Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Thinking about your next thru hike? Plan and execute the hike of your dreams with Backpacker’s Thru Hiking 101 online course today!
When you’re walking 2,200 miles, the ounces add up. Cut a little weight, and you’re saving a lot of energy. Shave your kit down to the bare minimum with these inspired picks from thru-hikers who have been there and know what it takes.
The Arc Blast is the lightest version, which everyone likes for its pure simplicity and big, external mesh pocket.
This waterproof skirt replaces rain pants, which are bulkier and heavier, and get sweaty.
This pad has the lowest weight for the insulation (R-value is 3.2) and cushion (2.5 inches) that I’ve found.
For the weight, it’s one of the warmest jackets out there, and there’s a model with a hood, too.
This is a good transition model for newbies because you never feel the draft you would with minimalist quilts, thanks to strong clips that secure it to inflatable pads.
Dirty Girl Gaiters
Ultralighters don’t like carrying extras. But at just an ounce, these gaiters easily justified their weight—especially in the desert, where they kept rocks and stuff out of my shoes.
If you’re already carrying trekking poles, you can use them to pitch this one-person shelter and save the weight of tent poles.