|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – August 2001
How light can you go? Six friends face off to determine whether carrying less gear makes you half as macho, or twice as smart.
We fire up our 3-ounce Mountain Safety Research PocketRocket stove and 5 minutes later, we have water boiling. The stove is turned off, instant stew mixes (we carry a variety of one-pot meals using instant potatoes, Minute Rice, corn pasta, or instant hummus) go in the pot, and moments later, we're dining. We heat one more pot of water for instant soup and a hot drink, to be sipped along with a chocolate-bar dessert, then crawl into our sleeping bags and keep the heavyweights company as they cook. They prepare noninstant soup, a nice pasta dish made with precooked chicken and dried vegetables, and pudding. By the time everything is ready, however, snow is flying and they're too cold to enjoy the tastier food they've prepared.
An inch of snow falls before strong winds blast away the clouds. Late at night, the thermometer in our tent registers 22°F, and in our 2-pound down bags (1 pound 8 ounces lighter than those of our cohorts), we wake up chilled. We slip on coats and hats, nestle back into our bags, and sleep comfortably for the remainder of the night. Meanwhile, the Heavies all sleep snugly, without a trace of hardship. Another tied round.
Lightniks 3 Heavies 2