50 Indicators You Could Have Taken Ultralight Backpacking too Far

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A few years in the past I printed an article titled 30 Indicators You Could Have Taken Ultralight Backpacking too Far. It was a (principally) tongue-in-cheek tackle people who might have imbibed slightly an excessive amount of on the UL Kool-Support. After an prolonged on-line hiatus, adopted by some semi-serious kind posts, I assumed it was time to revise and increase the lighthearted ultralight listicle. What follows contains 25 of the unique indicators, together with 25 new ones. 

Ultralight over 5,000m (16,404 ft) on Colombia’s unimaginable Cocuy Circuit (2015).

1.  Not solely do you narrow the tip off your toothbrush, you trim the bristles as nicely.

2.  You employ a 1/8″ CCF mat (2 oz / 57 gr), even though 9 occasions out of ten you get a shit sleep on it.

3.  Talking of the 1/8″ CCF mats, you initially bought one after being impressed by Gossamer Gear founder, Glen Van Peski, who has long-used the minimalist merchandise on his southern California backpacking journeys. What chances are you’ll not know is that simply earlier than hitting the hay each evening, Glen takes a few Tylenol PMs earlier than drifting off to the soothing tones of Matthew McConaughey on the Calm app.

4.  You don’t take a first-aid equipment of any description on a multi-day hike.

5. You give unsolicited gear recommendation to hikers with heavier packs than you. You’re subsequently puzzled after they let you know to piss off.

6.  You’ve bought a poster of Ray Jardine – shirtless and carrying bike shorts – in your wall at dwelling. You additionally carry a passport-size model of the identical photograph within the mini Ziploc bag which doubles as your pockets.

7. Talking of Ray, you’ve spent the previous two months receiving physiotherapy in your decrease again since you stubbornly continued in mimicking his “one-shoulder sling” type of backpacking whereas climbing the Continental Divide Path (Ed’s Word: All in good enjoyable, Ray. Nonetheless love ya; even the corn pasta……………not a lot the blood cleaner).

Ray Jardine – Writer of the ultralight basic, “The Pacific Crest Path Hiker’s Handbook“, and its successors, “Past Backpacking” and “Path Life.”

8. You insist on all the time going with a frameless backpack sans hip belt, even though you usually hike off-trail in rugged terrain, and carry greater than six days meals plus a few liters of water.

9.  You skimp on guyline and tent pegs when tarp tenting so as to save an oz. or two (Tip: The important thing to a taut tarp pitch is an excellent distribution of stress. Not really easy to realize with inadequate pegs, guyline, and guyout factors).

10.  Talking of tent pegs, you plan on carrying solely titanium shepherd hooks on subsequent yr’s journey to the Scottish Highlands.

11.  While you acquired your Tarptent Aeon Li a few years in the past, you have been so upset that it got here in 0.8 ozover spec (i.e. lower than half a Snickers Bar), that you just critically considered sending it again earlier than attempting it out within the discipline. Moreover, you thought of it a deal-breaker if you realized that you just couldn’t match the shelter horizontally into your backpack, which is kind of like refusing to drink a wonderful Belgian beer since you don’t like the form of the bottle it is available in.

Tarptent Aeon Li and a crimson sundown on Italy’s Alta By way of 2 (2019).

12.  You robotically minimize the tags off new backpacking gear. Someday later you ruefully understand that it could have been a good suggestion to notice the washing/storage directions beforehand.

13.  Your go-to soaking vessel for no-cook meals is a Ziploc bag. There’s ultralight and there’s homeless.

14. You’ve begun referring to your self as a “fastpacker” – which is wanker-speak for somebody who thinks they’re a bit particular as a result of their pack is lighter, they usually cowl a number of extra miles than most different hikers.

15.  When heading out for prolonged journeys within the backcountry (together with off-trail affairs), you by no means carry a navigational backup to the GPS app in your cellphone (not even a compass/ABC watch, and an outline map). Come to consider it, your navigational data is such that you just suppose “triangulation” is one thing they educate in a arithmetic class in Bermuda, and “lifeless reckoning” is the title of the newest Stephen King novel.

