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Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/16/2009 16:52:15 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ultralight Backpacking in Perus Cordillera Blanca

Edited by addiebedford on 06/17/2009 16:12:49 MDT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/16/2009 21:54:07 MDT Print View

Oh man, another hike added to the list! Thanks :)

Patrick Miron
Re: Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/17/2009 14:31:03 MDT Print View

wow thank to sharing with the community. I like all the detail of your text. Very appreciated. My next big trip...


Edited by PMIRON on 06/17/2009 14:31:39 MDT.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/17/2009 18:59:07 MDT Print View

great article, thanks for sharing Rick!!!

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/17/2009 21:12:31 MDT Print View

Very nice trip report and how-to tutorial!

Being a suspension free pack fan I gotta ask:
1) How'd you like the ZPacks Blast packs?
2) 31.6lbs starting weight might be pushing the limits there? Did you perceive a tipping point as you ate your way to a lighter load?
3) The photos seem to show hip belts, did you find them useful with this pack?
4) How'd the 1.5oz Cuben stand up to the load?
5) How about the stitching?

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Peru's Cordillera Blanca on 06/17/2009 23:24:05 MDT Print View

AWESOME and very informative trip report Rick!!! My mind was planning a trek the entire time I was reading your UL backpacking report...Such a exotic place to travel too...What type of wildlife do you see?


Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Peru (and giving candy to locals) on 06/18/2009 00:17:08 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great trip report Rick! I'm hoping to get to Chile and Peru in the next couple of years. I doubt I'd be brave enough to do it with just a tarp, so kudos for that!

Underwear... Victoria's Secret... Micromesh Panty

Interesting choice. And what was your partner wearing? ;-)

Generally, it is wise to carry along a bag of lemon candy or similar treats to give to locals whom you feel inclined to treat.

I'd *strongly* discourage this. In theory it's a nice thing to do, but in practice it just fosters an unhealthy relationship between foreign trekkers and the local population. As you noticed yourself, it encourages people to approach you simply for the purpose of asking for candy (or whatever). In many cases this makes it impossible to have any sort of normal interaction with them. As you noted, it's often the case that people keep asking for a sweet even after you've said no.

I find it really sad when I go trekking in places like Nepal and I meet children on the trail. Instead of saying "hello" they say "hello pen?" or "hello bonbon?". I don't think this is a good way for children to learn to interact with foreigners. Generally these children are not so poor they need to beg for food, but by handing out stuff on the trail I feel we are undermining their independence and self-respect. In other countries, such as Vietnam, it is wonderful to meet children who do not view foreigners as walking vending machines. They play and interact naturally, and are delighted to meet you and say hello or play a game. I had about 5 kids hanging off my legs in Vietnam once and it was lots of fun!

A much better alternative to giving away candy/sweets is to find a local school in the mountains and give some school supplies (books, pencils etc etc) to the school teacher. This has a much more positive and lasting impact and promotes a great relationship between visitors and the local community.

ps. Sorry if I sound like I'm preaching, but foreigners handing out candy on the trail is one of my pet hates!

Edited by ashleyb on 06/18/2009 00:20:33 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 06/18/2009 00:58:09 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 22:44:38 MDT.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/18/2009 08:53:54 MDT Print View

Excellent article - like a Lonely Planet guide for backpackers.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Re: Ultralight Backpacking in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca on 06/24/2009 16:00:05 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for the encouragement! I'm writing from the PCT and so rarely have Internet access.

About the Zpacks Blasts:

We like these packs a lot. 30+ lbs in the larger one is certainly not very comfortable, but within 3 days it's down to a comfortable weight. 25 lbs seems to be the comfort limit for any frameless pack I've tried (MLD Zip, Blast, Golite Pinnacle). The hip belts are necessary, but get the hip pockets too, which have the actual padding for the belt. 1.5 oz cuben seems like a 2 -2.5 oz silnylon in terms of strength. The stitching is good and should last about 100-150 days of backpacking.

About the candies:

That's a good point. It's a hard call. It's hard to have to disappoint the locals, but some "tough love" from foreigners would probably be a good thing.


Surprisingly little. Just birds (condors, etc.) and a relative of the pica. And cattle...

Edited by Legkohod on 06/24/2009 16:02:53 MDT.

obx hiker
(obxcola) - MLife

Locale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Stream crossing photo on 09/10/2009 13:19:21 MDT Print View

Was that some version of a rain-kilt in the photo labelled "Negotiating a water-covered trail" ?

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Stream crossing photo on 09/14/2009 12:28:25 MDT Print View

Yes, it was simply a piece of silnylon cut out to form an open-topped cone, with a few pieces of velcro sewn on to form the cone shape.