Search Results for ""

M Premium content for members only | Not a member?

Refine Search by Term or Filter
SEARCH THESE RESULTS: SORT BY: FILTER:

PAGINATE

Techniques Categories:
Make Your Own GearPodcastsTechniques
Techniques & Best Practices


ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Mealtime Routines for Group Cooking
by Ryan Jordan
Simplifying the process of planning, preparing, and cooking for groups in the wild. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Pockets for Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs
by Darin Banner
Make your own lightweight and effective side pockets for HMG porter. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only The Best Backpack in the Whole Wide World
by Darin Banner
MYOG: A pack that weighs less than a pound, carries 30 pounds while transferring load to the hips, and is ideal for multi-day ultralight expeditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Martin Titanium Knife
by Ryan Jordan
Weighing about the equivalent of half an ounce (16 M&M's) this knife has a 2.75 inch blade that easily guts fish and small game. Better yet it self-sharpens. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Backpack fabrics, features, and dimensions
by David Chenault
Making your own gear is a frustrating and expensive yet very rewarding process. Making your own pack allows you to tailor it to your needs and is a fantastic way to learn about gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The Updated Foot-Care Kit
by Darin Banner
While moleskin still is an effective means to treating hot spots and blisters, new technology is emerging that is far more effective at treating sore feet. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Technical Canyoneering for the Ultralight Backpacker
by David Chenault
Canyoneering is challenging as it offers an opportunity to tackle a variety of terrain using new gear. Combining canyoneering with backpacking is a recipe for a legendary trip. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Still My Favorite Cook Kit
by Darin Banner
An Esbit cook system is very lightweight, fuel efficient, and ideal for warm-weather, solo cooking. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Training for Backpacking
by David Chenault
Training for backpacking (a fun activity) need not be complicated or painful. Get in a routine and make each session count. Your long trips will thank you. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The Care and Feeding of Lindal Valves
by Roger Caffin
Lindal valves are what makes your stove work (or not work). Their proper care can keep your stove running for years. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Learning to Packraft: Ten First Steps for Backcountry Travelers
by Ryan Jordan
This article identifies the first steps on a path to packrafting competence for those specifically interested in actually carrying their raft on their back into remote environments! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Overboots as Mukluks: Basecamp Footwear for Ski Mountaineers
by Ryan Jordan
Hardshell double boots, common amongst ski mountaineers using modern alpine touring or telemark equipment, make for miserable discomfort during extended stays in camp. Adding a pair of thin neoprene overboots at less than a pound allows one to kick off the plastics and enjoy basecamp slippers while keeping feet warm and dry in the coldest weather. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Vaseline-soaked Cotton Balls
by Georgieann Lilgreen
Vaseline fire starters are a very versatile tool and can light a fire in almost any weather condition. Better yet, you can make them from very inexpensive materials from the comfort of your own home. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: A flexible frame for ultralight backpacks
by David Chenault
Ultralight packs are great for your back, but for strapping outdoor gear onto your pack a frame is nice. Lightweight frames are hard to come by. The solution: make your own. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Wilderness Trekking School - Ultralight Boot Camp Photo Essay
by Ryan Connelly (Photos by Emily Beers)
The ultralight boot camp is exactly like it sounds; it prepares you to meet unexpected challenges in the wilderness. Plus it's a lot of fun and the scenery is stunning. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Stove Systems for Group Cooking Part 3: Performance of Inverted Canister and White Gas Stoves For Boiling Water and Melting Snow at Subzero (F) Temperatures
by Ryan Jordan
A series of tests exploring the winter performance of inverted canister and integrated canister stove systems for large water volumes and snow melting. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Learn to Packraft! Episode 2: Stillwater Basics
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 2 of "Learn to Packraft!" provides an overview of stillwater packrafting gear and techniques. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Stove Systems for Group Cooking Part 2: Exploring the Effects of Cold Temperatures, Canister Inversion, Snow Melting, and Heat Exchanger Systems
by Ryan Jordan
A series of tests exploring the winter performance of inverted canister and integrated canister stove systems for large water volumes and snow melting. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Avalanche Safety for Backcountry Travelers
by Kevin Sawchuk
The winter can make popular locations your personal sanctuary; however avalanche safety and preparation are crucial to enjoying the pristine conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lightweight Stove Systems for Group Cooking Part 1: Basic Framework for Selecting A Cooking Pot and Predicting Fuel Needs
by Ryan Jordan
