Do We Have to Wait Until Spring for More Backpacking?

Some of you will rejoice in saying, “Of course not. We can winter camp!” The hardy souls who love the quiet, pristine winter landscape get to backpack year around. But me, I’m a fair weather lightweight-ultralight backpacker. And not afraid to admit it.

On California’s north coast there are plenty of options for getaways into the wilderness if you are willing to be ready on a moment’s notice between rain storms.

The Lost Coast, Santa Cruz Mountains, the Ventana Wilderness, Sunol Wilderness, Mt. Diablo State Park — all near the San Francisco Bay Area — are low-altitude, no-snow areas with lots of trails, waterfalls, rivers and other natural beauty to make the close-to-home trip a pleasant outing.

Since my readers include folks from all around the world, I recommend you look in your own backyard and get out there this winter.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

Apple iPhone: The Ultimate Lightweight Backpacking Tool

iphone.jpgThe Golden Rule of ultra light backpacking is that every piece of equipment has multiple uses. For example, a bandana is a sweat band, wash cloth, water or coffee filter, a napkin, a tourniquet and sling.

The new iPhone is the ultimate backpacking tool. It weigh just six ounces and includes a phone, digital camera, music player, DVD player, Palm pilot, photo library with a web browser, email program and Google maps. How long before it adds GPS? You can buy a 1/2 ounce, 1.5 inches square iPod shuffle if you just want music. But during storms when your confined to your tent for a dozen hours or more, it’s a great companion.

Originally priced at $600, it is now only $400. For all you get, it’s a deal. I love mine.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.