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Huzefa Siamwala
Paragliding on 04/30/2009 09:40:15 MDT Print View

"Backpacking Light's Mission is to promote multi-day, backcountry travel in a self-sufficient ("backpackable"), lightweight style."

It seems paragliding fits well into BPL philosophy. It can offer faster and more exciting mode of travel.

I am going for 8 day trip to North India with family and friends. It is not a backpacking trip but if I can convince my friends some of us may go for a short hike. Anyways, I am planing to do some paragliding. It just occurred to me that many people may find the idea of combining paragliding with backcountry travel interesting. It can particularly offer cool descending option for hiker/alpinist.

More info:

Here is the link to lightest paraglider available:

Weights only 2.15kg to 2.9kg!!

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
yea on 04/30/2009 09:51:44 MDT Print View

I've been thinking of ways to incorporate the two. You would still need a harness/seat, pack etc. Even with the light wing the volume of a pack becomes an issue. In my mind there would be a pack that could hold a wing, convert into a seat, and carry all your trad lightweight gear, an alpaca and you'd be all terain.

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: yea on 04/30/2009 21:21:41 MDT Print View

Sean, you are right. Development of a UL seat harness/backpack is critical for development of the sport among hiker and mountaineers. Current equipment doesnt have enough volume for gear, is too heavy, or has overlapping features.

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
It can be done on 04/30/2009 22:43:00 MDT Print View

I know guys who will carry just the most minimal gear for open bivys, spend a couple days just touching down on different peaks, spending the night and taking off in the morning, as for being a sustainable long term thing though some more thought is needed.

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: It can be done on 05/01/2009 05:43:05 MDT Print View

>I know guys who will carry just the most minimal gear for open bivys, spend a couple days just touching down on different peaks, spending the night and taking off in the morning

That sounds like lot of fun! Infact I am jealous. I would love to to do that someday.

Huzefa Siamwala
paraglider + alpaca = pararafting on 05/01/2009 07:27:26 MDT Print View

I wonder if this can open up new possibilities, such as crossing oceans in self-sufficient style.

edit: I think one would need cuben fiber paragliders for that. Normal paragliders dont work when wet.

Edited by huzefa on 05/01/2009 08:30:59 MDT.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Paragliding on 05/01/2009 07:37:23 MDT Print View

You'd probably want to include something more than duct tape in your first aid kit.

Claudio Zanoni
paraglightweight options are more and more coming on 04/04/2012 03:36:59 MDT Print View

be as light as air ;-)

That's exactly what I do....

When it comes to paragliding, there are 3 ways to go:

- traditional gear (15kg and above)
- lightweight gear (around 10kg)
- ultralight (below 10kg)

I will not talk about the traditional... just can't see the fun in this...

Lightweight... optimal ratio between weight and performance... i.e. you look at carrying a little more weight, you gain durability, performance and better protection, i.e. you will be flying more and hiking less...

Ultralight... weight is priority... mostly minimalist and uncomfortable (for longer flights) harnesses without any protection, delicate wings with not the best performance (easy start and low weight are highest priorities)... hike more, fly less

I personally prefer the lightweight approach... long, exiting and comfortable flights, simple and minimalist camp... short hikes, still ok for longer hikes if necessary...

already spent a couple of overnighters on exposed hills... looked at the stars, cooked, went to sleep and flew off the next morning... lightweight is definitely the way to go, also in paragliding...

Oh, not to forget the smile on your face when you see guys hiking up a mountain and you are thermaling next to them, covering the ground in minutes it takes them hours to cover...

Edited by zachiator on 04/04/2012 03:46:01 MDT.

Robert Dusing
(morob325) - F

Locale: texas
lightweight paragliding on 04/05/2012 17:13:41 MDT Print View

What's a ballpark estimate for a lightweight paragliding kit? I have no knowledge of the sport and what kind of gear is involved but it looks like a interesting way to enjoy some scenery.

Claudio Zanoni
ultralight kit on 04/06/2012 10:53:08 MDT Print View

2.5kg ultralight glider
0.5kg ultralight harness
1.3kg ultralight reserve parachute (you can fly without one...)
0.4kg helmet (climbing or similar)

plus rucksack, but you probably carry one anyway so around 5kg I'd say... 4kg without reserve... you sacrifice safety and performance...

my set up:

4.55kg lightweight glider
2.3kg lightweight pod harness with protector
1.3kg ultralight parachute
0.6kg helmet

9.7kg... nearly double, wow!

if you want to fly long and far... ultralight is not the right choice... if you want to hike up and fly down... go ultralight... all about your priorities..

Edited by zachiator on 04/06/2012 10:54:23 MDT.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Climb 14'er, fly down on 04/06/2012 11:16:33 MDT Print View

A friend of mine is in to paragliding and when we lived close to each other I'd drive him to the top then wait for him at the bottom. I think of this every time I do a 14'er. For me, The hike down is pretty anti-climatic and it seems like paragliding back to the TH would be awesome. Might be illegal though.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
...not sure about paragliding, but hang gliding is out... on 04/07/2012 23:42:36 MDT Print View

Edited by FeetFirst on 04/07/2012 23:43:18 MDT.

Claudio Zanoni
wilderness protection areas on 04/13/2012 18:50:02 MDT Print View

Well, there are wilderness protection areas that both hangliders and paragliders need to respect, which is good. Certain wildlife can waste a lot of energy being surprised by a glider appearing out of nowhere in the middle of winter... the zones are marked in airspace maps... plenty of regions to play around in...

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Paragliding on 04/13/2012 20:15:27 MDT Print View

Once while hiking I was standing on a mountain and thought to my self "this would be a perfect place to hang glide". Then I noticed a sign just to my left that said "NO HANGLIDING". What a buzz kill.
That being said I am afraid of heights and would never hang glide.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Paragliding... on 04/13/2012 22:13:04 MDT Print View

...cured my fear of heights. I was petrified for years, couldn't get close to a cliff edge without becoming nauseated. Then I took a tandem paraglider flight and was liberated. I took the qualifications and flew for a few years in the UK, France and South Africa before a career move took me to Chicago. Ever since that tandem flight I have been fine with looking down from a great height. Ironically, however, my legs still shake when I climb a 20ft ladder. Go figure.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Speed-riding on 04/24/2012 12:11:30 MDT Print View

Funny stumbling onto this in the backpackinglight forums - totally unexpected!

After a dismal ski season, myself and 4 friends have turned to learning how to speed-ride this summer. One of the trips we have planned is to store caches at several huts, and then do a speed-ride hut trip across 4 nearby huts in the northern Sawatch. Extremely stoked on this!