A series of tests exploring the winter performance of inverted canister and integrated canister stove systems for large water volumes and snow melting. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Simplifying Expedition Food With Single Serving Sized Packages
by Ryan Jordan
Single serving packages can simplify shopping, packaging, and preparation of meals. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Contoured Side Panels for Improved Load Carry in Frameless Packs
by David Chenault
Overpacking is a major issue with frameless packs. Implementing side panels can help distribute your load in a more effective way. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Techniques for River Corridor Camping
by Ryan Jordan
Tarp camping is tricky enough. Couple that with unstable ground and strong winds and that perfect campsite can quickly become a nightmare. Learn all the tricks to stay dry and happy. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Techniques for Talus
by Ryan Jordan
Talus can be tricky but with a few tips and a new approach you'll be all set for some Talus Dancing. And boy what fun it is! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Backpacking with a Newborn
by Danny Milks & Kristin Tennessen
Don't lose hope - Backpacking is still possible with infants. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Hydration for Lightweight Backpackers
by Kevin Sawchuk
Dehydration is more than water loss - it's about the salts too. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Learn to Packraft! Episode 1: An Introduction to Packrafting
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 1 of "Learn to Packraft!" introduces you to the wonderful sport of packrafting! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The SUL Mindset, Part 2: Less vs. Lighter
by Ryan Jordan
So take your normal gear, just take way less of it! One important goal of SUL is to take less stuff, not buy new stuff. If you have to buy new stuff, then I think that regardless of your pack weight, consider that you may have transcended away from the ultralight philosophy and into ultralight hypocrisy. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 3: M-SUL Base Weight Gear Lists
by Will Rietveld
Gear lists that demonstrate how easy it is to “make weight” for M-SUL and at the same time have all the shelter, insulation, and rain protection you need to stay dry, warm, and comfortable in the high country. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2C: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Cooking, Water, Trekking Poles, and Accessories
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The SUL Wanderer (Video Series) - Episode 2: Food & Water
by Ryan Jordan
The second episode of Backpacking Light's new video series, "The SUL Wanderer" tells stories and teaches techniques about "SuperUltralight Backpacking" - the style of backpacking that focuses on the extremes of light weight, compactness, and simplicity for wilderness travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
The SUL Wanderer (Video Series) - Episode 1: Gear
by Ryan Jordan
The first episode of Backpacking Light's new video series, "The SUL Wanderer" tells stories and teaches techniques about "SuperUltralight Backpacking" - the style of backpacking that focuses on the extremes of light weight, compactness, and simplicity for wilderness travel. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2B: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Rainwear, Insulation, Headwear, Handwear, and Footwear
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 2A: Selecting the Lightest, Most Functional Gear - Backpack, Shelter, Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Pad
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only SUL BikeRaftFishPacking (BFRP)
by Ryan Jordan
An SUL approach to multisport: bikepacking, packrafting, and tenkara fly fishing. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Mountain SuperUltraLight Backpacking – Going SUL in the Mountains with Adequate Shelter, Insulation, and Rain Protection. Part 1: Concepts and Scope.
by Will Rietveld
Adapting SUL for mountain conditions, where frequent weather extremes necessitate more capable gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Fry Bake Gear and Technique (Video)
by Ryan Jordan
If you're a fan of fry-baked meals in the backcountry, and you are reading this article, it's not likely you're one who gets real excited about carrying the two-pound classic Banks' Fry Bake. Here are some options for lighter gear and techniques for fry-baking as a solo traveler, or in smaller groups. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Backpacking: Baby on Board - Part 2: Trekking with a Toddler
by Nick Meynen
In Part 1, Fany and Nick embarked on a challenging journey with an unlikely companion: their 3 month old. Two years and another 750 km later, 30 month old Flora has completed the entire traverse. Thru-hiking with a toddler can be as rewarding as it is challenging. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Pack-and-Paddle Wilderness Route Planning: Predicting Stream Flows
by Ryan Jordan
Guidelines for evaluating watershed geography and streamflow to help ask the question: is this creek runnable in a packraft? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Spring Raftpacking (and Packrafting)
by Ryan Jordan
In the high country, runoff doesn’t always coincide with what we all consider to be backpacking season, where trails are dry and the days are sunny. That being the case, here are some tips for trekking, packrafting, and camping in the spring snow and muck. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Packing for Adventure Travel: Ultralight Tips to Integrate Wilderness and Urban Kit
by Ryan Jordan
Packing to combine adventure travel and wilderness recreation. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Spring Snow Trekking Gear List