Crossing the Salar de Uyuni with the Suunto M-2 compass (changed with Suunto M-3 International in 2019) | Altiplano Traverse, Bolivia, 2017.

16.  You’re contemplating changing your common shoelaces with dental floss.

17.  You don’t carry any technique of water purification……..ever………not even mini-dropper bottle(s) filled with Aqua Mira or bleach.

18.  You carry a pinch gentle reasonably than a regular-sized headlamp throughout shoulder season hikes.

19. On a number of backpacking journeys, you’ve discovered your self doing rapid-fire units of push-ups and sit-ups at 3 am, after going with a quilt that wasn’t heat sufficient for the circumstances you have been prone to encounter.

20.  You have been so busy obsessing over your Lighterpack listing, that you just forgot (in ascending order of significance): A. Your marriage ceremony anniversary; B. Your child’s birthday; C. Your PCT begin date.

21. Talking of Lighterpack, you’ve began climbing in cargo shorts and shirts with large pockets so you possibly can depend your cellphone (alongside together with your buff, rain jacket, liner gloves, and the rest you possibly can stuff in) as worn weight in your gear listing. Bonus Level: After posting your Lighterpack on r/Ultralight, you interact in hours’ value of forwards and backwards attempting to justify your alternative, all of the whereas insisting that “…….it doesn’t actually matter someway, however……”

22. Not too way back you shelled out US$159 for a brand new Patagonia R1 Hoody, even though 90% of the time a $15-20 generic fleece can be simply as practical out within the boonies. (Ed’s Word: What I can let you know, I unexpectedly got here into some money).

Springer Mountain, GA – The southern terminus of the AT and the end of the 12 Lengthy Walks. Throughout my late fall/winter AT thru-hike (Oct 17 – Dec. 28, 2012), my insulation layers have been a combo of my first Patagonia R1 Hoody and the Montbell UL Down Jacket (since renamed the Superior).

23. You suppose {that a} backside pocket is a vital function on a frameless backpack, reasonably than only a handy solution to crunch up your Fritos.

24. When climbing in areas which might be notorious for bugs (e.g. Fiordland (NZ), Alaska, Lapland, Canadian Rockies), you don’t carry a head-net (approx. weight = 1 oz) for weight-saving functions. That is often a one-off mistake.

25. Talking of one-off choices, you latterly swapped out your NeoAir sleeping mat for a sheet of bubble wrap.

26. You employ a tarp that’s too small for you (e.g. 8′ x 5′ and also you’re greater than 6′ tall). You double down on the silly gentle issue by not pairing your minimalist tarp with an UL bivy.

27.  You carry two, reasonably than three pairs of socks on multi-week backpacking journeys in chilly, moist, and muddy environments.

28.  You don’t use gaiters when climbing in desert environments so as to save 1.3 oz.

29. You start every day by your Instagram account, hoping that Ultralight Jerk has posted a brand new meme.  

Keep tuned for a attainable comeback within the new yr……….

30. You employ a Thermarest UberLite. I’ve had Frog Toggs pants which have lasted longer than these mats. Certainly, simply final week a very gassy climbing mate of mine swears he farted a gap via his UberLite after going slightly too arduous on the Santa Fe beans and beef jerky.

31.  Maltodextrin accounts for greater than 10% of your caloric consumption on long-distance hikes. If it does, chances are you’ll wish to think about taking out dental insurance coverage.

32.  You’re not planning to take an ice axe and microspikes for the Sierra part of the Pacific Crest Path (in an above-average snow yr), reasoning that: “……my steadiness is nice; a trekking pole will suffice.”

33. Talking of the PCT, you’re contemplating not taking a rain jacket till you attain Washington (NOBO).

Mountain climbing via an early June snowstorm within the Excessive Sierra, when temps dropped right down to the low to mid-teens Fahrenheit (- 9 to – 12°C) / Pacific Crest Path, 2007.

