I attended an Intro to Backpacking class sponsored by the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) the other night. The two hour session lasted closer to two and a half hours (with questions), and I was impressed with the solid and intelligent information they provided in a short, succinct amount of time – all helpful to make the experience of backpacking comfortable, safe and enjoyable for newbies like myself.
A quote from the materials handed out: “Try to keep your pack as light as possible – at most a total weight of 25-30lbs (or less!) with food and water for a weekend.” Yeah, I know. Most of you get well below that weight, but consider the sedentary urbanite who thinks his/her laptop back is too heavy. 25-30lbs is much less than I thought I would carry for my first trip before I started looking at this site….
What struck me most, I think, was how much BPL ideals and philosophy have entered into what appears to me at first to be a group of normally traditional/conventional backpackers – the “mainstream.” And a look at the schedule of activities for backpacking for the AMC confirms a whole list of other seminars, expos, trial camps, and day-long test hikes (with gear for more than a day hike…) to encourage lightweight backpacking. Maybe this is all news to me. But I was pleasantly surprised but the quality of information that I heard that night.