When I started getting into lightweight backpacking, I spent a lot of time staring at my gear list to make sure I squeezed every ounce of weight out of it. That’s ok. It’s part of the process that every lightweight or ultralight …Read More »
Backpacks and Packing
What is an Ultralight Backpack?
Ultralight backpacks tend to be a lot lighter than more mainstream backpacks with internal or external frames and generally fall under 2 pounds in weight. There are exceptions to this and some UL packs are heavier than two pounds, but it’s a …Read More »
Tips and Tricks: How to Pack a Food Bag
One of the secrets of successful backpacking is learning how to become extremely organized and to stay organized throughout your trip. That might sound obvious but it’s actually a skill that requires a lot of practice and the development of a set …Read More »
What’s in My Gear Repair Kit?
I had a reader ask, “what’s in your gear repair kit?” after I went through all of the gear repair supplies I use to maintain and repair backpacking gear at home. Here’s what I carry in my gear repair kit on every trip in …Read More »
How to Pack a Lot of Backpacking Food into a Small Space
When packing food for a multi-day backpacking trip, I try to keep the space it takes up as small as possible so I can bring a smaller, lighter weight backpack. While bringing highly caloric foods helps (over 100 calories per ounce), it’s …Read More »
Packing the Unpackable: Backpack Loading Tips
One of my readers, a guy named Tim, is having problems getting all of his backpacking gear into his backpack. This is something I’ve wrestled with too. I had a few breakthroughs this year though, based on some advice from a more …Read More »
The History of Ventilated Backpack Frames
When internal frame backpacks were first developed in 1967 by Greg Lowe (who later founded Lowe Alpine and LowePro), they were designed to be more formfitting than external frame packs, bringing the load closer to the wearer’s hips, and making it easier …Read More »
The Case for Waterproof Map Cases
If you hike in England or Scotland, it’s pretty common to see hikers wearing a map case around their neck. But map cases are relatively rare in the United States. They can be quite useful however if you have a lot of …Read More »
Why are Stuff Sacks Round?
I am completely serious about this. Why are stuff sacks round instead of block shaped? For example, most of the backpacks I own have one large compartment that is rectangular in shape. Given this, wouldn’t it be more efficient to pack them …Read More »
Hydration Bladder Pockets in Backpacks
Hydration pockets are good for day hikers because they hold your Camelback or platypus hydration bladder in place. If you’re a day hiker, you don’t have a lot of gear in the pack to keep your bladder from shifting around. However …Read More »