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan shares his ideal gear list for late-winter, early-spring trekking. By utilizing a snow shelter and making a few adjustments to your kit, you can push the limits of your conventional 3-season gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Winter Firebuilding Techniques (Video)
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan Jordan presents some tools and techniques for dealing with wet wood for firebuilding in winter conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Introduction to Nordic and Backcountry Ski Gear: Part 2 - Advanced Nordic Ski Mountaineering on UL Tele Gear
by Forrest McCarthy
It is natural for skiers, as their skills improve, to seek more challenging terrain. And, with access to mountainous landscapes, it is inevitable for a skier to enter the realm of ski mountaineering. An overview of UL backcountry ski mountaineering gear and discussion of proper gear choice. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Introduction to Nordic and Backcountry Ski Gear
by Alan Dixon and Mike Martin
A Primer to Backcountry Ski Travel – Why you can and should overnight ski in the backcountry Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Camping in the Snow
by Roger Caffin
Proper gear choices, site selection, and preparation techniques can make or break a winter excursion. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
24 Hours: Packrafting the Grande Ronde River
by Ryan Jordan
A new installment of the "24" series - stories about "24 hour" overnight trips. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking
by David Chenault
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Considering Minimalist Footwear for Backpacking
by Ryan Jordan
While it sounds romantic to be able to trek in hemp-strapped huaraches or five-toed skins, the reality of wild places and the limitations of your body’s biomechanics may necessitate a different type of minimalist footwear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Tarp Camping Techniques for Inclement Conditions
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Backpacking and the Bruin Mind
by R. Clinton Ohlers
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Staying Dry in a Bivy Sack: Techniques for Managing the Moisture Balance Between External Precipitation and Internal Condensation
by Mike Martin
This article was originally published in issue 7 of the Backpacking Light Print Magazine. It has since been revised and updated by the author for web publication. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Supplex Pants
by Jerry Adams
Step by step guide to simple, lightweight, inexpensive trekking pants. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Google SketchUp Tutorial for MYOG Enthusiasts
by David Drake
MYOGers rejoice! SketchUp software, once mastered, can save you hours of guesswork and yards of material. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Ultralight Baking
by Stuart Robb
After a few days on the trail, dehydrated meals can get monotonous. A bit more variety is often desirable and freshly baked bread is a delicious and lightweight option. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Map and Compass: A City-girl Walks Western Wilderness
by Anne O'Regan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Cleaning Up after a Backpacking Meal... using Honey?
by Jeremy Sustare
A simple (and tasty) trick to keep your camp kitchen clean. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only On-Trail Route Finding: When the Trail is Hard to Follow
by David Chenault
"I've never been lost, but I was once a mite bewildered for a few days." - Daniel Boone Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
How Backpacking Light Has Helped Our Camp Fire Council Take Kids Backpacking
by Mina Loomis
Developing a relationship with the outdoors and teaching others to do the same, introducing kids to the charm of the backcountry has a magic all its own. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only BushBuddy Stove Tweaks
by Robert Birch
A few simple modifications to make your BushBuddy faster and even more covet-worthy! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
How to Best Pack Your UL/Frameless Backpack with UL Gear
by Jen Matteis
The advantages of having a lightweight, frameless backpack are huge - but without that heavy frame, the backpack has all the qualities of a large sack. For maximum comfort, you'll need to pack carefully, in a way that gives your backpack form and balance. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Igloos
by Tad Englund
Build an igloo using the “hub and spoke method” and lightweight backpacking tools. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Fast and Light Shoulder Season Footwear Tips
by David Chenault
Avoiding wet feet in the shoulders seasons can be impossible. Follow a few simple principles to ensure your feet are happy, no matter the conditions! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
What a Beginner Needs for Backpacking: Part 2
by Tad Englund
Clothing, Footwear, Group Gear (Water Treatment, Stoves and Fuel, Shelter). Basic training for the beginner and/or young backpacker, with a focus on Scouts. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
What a Beginner Needs for Backpacking: Part 1
by Tad Englund
The Lightweight Lesson, Essentials, Backpack, Sleeping Bag and Pad, Personal Kit. Basic training for the beginner and/or young backpacker, with a focus on Scouts. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Backpacking and Hiking with an Umbrella
by Francis Tapon
Francis is an umbrella advocate, eschewing typical rainwear. Find out why he's backpacked over 12,500 miles with an umbrella... and decide if you should follow his lead. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Ultralight Tip of the Week
by Mike Clelland!
