyone. Bad ankles may require heavy hiking boots, and bad habits may require a big pack to satisfy them. But even a backpacker who needs a pillow and big rectangular sleeping bag, can find these in lighter forms.
You just can't understand the sense of liberation felt by a convert to ultralight backpacking, until you try it yourself. When I, with my eleven-pound pack, walk past overloaded backpackers struggling up steep trails, I remembered being in their place, and I know I am enjoying myself more now.
Misconceptions About Ultralight Backpacking
Lighweight Backpacking Means Sacrifice
Not so. Bring your favorite camera! A lighter load means you can stop to use it more easily. If you leave behind the things you don't need, and bring a lighter backpack, tent, and sleeping bag, you can more easily bring that telephoto lense or whatever is really important to you.
Lighweight Backpacking Is Less Safe
The opposite! Bring all the safety items; a sleeping bag, first aid kit, shelter, water purification, etc. Just bring lighter versions. A light load makes you less likely to lose your balance and fall, or to otherwise injure yourself. It also means faster response to iffy situations.
A note about safety:
It is lagely a matter of knowledge and experience. A trained survivalist will always be safer backpacking with no shelter than a neophyte with the best tent. Learn a little about how to use you equipment properly, or to read the sky for comimg storms, and you can go lighter and safer.
Lightweight Backpacking Is Less Comfortable
Is it less comfortable to have 18 pounds on your back than 50? Is it less comfortable to have an ultralight sleeping bag if it keeps you just as warm? I stopped getting blisters (totally) when I started using running shoes instead of hiking boots. Cut the weight on your back by twenty-five pounds, and you can add back a heavier coat, if that is what you need to be comfortable.
Lightweight Backpacking Is Expensive
Ultralight sleeping bags are expensive. Almost everything else needed for ultralight backpacking can be found for the same price or cheaper than traditional gear. There are many sub-three-pound backpacks under a hundred dollars, for example.
Try it. The first time you are fifteen miles into the day, and you realize that you can easily run up that hill-just to see what is there, you'll know you made the right decision.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Conquering new heights: Plus-sized women prove outdoors are for anyone while preparing for Mt. Kilimanjaro - KPTV.com
Lake County sheriff's dogs find 2 people missing outdoors in unseasonably cold weather - Chicago Tribune
Shark Attacks! How Common are They? Where do They Occur?
Last week in Australia, one man's day at beach could have turned into a disaster: He was attacked by a seven-foot bronze whaler shark while surfing about 100 yards out from Sydney's Bronte Beach.Fortunately, the man, Simon Letch, stayed calm and "shoved the board at [the shark] like a barge pole.
Mystic Seaport Captured - Links to Our Past Guide, Part 3
Mystic Seaport celebrates the seafaring past of New England. Known as The Museum of America and the Sea, the seaport is an entertaining journey through 19th century nautical life.
Should You Buy a Used Inflatable Boat?
There are two types of used inflatable boats for sale - those that have never been patched before, and those that have been repaired. Repaired boats are worked upon by factory technicians using the same glue and same techniques used for a new boat, and hence are as good as new ones.
About Table Mountain Cape Town - Well Known in South Africa and Around the World
Table Mountain sheltered the original Cape explorers in the 16th century, the first European settlers and the many following generations of slaves, immigrants and Capetonians who helped to build and develop our special city.Your first impression of Table Mountain from the city bowl and beyond from Blouberg beach, is almost misleading.
Calculate Food Quantities for Camping and Outdoor Recreation
As the warmer weather approaches, we look forward to another season of camping and enjoying the fun, relaxation, and beauty that the outdoor environment has to offer. I am anxious to get out on weekends to some of my favorite campsites around Kentucky and Indiana.
How To Buy a Used RV - Part 2
The key to getting a good bargin, instead of a lemon, when buying your used RV is knowing what to look for. Here is a useful checklist to help with your search.
Bird Watching Journals - Preserve Your Bird Watching Experiences
Bird Watching is a great way to escape the rat race and be one with nature. Alas, your bird watching experiences can fade with time.
Ireland Golf Vacations - Top Tips To Help You Plan an Ireland Golf Vacation
Live your golfing dreams on an Ireland golf vacation.The K Club, Ballybunion, Lahinch, Doonbeg, Druids Glen? the names of the courses may not trip off the tongue quite as easily as those of their Scottish cousins but the quality is just as high.
South Africa Safari Top Five National Parks and Game Reserves
A South Africa safari is the ideal wildlife trip to go on because the infrastructure and accommodation is superb in all the wildlife parks there and it is still highly affordable in comparison to other African countries.But given a choice some of the national parks and game reserves are better than others.
Camping - Get Those Tents Up!
Have you ever thought you might like to try a totally different vacation? Is the cost of your vacation this year a problem? Did you know that a week long Camping Vacation for a family of four can work out to under a $1000.That sounds pretty good eh! Can you smell that fresh air go on fill your lungs with it and oh! what's that lovely smell, somebody's cooking up a treat.
Taking an Alaskan Cruise - What to Pack
Packing in general can be a hassle. But when going on an Alaskan cruise, it can be even harder because of the colder weather.
A Fishy Road Trip in Cairns
The Cairns Fishing Adventure A Great Australia Road TripYou love holidays? You love to fish? Then you'll need to come to Cairns, Australia where the fishing is, quite simply, bloody fantastic.You've got options coming out of your ears when you fish in Cairns on your next Great Australian Road Trip.
Cycling in Europe: There's More to the Tour de France than Lance
For the 92nd time, the Tour de France has started. This three week cycling race is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and undoubtedly the toughest on the individual participants.
Trekking Poles And Walking Sticks
Are walking sticks longer than trekking poles? What about hiking staffs and hiking sticks? Whatever you call them, and whatever their differences, they are supposed to help your knees more than anything. This they do very well, at least when you're going downhill.
Ultralight Backpacks - The Lightest
Why ultralight backpacks? Devotees of ultralight backpacking know you reduce your packweight most by concentrating on the "big three;" backpack, shelter, and sleeping bag. Forget those 6-pound backpacks, 9-pound tents and 5-pound sleeping bags.
Unforgettable Cape Cod Vacations: The National Seashore Gift
Take a captivating trip through the Cape Cod National Seashore with miles of white sandy beaches, trails and hikes to take your breath away, and majestic dunes. Just keep reading and you can visit all those places right now.
Why Should You Use Hiking Poles?
Why should you use hiking poles is perhaps the first question that may strike in your mind especially when you are a beginner. To get the right answer for this question you need to consider two things i.
Planning Your Own Gorilla Safari Will Save You Money - Heres How
Going on a gorilla safari must rank as one of the best wildlife experiences left in the natural world. Many people describe it as an overwhelming and awe-inspiring experience and worth every penny they spent on making it happen.
A Thumb Sketch Outline of Tanzania's Attractions and National Parks
The Northern Circuit is probably Africa's most dramatic wildlife area. Game safaris never fail to satisfy with the thrill of the big game; they also offer diverse flora, panoramic landscapes and spectacular mountains; the game migrations across the plains defy description.
Inflatable Boats: An Overview
Inflatable boats are made from flexible material, usually rubber, canvas, or neoprene, and hold air at high volume but low pressure. They need to be fitted with a frame to which an oarlock mount is firmly attached.
|home | site map | Ocean Photography|