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My impressions so far on going light
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Michael Baker

Locale: Minnesota
My impressions so far on going light on 08/06/2010 19:51:56 MDT Print View

This is my first year of lightweight backpacking and I want to share what I have learned so far.

My mental well being is much healthier on the trail. I no longer dread putting my pack on in the morning. I am much more aware of my surroundings and I enjoy every second I am out there. When I approach a big uphill section I don't even think about it and just keep walking.

Early this week I went up to the Superior Hiking Trail for two nights. On the first day I didn't encounter any other hikers. I started thinking I was not moving any faster than I did with traditional gear but I was having fun. The next morning when I was packing up a couple people went past my campsite with HUGE packs on. I was in no rush so I took off about 15 minutes after they passed. At the first uphill section of the day I caught them with no problem. I kept seeing berry bushes so I would stop for a bit and have a snack. I would usually catch the other group within a couple minutes but then I would see more berries and stop. I then realized I was moving pretty fast due to my light pack because when I was behind them I felt like a snail.

The one thing that amuses me is how my shadow looks when the sun is behind me. There is no pack!

I could never go back to the traditional gear. I feel a lot safer and have more confidence in my backpacking skills doing the lightweight thing. The best piece of gear I ever bought was my digital scale. This place is a very important resource for my education.

Light is right!

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
re: My impressions so far on going light on 08/06/2010 20:38:12 MDT Print View

That is great to hear!

Had a friend (thanks Dave F) not turned me on to LW and UL packing, along w/this site and the good books, I could still be beating myself into the turf. Not any longer - and so many options out there for the lighter crowd now - we're not doing too shabby to say the least.

Keep up the good work Michael.

Randall Spratt

Locale: Minnesota
RE: My impressions so far on going light on 08/10/2010 22:21:25 MDT Print View

Hey Michael, it sounds like we are traveling the same road. I stopped backpacking since I was getting older and the pack was just too heavy to enjoy the journey. Started hiking again last year and realized I can still enjoy this hobby with a lighter pack! I also have a 3 day SHT trip coming up in a couple of weeks. The SHT in the fall is truly beautiful. Hope to see you on the trail someday!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: My impressions so far on going light on 08/11/2010 07:24:40 MDT Print View

I've had similar experiences, especially the feeling of not worrying about hills and having the experience be as enjoyable as dayhiking. Because it's not an ordeal to backpack anymore, I can just pack up in a few minutes and go somewhere without a lot of training or anxiety.