Rotating feature with tips and illustrations from Mike Clelland!'s new book: Ultralight Backpackin' Tips Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Effectively Using Hiking Poles: The Gas-Brake-Coast Method
by Skip Spitzer
Poking poles around for added stability is fairly intuitive, but the full promise of two more legs - greater endurance, building upper body strength, and reducing injury from stress or falls - requires some technique. Try Skip's straightforward and effective approach! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Down Vest
by Jerry Adams with editorial assistance from Addie Bedford
An easy introduction to working with down, this vest has no frills, bells, or whistles: just warm insulation where you need it most! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Backpacking versus Thru-hiking
by Francis Tapon
Thru-hiking is not simply a longer version of a backpacking trip. Considering thru-hiking a long trail? Make sure you know what you're getting into and set yourself up for success. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Guidelines for Grizzly Country
by David Chenault
While most grizzly behavior is predictable, there is always an extent to which animals are unpredictable, and thus hiking in grizzly country is inherently dangerous, even if the statistical hazard is very small. Read up on salient safety issues before your next late season backpacking or hunting trip. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Completing a Thru-Hike
by Francis Tapon
What sets successful thru-hikers apart from the rest of the pack? Superfitnessawesomesauce? A trust fund? The best gear? The answer may surprise you. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Smartphone Navigation
by Ken Knight
Use the ubiquitous smartphone to get where you're going, with details on four apps that support maps for more places (not just the States). All you need do is supply the adventure. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Enjoying Backpacking with Kids: Part 2
by Luke Schmidt
The kid-sized kit: Gear should not become an end in itself. The point is to get out and enjoy the woods with kids. Ultralight gear is exciting because it enables kids to do things they could not otherwise do! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Enjoying Backpacking with Kids: Part 1
by Luke Schmidt
Everything boils down to a few simple rules that can encompass a surprising range of scenarios! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Backpack Design
by Luke Schmidt
Tips and tricks expand upon previously published articles: check out Luke's six iterations and glean ideas for perfecting YOUR custom-made pack! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen
by Benjamin Roode
What's better than a communal, one-pot meal between hiking buddies under the stars? Learn how to make a pot stand/windscreen that's sturdy enough to hold a large pot filled with dinner and light enough to not bow your backpack. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: eVent Rain/Wind Jacket
by Jerry Adams with editorial assistance from Addie Bedford
Turning 2.5 yards of high performance fabric into a lightweight, breathable rain jacket. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Fast and Light Winter Travel
by Luc Mehl
Insights from the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Food Planning Using Pounds Per Person Per Day
by Mike Clelland! with editorial assistance from Mike Martin & Addie Bedford
Calculating how much food to take on a trip? My goal is to be perfectly satisfied during my time in the backcountry, but to walk out of the mountains with absolutely ZERO food. It is so gratifying to eat that last raisin on the last mile of the last day. If I can do that, the math worked out perfectly. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: 3mil Plastic Tarps
by Jerry Adams
Practice makes perfect: using polyethylene to prototype designs means I can spend less and try more variations before sewing a final product in technical materials. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG Fleece Headgear
by Jerry Adams
Come see the softer side of making your own cozy fleece items! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Reader Tips: Best Way to Pitch a Tarp with Fewest Stakes or Guylines
by the BackpackingLight.com Readership
We asked, you answered! Responses to our solicitation for the best tarp pitch using the fewest poles, stakes, or guylines. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
The Beautiful Cup
by Mike Clelland!
Techniques and gear for the lightweight backcountry coffee connoisseur, because under no circumstances should you let a non-coffee drinker brew your bliss. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Hand Sanitizers: My Journey Towards Discovering Best Practices for Wilderness Hygiene
by Ryan Jordan
Facilitating the transportation of fecal hitchhikers from your exhaust pipe orifice to your fuel filler neck orifice is one of the biggest backcountry threats. Stop these illegal immigrants en route, because we all know you can't close the border! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Silnylon Floorless 2-Person Tent
by Jerry Adams
A roomy floorless tent that sleeps two easily and four in a pinch, this 22-ounce beauty will be the pride of your pack! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Silnylon Backpack
by Jerry Adams
A gem of MYOG: with an 11-ounce weight and 3500-cubic-inch volume, this pack is simple to make and elegant to behold. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
The 45-Year-Old Boy Scout
by Frank Steele
We asked, you answered: Lightweight Testimony Contest Runner Up! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Everything Weighs Something
by Charles Hill
We asked, you answered: Lightweight Testimony Contest Runner Up! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Into the Unknown, with Sturdy Footwear
by Andrew Wilson
We asked, you answered: Lightweight Testimony Contest Runner Up! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Knotless PCT Bear Bag Hang
by Josh Taylor
Perform an easier-yet-secure PCT Bear Bag Hang without using the traditional stick + clove hitch. This MYOG is simple, functional, and lightweight! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Every Ounce Counts
by Luke Ludwig
We asked, you answered: Lightweight Testimony Contest Winner! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: Aluminum Windscreen for Canister Stoves
by Jerry Adams
Functionality and practicality are the benefits of this windscreen that stores neatly within your cookpot. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG: The Poddle
by Dan Baker
Hiking poles + paddle blades = the Poddle, the ultimate multi-tool for hiking and packrafting or kayaking! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Adventures in Laminating Silicone-Impregnated Fabrics
by Jim Colten
Silnylon and spinnaker fabric have long been mainstays in making ultralight gear, but they require careful construction to avoid failures at seams or damage from abrasion. Laminating the fabric offers a solution to those problems. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Lighten Your Heaviest Gear: You!
