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M Decision-Making and the Lightweight Pack

by Mike Clelland and Phil Schneider, edited by Mike Martin

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Article Summary:

My pal Phil and I have done a bunch of rewarding lightweight trips together throughout the West. During our time in the mountains, we ponder the benefits of the light pack and how it allows for more ambitious Wilderness travel. He’s an engineer, and I’m the creative type. This combo makes for a lot of well-rounded trail-talk and some cool collective insights.

Both of us work for an outdoor school called NOLS. This experience gives us some insight into the dynamics of how to make a decision in the mountains. Don’t underestimate good decision-making as a useful tool. This is as much a skill as, say, setting up a tarp or building a fire.

The normal format of our trips together is simple: we have some maps, a vague idea of what we want to accomplish, then we start hiking. We don't have much of plan. So, when we get to the first fork in the trail, we just talk and figure out what to do next. We make decisions along the way, and the trips have been enormously rewarding.


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