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Lightweight Backpacking for Boy Scouts – Free Video Series

In 2012, I participated in lightweight backpacking seminar for boy scouts that was hosted by the Capitol Area Council in Austin, Texas. The event was organized by my dear friend, scout and lightweight backpacker Alan Graham, and featured a number of scout masters, eagle scouts, myself (venturing), and demonstrations by our friends at Gossamer Gear.

Alan had all of the talks videoed and edited together in this wonderful series, which is freely available on YouTube.

If you’re interested in lightening your gear weight for overnight trips, and doing it economically, I recommend that you watch some of these videos. It doesn’t matter if you’re into scouting or not, they’re applicable to anyone who wants to reduce their gear weight to 20 pounds or less (down from 40 pounds or more).

Links to the Videos on You Tube:

Video Series Introduction, Alan Graham

Philosophy of Lightweight Backpacking and the Big Three by Philip Werner, (above)

Adult Pack Makeover –  Part 1 by Grant Sible and Dave Cutherell from Gossamer Gear

Adult Pack Makeover – Part 2

Scout Master Perspective – Sam Francis and Pat Rabun

The Scout Perspective – Keaton Graham

Going Light at Philmont – Sam Francis and Pat Rabun

Dollars and Cents of Gear, High Adventure Light and Cheap by Alan Graham



  1. I’m interested in the DVD, please.

  2. Thanks, I’m passing this on.

  3. Ed,

    Email me at [email protected] and as soon as the DVD is available I will get you the instructions to purchase.


  4. Philip (and Alan and Grant as well)- thanks for everything you are doing to promote lightweight backpacking with the scouts. These guys represent the next wave of the backpacking community, and you are making it much easier for these young men to love the sport without the challenges presented by old, heavy gear. As a longtime Scoutmaster and avid hiker, many thanks for all your efforts.

    If I can ever talk Philip into hiking below the Mason-Dixon line, I would love to try to set up a similar event in Virginia!

    • Ken – I really am trying to get down south but it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it there this year. But there might be a way for me to help out if you’re serious about doing an event – just let me know.

  5. This is excellent material for beginners, parents of youth organization members and anyone interested in lightening their load!

    As a caveat, I’d think twice about eliminating rain pants, gloves or warm cap in more northerly climates, such as the Pacific Northwest! On the other hand, those were only a tiny part of the items eliminated in the excellent and entertaining pack makeover videos!

  6. I like my rain pants too (or New England) – but those makeover videos are really gems, aren’t they? Grant and Dave do a wonderful job – stripping 10 easy pounds out of that 26 pound pack.

  7. That was a nice set of videos. The makeover was fun, especially when she pulled out the folding chair. Everyone in the audience knew which pile that would end up in.

    For me, my rain pants are one of my layers. My lightweight gloves are also my pot holder and the balaclava goes with me if the temps might be low.

  8. Great videos, will be using them for our upcoming meetings with troop 109 in Florence, MA

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