by Jeremy Pendrey
As lightweight backpackers, we obsess over the weight of every piece of gear we carry, but many of us give little thought to the weight of the heaviest piece of gear of all: ourselves. How do we begin to treat our own weight with the same care that we treat the weight of our gear? By doing what we already do well: going light. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
24: Nine Months 'til Summer
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 3: The first big snowfall of the season (in September!) had us traversing the Hyalite-Cottonwood divide for snow hiking and camping. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Backpacking: Baby on Board
by Nick Meynen
Hiking through the French Pyrenees is challenging for any young couple hoping to enjoy some relaxation and romance in between climbing passes and breaking camp. The afternoon heat - often ending in a violent thunderstorm - brings more than one overloaded backpacker to boiling point. Now enter a six-kilo, breast-fed, three-month-old baby. Great family trip or a bad idea? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Le Parcour de Wild Race Report
by Kevin Sawchuk and Dave Chenault
With temperatures that ranged from -5 F to 40 F, the Bob Marshall Wilderness threw some formidable weather our way and reminded us: this stuff ain't for the faint of heart! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing for Leather
by Roger Caffin
Treat your leather nicely, THEN abuse the ever-loving daylights out of it. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Transitional Hiker - An Australian Story
by Mark McLauchlin
How books about or by famous UL walkers, a sewing machine, and the most devoted UL community on the planet got me back on the trail and going light. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only 24: Garnet Mountain Forest Service Lookout, Montana
by Ryan Jordan
Episode 2: we focused on fast food preparation and the elimination of a whole lotta gear by hiking into a U.S. Forest Service lookout cabin. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Montana Mourning: Reflections on a Wilderness Trekking Trip
by Thomas Kight
I got less - and more - than I bargained for. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG Technical Note - Catenary Curves
by Roger Caffin
The whys and wheres of catenary curves, with downloadable spreadsheet for calculating your own MYOG curve masterpieces. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
One Night At A Time
by Mike Clelland!
Quit making it so hard: jeepers, just cram a few things in your pack and let's go! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Get Out Now!
by Matt Colon
Six steps to streamline your planning from dreaming up a trip to walking out the door. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only 24: Fall Equinox in the Hyalite Cirque of Montana's Gallatin Mountains
by Ryan Jordan
You have 24 hours to quickly engage in a Wild Place with minimal disruption to your job or your family. Where will YOU go? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
All the Gear a Guy Could Want
by Ryan Jordan
I like gear. I collect gear with an almost rabid enthusiasm, and I almost always have a place to put it. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear - A Titanium Potty Trowel
by Roger Caffin
The venerable Coghlans orange potty trowel is a fine idea, but it weighs 51 grams and has been known to crack and break under heavy use. Can we do better with some titanium sheet? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Wilderness Cred for the Packrafting Noobs
by Addie Bedford, video by Rob Bedford
I was perfectly content to let others do all the lightweight lifting, but at the first chance of a packrafting class (learning to play without buying the gear!), I jumped... and pulled my husband, Rob, with me. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Turbo Bear Bag Hanging
by Kevin Sawchuk
Learn the tips and techniques to ensure that YOU, not bears, are eating your food at the end of the day. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Ultralight Economies of Scale: Budgeting for Your Pack & Wallet
by Brad Groves
How can lightweight backpacking translate and relate to financial management? Doesn't all that lightweight loot cost money? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Backcountry Fly Fishing with Tenkara: Ultralight Style and Simplicity
by Ryan Jordan
The literal translation of the Japanese word 'Tenkara' is 'from Heaven.' Fitting for a lightweight fly rod characterized by elegance, grace, and simplicity. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Up in Smoke: Backcountry Fire Building Videocast
by Sam Haraldson
Building a fire is nothing short of an art form, and no one can teach you everything you'd need to know to perfect it in a ten-minute video. Instead of attempting to do this (perfecting your form), we've simply highlighted some of the gear and techniques used to start a fire. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear - A Thumbscrew for the Steripen Adventurer
by Roger Caffin
The Steripen Adventurer has many firm believers, but almost everyone agrees that the screw which holds the lid of the battery case shut is awful. So... replace it with something better, cooler, and made by hand! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Trouble in Paradise: Altitude Illness in SEKI
by Kevin Sawchuk
Serious illness in remote areas can end poorly. Knowing your group's fitness level, experience, and lightweight ethic are key parts to a successful self-rescue and a happy ending. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Philmont Scout Ranch: How Light Can You Go?
