Backpacker ’09 Gear Guide Touts Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 Tent


Most ultralight tents are pretty durable, so I look at weight, roominess and price in deciding whether I think a tent is in my ultralight backpacking ballpark. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 1 gets Backpacker Magazine’s top rating in its annual gear guide as best all-around. My take: Big Agnes is $300 (pricey), 2 pounds, 3 ounces with everything (stakes, poles, fly, tent, sack, instructions – under my 3-pound limit), has a 38-inch high pitch (you can sit up) and a fly that allows space for boots, pack, etc. I’m not crazy about the front entrance, mainly because  side entrances allow you to easily “roll” into the tent. Add 4 ounces for a footprint ground cover.  If you have the money, I give this thumbs up. A word about price. In my experience, the lighter the equipment the more it costs. For example, my Sierra Design Light Year is about 3.5 pounds and cost (five years ago) about $149. To get titanium poles, instead of anodized aluminum, that knock off another eight ounces, the tent cost would have been $349: $25 an ounce or $100 per pole. But if light is what you want and you can afford it, why not get the best and lightest. Chances are, you’ll have it a long time.

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

Cache Creek Wilderness – Our First 2009 Backpack Destination

 Although Northern California rain is off about 40%+ this year, there has been just enough to keep snow on the mountains. What better time than to try a close-to-home (3 hours) in a low altitude destination. The “Three Bs”  (Bruce, Bill and Bob) are taking our first 2009 backpack in Cache Creek Wilderness, off Highway 20 east of Clear Lake. We’ll let you know how it turns out. A resident tule elk herd and black bear are among the wildlife.

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