34.  You usually end up hungry and thirsty whereas climbing resulting from not carrying sufficient meals and water.

35. You bought a trekking pole tent after which determined to go away your trekking poles at dwelling in favor of discovering appropriately sized sticks alongside the path. You inadvertently doubled down if you later realized most of your hike was above treeline.

36.  You suppose SUL and XUL is a few increased degree of backpacking nirvana when in actuality, 97% of the time they’re simply barometers utilized by gear nerds to brag about their base weight on-line after occurring an in a single day journey in cherry-picked circumstances.

37. You moan and groan about condensation in your single-wall tent, which is kind of like complaining about reliability points after buying a French automobile. Two issues to recollect about single-wall shelters: 1. A humid footbox isn’t the tip of the world; 2. Condensation is like shit. It occurs.

38. You go stoveless on backing journeys the place sub-freezing temps are the norm (Ed’s Word: In my (meager) protection, typically the road between stoicism and absurdism may be blurry).

39. You get in your emotions when Ron Bell from Mountain Laurel Designs provides you a monosyllabic e mail reply. In 15 years of fortunately utilizing MLD Gear and semi-regularly speaking with Ron, we now have by no means as soon as spoken on the cellphone, and the longest e mail I’ve ever acquired was perhaps three sentences lengthy (which admittedly felt like an “I really like you”).

Carrying my long-time favourite frameless pack, the MLD Burn, on a mid-October hike of Austria’s Stubai Excessive Path (2019).

40. In case your base weight is between six and eight kilos (2.7 – 3.6 kg) and also you’re nonetheless asking a bunch of on-line randos for shakedowns, likelihood is you’re simply fishing for consideration each for your self and/or an upcoming journey you’ve deliberate.

41. You determined to avoid wasting a fifth of an oz. (5.6 gr) by not taking earplugs whereas climbing hut-to-hut within the Alps.

42. You proceed carrying linerless operating shorts with a 2″ seam, regardless of lately receiving 12 stitches above the attention courtesy of a prudish Woman Scout chief who you unintentionally flashed whereas filtering water. To your credit score, you haven’t filtered water because the unlucky incident.

43. You put on Altras in all kinds of circumstances, even though their sturdiness is questionable for something however manicured trails or comparatively mellow off-trail terrain.

Greg “Malto” Gressel’s beloved Altra Lone Peaks, held collectively by unshakeable hope, MacGyver-like ingenuity, and the sober realization that there have been no different choices.

44. Regardless of having a historical past of foot and decrease leg points, you insist on going with uber gentle zero-drop footwear with minimal cushioning.

45. You spend extra time fascinated by gear weight, than all of the cool locations you can go climbing.

46. To save lots of an oz., you allow behind your bandana. Arguably the final word multi-purpose piece of climbing gear, the standard bandana can be utilized as a towel, pre-filter, neck safety, pot cleaner, pot holder, tent drier (see #37), hanky, last-resort lavatory roll, face-covering throughout sand storms, and, for hold-ups in case you’re low on path funds and determine to rob a comfort retailer.

7 Eleven mode

47. You’ve lately spent numerous hours researching quilt layering in anticipation of your upcoming winter climbing journey to Costa Rica. ‘Tis the season.

48. You personal six completely different solar hoodies, even though you do your entire climbing in both the Pacific Northwest or the UK.

49. You employ a fanny pack. That’s all I’ll say about that.

50. You’re in your fourth and final (?) Polartec Alpha Direct Hoody. You continued via the primary three regardless of the fixed barbs out of your vital different that you just seemed like a down-on-your-luck muppet. Nevertheless, the ultimate straw got here when the sleeve of your Alpha garment ripped after you brushed towards a home fern in your solution to the native clothing store to choose up a brand new pair of Altras and a patch equipment to your UberLite.

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DisclosureThis put up incorporates some affiliate hyperlinks, which suggests ‘The Mountain climbing Life’ receives a small fee if you are going to buy an merchandise after clicking on one of many hyperlinks. This comes at no extra price to the reader and helps to help the web site in its persevering with aim to create high quality content material for backpackers and hikers. 

 



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