by Doug Prosser
After taking a Wilderness Trekking course from Andrew Skurka and Don Wilson, I wanted to try the Philmont Scout Ranch in a UL style. By stepping out of my existing comfort zone, I discovered a whole new one. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Selling Lightweight: How Retailers Can Help Your Pack Weight
by Brad Groves
The interactions between retailer and consumer can have a dramatic influence on the gear carried and experience had by a consumer. We examine the tools both retailers and consumers can use in evaluating gear and determining the best lightweight options for individuals. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear - Down Quilt or Sleeping Bag
by Roger Caffin
Making a baffled down quilt is simple compared to making a baffled down sleeping bag. Both are described in this article, with the emphasis on the quilt. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Walking on Fire: A Light-Hiker's Guide to Wildfire Awareness, Survival, and Evasion (Part 3 of 3)
by Andrew Mattox
We've covered several skills of assessing and avoiding fire. Whether passing through, sheltering in, or simply going near a fire area, there are particular hazards beyond immolation to be aware of. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Therapeutic Ultralight: Using Lightweight Backpacking to Help Troubled Boys
by Luke Schmidt
Getting emotionally disturbed boys working together to take a backpacking trip is a big job... with many setbacks, limited gear, and almost no budget. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Walking on Fire: A Light-Hiker's Guide to Wildfire Awareness, Survival, and Evasion (Part 2 of 3)
by Andrew Mattox
We can now distinguish parts of a fire, know some basics of wildfire behavior, and are familiar with the fundamental suppression method. We come to the crux question: how do you get away? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Walking on Fire: A Light-Hiker's Guide to Wildfire Awareness, Survival, and Evasion (Part 1 of 3)
by Andrew Mattox
As light hikers, we cover large distances and travel more deeply into remote areas than many other wilderness users. As a result, we're more likely than most wilderness users to encounter uncontrolled and unreported fires. How do you assess the fire and anticipate its movement? What do you do? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The Performance of Alcohol Fuels for Backpacking Stoves
Part Two: Water/Alcohol Blends

by Tony Beasley and Roger Caffin
The performance of a particular alcohol stove fuel is generally related to the amount of heating energy in that fuel, which changes when you blend water into different alcohols. But how does it change, and which blend should you use? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: Bubble Wrap and Duct Tape Camera Case
by Sam Haraldson
A durable camera case made from cheap and free materials. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
MYOG: The Incredible Rulk - Rucksack and Pulk Combo
by Jörgen Johansson
It would be so nice to have a light pulk strapped onto my pack so that I more or less would be able instantly to switch back and forth between pack and pulk. Witness the creation of the Incredible Rulk! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only The Performance of Alcohol Fuels for Backpacking Stoves
Part One: Three Straight Alcohols and Alcohol Blends

by Tony Beasley and Roger Caffin
Light alcohol stoves are very popular, but there is a lot of confusion over what sort of alcohol should be used and whether blending different alcohols together has any effect. In this, Part One, we comprehensively examine the performance and safety of three common alcohol fuels and of a range of blends. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
My UL Frenzy: Twenty-Five Weekends of Backpacking in the White Mountains and Beyond
by James Bailey
2008: A Year of Change. Follow Jim Bailey on his rabid quest to hike every possible weekend between March and November, despite living in New England with its record-breaking weather. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Train Yourself to Hike a 30-Mile Day
by C. W. Schurman
You have been invited on a summer backpacking trip that will cover 30 miles in one day, including 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss, and your anticipated pack weight will be 15-20 pounds. You have 15 weeks to prepare. What is the best way to get your body and mind ready for such an outing? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Tools and Techniques to Sew Like a Pro
by Ron Rod
While practice is the real key to improving the quality of your homemade gear, there are some tools and techniques that can help you along the way. Knowing which tools to have and how to best use them will maximize the quality of the gear you build. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Video: Packraft Wet Reentry
by Carol Crooker
Wet reentry is one of the most common rescues you'll perform while packrafting. Be sure to work the kinks out of your technique ahead of time so this self-rescue tool will be honed when you need it. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packraft Wet Reentry Photo Demo
by Matt Hage (photos) and Roman Dial (text)
Foot entrapment among submerged rocks is the leading killer of whitewater boaters. Think about it: the most common way to die while boating is by doing something OUTSIDE your boat! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 3
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Light Fleece Pullover Top
by Roger Caffin
This light fleece top is designed as a light winter pullover for snow conditions. It is very simple and styled as an anorak, rather than opening right down the front. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 2
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Essential Canister Stove Maintenance
by Roger Caffin
