Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

Ultralight Equipment: Ideas I May Adopt

Since I often go into the mountains carrying a big load of camera equipment, lowering the weight of the rest of my backpacking load has become more important. I’ve already moved to a much lighter sleeping bag, lighter backpacks, and I prefer to use a bivy rather than a tent in most situations.

My backpacking buddy, Owen, has moved more completely (some say obsessively… :-) to ultralight gear over the past few seasons. While I remain skeptical of some of the equipment, other elements of it are starting to make more sense. He sure carries a much lighter pack than I do, and in many ways he doesn’t seem to suffer as a result. (Though I’m still waiting to see what happens on the first trip where he has to weather a real storm in his parka/poncho/tarp/tent…)

With this in mind, I’m considering a few changes for next season:

Alcohol stove – Owen introduced me to some small alcohol stoves that barely weight an ounce or two, and which burn maybe an ounce or two of fuel per day – fuel that you can carry in a tiny plastic squeeze bottle. Since most of my “cooking” really comes down to boiling water, one of these should work well.

Water Treatment – There is apparently a water treatment system available now that uses the same technology used in municipal water systems – no iodine or iodine taste. Since any water filter that actually works adds a pound to the pack along with significant bulk, this sounds like a great idea.

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October 20, 2007 - Posted by | Commentary

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