Backpacker Magazine – September 2012
Master Class: Lighten Your Pack
Foods with more than 100 calories per ounce (Bydlon)
Shed the Easy Stuff
Reduce your pack load by just a few pounds and you’ll hike farther, cut injury potential, and reduce trail fatigue.
Ο Leave Nonessentials at Home
Take a critical look at your packing list and off-load (or substitute) these items.
>> Wallet 6 oz.
Bring only your insurance card, ID, and some cash
>> Food packaging 4 oz.
Discard boxes; measure servings into zip-top bags
>> Pillow 6 oz.
Fill your sleeping bag hood with rolled-up clothes
>> Extra pot 8 oz.
Plan one-pot meals, use nonstick for easy cleanup
>> Camp shoes 10 oz.
Unlace boots and switch socks to walk around camp
>> Stuffsacks 20 oz.
Stuff clothes into pack corners; roll your tent
>> Guidebook 9 oz.
Photocopy the pages you want to reference
>> Trowel 3 oz.
Dig catholes with a sturdy stick or tent stake
>> Repair kit 4 oz.
Pack a tiny sewing kit, tube of SeamGrip, and safety pins
>> Water filter 15 oz
. Use chemical or UV treatment instead
Weight saved 5+ lbs.
Ο Streamline Your Pack
Don’t purchase an ultralight hauler until your baseweight (all your gear not including food, water, or fuel) is less than 15 pounds; lightweight packs lack the suspension and comfort features (like hipbelt
padding and frame stays) that you need for heavy loads. Instead, cut up to 20 percent of your pack’s weight by ditching the top lid and trimming unnecessary features like extra buckles, webbing, and pockets.
You can shave pack heft without sacrificing functionality or comfort. Learn more cutting tips in our video tutorial
Weight saved 12oz.
Ο Ditch Unused Gear
Count individual items like tent stakes, guylines, trail bars, and lengths of TP. After each trip, make a list of gear you carried but didn’t use. If a piece of your kit makes the list after three
consecutive trips, leave it behind next time (exception: first-aid supplies).
Ο Plan Calorie-Dense Meals
Combine high-calorie foods for efficient fueling on trail and in camp.
All these foods have more than 100 calories/ounce.
>> Fruity PB Roll-Ups
Spread peanut butter on a tortilla and top with dried apricots and chocolate squares, then roll it up. 6.5 oz., 522 calories
>> Buttered Hot Chocolate
Make hot chocolate using 2 packets of powdered mix; stir in a tablespoon of unsalted butter. 2.5 oz., 348 calories
>> Cheesy Salmon-Pesto Pasta
Cook 2 cups of pasta; toss with a 5-ounce pouch of salmon, 2 tablespoons pesto, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. 8 oz., 640 calories
Pack a no-cook menu on short, warm-weather trips, and you can unload your stove, pots, and fuel.
Weight saved 2 lbs.
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