There you are, way out in the wilderness in bad weather, getting ready for dinner, and your canister stove fails. Now what? Rescue in the field is possible for many problems: learn rescue how-to and the technical details of why it has happened. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Podcast: Packrafting Safety Tips from the Experts Part 1
by Carol Crooker
Seven packrafters with a total of over thirty-five years of experience under their bums share the safety gear they won't be without, skills that have kept them coming back for more, common - and dangerous - mistakes, and real life rescue stories. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Grand Canyon Rim-2-Rim-2-Rim
by Andrew Skurka
While perhaps a touch extreme, running Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (RRR) is not uncommon within trail running circles. But within hiking circles, this trek does not seem to garner much attention, when there are few trips, mile-for-mile, hour-for-hour, that compare. In one day, you pass through 1.6 billion years of geology (four times) and span the grandest Big Ditch in the world (twice). Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Pitching a Tent in the Snow
by Roger Caffin
Want to try tenting in the snow, but haven't done it before and not sure how? Haven't time in the evening to build a snow cave or an igloo just for one night? We walk you through the basics of what gear you need, how to choose a good site, how to create a platform, and how to pitch your tent (or a tarptent if you are brave). Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Testimony: How I Fell for Lightweight Backpacking
by Elizabeth Rothman
Fate stepped in and pushed me down some steps in November 2006, breaking my fibula at the ankle, requiring surgical repair. I asked my surgeon if I could backpack the following summer, and he said "If you can get your pack down to thirty pounds, you can backpack." My lightweight journey was launched in earnest. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Vapor Barrier Liners
by Andrew Skurka
Backpacking Light's Andrew Skurka on Vapor Barrier Liners: What they are, how they work, and when to use them. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Spring Footwear: Lightweight Footwear Systems Built Around Thin Neoprene Overboots and High Gaiters
by Ryan Jordan
Foremost among the challenges that spring hikers face is the presence of melting snow and the prospect of continuously wet feet. Ryan Jordan presents his two favorite footwear systems for cold or warm spring conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Lightweight Testimony: Mother Nature Insisted I Go Light
by Carol Crooker
Carol Crooker's essay on enlightenment shows that Mother Nature can be a pushy broad, but she gets the job done. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Podcasts
Video: Have Fun and Avoid Drowning - A How-To for Packrafters
by Carol Crooker
Highlights from the April 2008 Rescue 3 International Whitewater Rescue Technician course for packrafters held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Lightweight Testimony: My Journey into Lightweight Backpacking
by Jamie Shortt
The true story of how Jamie survived in the woods with his paper coat. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Not a Day on any Calendar
by Bill Stadwiser
Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School Photo Essay. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Lightweight Testimony: Lighter, Farther, Faster
by Steve Hinkle
Steve Hinkle relays that carrying all the comforts of home ultimately made for a miserable trail experience, and how shedding "comforts" was actually more pleasant in the long run. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Lightweight Testimony: Jim Sweeney's Enlightenment via Lead Weights, Helium Balloons, and Yachting
by Jim Sweeney
"I guess I first realized my pack weight had to change when I was in intensive care recovering from a bad fishing trip." Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Staff Videocast: Cowboy Coffee
by BackpackingLight.com Staff
How do BPL Staffers stay warm, hydrated, and caffeinated in the backcountry? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
A Passion Found, Lost, and Rediscovered
by Tony Wong
Lightweight Testimony: Tony Wong Finds, Loses, and Rediscovers a Lightweight Passion. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Snow Stakes Revisited
by Roger Caffin
After using the original snow stakes in extreme conditions, the design has been enhanced to extend the life of both your snow stakes and your guylines. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Gear Suited for Wet, Cold Weather Hiking
by Chris Townsend
Cold & wet: really only good when it describes your dog's nose. But you can still be comfy in these conditions with the right (lightweight) gear. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Silnylon Mountain Poncho
by Roger Caffin
This silnylon mountain poncho covers both you and your pack against some of the worst weather, allows ease of movement on mixed terrain, and isn't prone to condensation. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Pertex/Pile History and Products
by Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend and the Pertex/Pile Revolution. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only When Things Go Wrong
by Roger Caffin
Roger Caffin shares his adventure in misadventure. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Done in a Day
by Kevin Sawchuk
Kevin Sawchuk shares his how-to on fast day hikes, and his why-to, too. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Sandals for Summer Backpacking
by Chris Townsend
Chris Townsend shares his sandal wearing experience. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Foot Care Supplies for Sandal-packing
by Ryan Jordan
Ryan Jordan shares his foot care advice for sandal-packing. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Necessity vs. Importance: Considering Ultralight Essentials
by Ryan Jordan
Essentials commentary from BackpackingLight Publisher, Ryan Jordan. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Ditch Your Stakes: A Guide To Alternative Shelter Anchors
by Mike Clelland!
