Don’t Sacrifice Comfort to Get Ultralight

In the latest issue of Backpacker Magazine are 33 tips for lightening your load. One I have pointed out before, but it is worth mentioning again: don’t leave behind items that can make your trip comfortable and/or satisfying. Example:

I have three sleeping pads: 14 ounces, 20 0unces and 36 ounces. Two are self inflatables: a 3/4th length and full-length. They are fairly comfortable, but the third one, while bigger  is not only much more comfortable, but warmer because it provided incredible insulation against the cold ground. That allows me to carry a lighter sleeping bag. About the “satisfying” part of my comment: a fresh apple for lunch or cookies can give your trip and your attitude a big boost.

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

3 thoughts on “Don’t Sacrifice Comfort to Get Ultralight

  1. I sure agree with the post that says you need balance between comfort and lightness. The same certainly goes for safety and that does relate to the first aid kit. A couple of weeks ago I was in treking in remote northern China. stayed in a village where I was introduced to a ten yearl old boy with the most infected gash on his wrist that I had ever seen. It was cut to the bone, filthy, and oozing with puss. My small first aid kit only had one bandage big enough and I did not have any antibacterial cream. I did the best I could with a small sliver of hotel soap and my one bandage… and a prayer. I WISH I had been better prepared.

    The same goes for shelter. I see the ultralite guys going into the woods with tarps which arer OK as long as you don’t get stuck in a windy blowing hellish thunderstorm or you don’t wake up with a snake in your sleeping bag or roll you face onto a scorpion. It seems crazy, but I have certainly had snakes OUTSIDE and next to my tent, and scorpions in my boots that were outside the tent and have been caught in tornado weather. Tarp camping is a great idea as long as you can be sure that you won’t get caught in foul weather or are not in snake, chigger, scorpion, or mosquito country. BTW, if you know of a place like that, please let us know…

  2. I agree about bugs and such. I’m not afraid to sleep out on ground, but for bug-free more comfortable sleep, a well-tethered tent is good trail medicine for the soul and body.

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