Mike Clelland! has gone stakeless! Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only An Ultralighter Paddles on the Dark Side: Packrafting a Remote Canyon "Heavy" Style
by Carol Crooker
Packrafters need to limit their gear so it fits on the bow of their six-foot-long craft. This means dehydrated food for dinner, sleeping under a tarp and wearing wet clothes dry. What is river running like when big rafts haul the food and gear...Can an ultralight packrafter be enticed to the dark side? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packraft Rating (PR) System
by Roman Dial
Roman Dial demystifies whitewater for the packrafter wanting to understand the natural progression of learning to packraft in the context of increasingly difficult whitewater. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Decision-Making and the Lightweight Pack
by Mike Clelland and Phil Schneider, edited by Mike Martin
Carrying a lightweight pack has consequences, but they might not be what you think. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Wide-Brimmed Rain Hat
by Ron Rod
Complete instructions to construct a 2.8 ounce (size L), waterproof, wide-brimmed hat. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG Titanium/Carbon Fiber Ice Axe
by Steven Evans and Roger Caffin
Following the Review of the ULA Helix Potty Trowel, there was considerable discussion on the Backpacking Light Forum (MYOG, DIY walking axe) regarding the use of a light "ice axe" in areas where one's life or ultimate safety would not be an issue. The author, Steven Evans, asked specific questions regarding the required length of such an ice axe, the general use of such an ice axe, and what people used in situations where a UIAA-certified ice axe would be overkill, but where a tool of some sort would be nice to have. Such a tool could be used to assist in small steep sections of snow and ice and general up-hill travel in less then desirable conditions, but it would have a weight which would be negligible on one's back when not in use. This project was born from that discussion. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only MYOG - A Winter Canister Stove using your Summer Upright Stove and the Brunton Stove Stand
by Roger Caffin
The Brunton Stove Stand is a nice bit of engineering, but is it really of any use? Oh yes: it can be turned into a neat winter stove with just a little DIY effort. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Hypothermia
by Darin Banner
Avoiding and treating hypothermia in the backcountry with ultralight equipment. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Trekking Techniques for Early-Season Conditions
by Andrew Skurka
Andrew Skurka's insights and techniques for early season trekking can dramatically increase the length of your normal hiking season. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Reducing Winter Pack Weight: Wood Fire Cooking in the Snow
by Kevin Sawchuk
For the hardcore ultralighter, cooking over wood fires in the winter offers a way to substantially reduce pack weight on longer trips, adds a bit of warmth around camp, and forces you to learn fire skills that just might save your life someday. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Backcountry Cookfires: Overview and Techniques for Cooking Over an Open Flame
by Bill Stadwiser
Bill Stadwiser explores the practical and emotional rewards of cooking over wood in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Titanium Snow Stakes
by Roger Caffin
Lightweight and stable titanium snow anchors that are easy to make Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Take the Load Off: Using Pulks to Travel Over Snow
by Ed Bouffard
Pulk techniques for winter travel over snow Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Shell Top
by Roger Caffin
In "Notes from the Field - Bushwhacking Shell" I discussed commercial shirts and a shell top I make for myself and my wife. Instructions for making my design are given here. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear – Trousers
by Roger Caffin
In ‘Notes from the Field - Bushwhacking Gear - Trousers’ I discussed commercial trousers and some I make for myself and my wife. Instructions for making my design are given here. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Tarp Guylines
by Jay Ham
A clean, simple way to attach guylines to your tarp or shelter Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Aloksak Chest Pocket
by Jay Ham
You say your SUL pack doesn’t have enough pockets? Using inexpensive materials, add some storage with ultralight appeal. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Sealing Silnylon Seams
by Jay Ham
A better way to apply seam sealer, producing a nearly factory perfect look. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
by Jay Ham
Complete instructions for making your own SUL carbon trekking poles from fishing, golf, and kite parts. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel Part 3: Model Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Snow Camping
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Based on our research and testing, we recommend lightweight footwear systems for specific conditions and activities. In addition, our Backpacking Light staffers describe their favorite systems, and two ultralight nomads – Andrew Skurka and Chris Townsend – share their wisdom. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel Part 2: Components
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
We cover the components of a lightweight footwear system – shoes/boots, footbeds, socks, vapor barriers, booties, overboots, and gaiters (everything on or around the foot), discuss the pros and cons of different options, and identify our favorites. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel Part 1: Principles and Techniques for Keeping Feet Dry and Warm
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
High-tech gear to keep your feet dry and warm is useless without the proper knowledge on how to use it, and that’s especially true for lightweight footwear in cold and wet conditions. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Gaiters for Bushwhacking
by Roger Caffin
Lightweight, tough gaiters that are suitable for bushwhacking and easy to make. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Igloo Building for Fun and Shelter, Part 2 - Using an Igloo as a Backcountry Shelter
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Tips for igloo living and interior climate graphs to show you why you want to camp in an igloo. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Ultralight in the Icebox: Post-Trip Report
by Andrew Skurka
Andrew Skurka talks about his cold weather tenets and ultralight gear kit following a 385 mile, 19 day backpacking trip in northern Minnesota in the dead of winter. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Igloo Building for Fun and Shelter, Part 1 - Technique
by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
Igloo building is a fun wintertime activity to share with family, friends, or Scouts. Build a warming hut in your favorite skiing or snowshoeing area, construct an igloo for a backcountry base camp, or design your own hut system! The Grand Shelters Icebox Igloo Building Tool does a lot of the work for you, but you’ll still need to master some essential techniques. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Five Yards to SuperUltraLight
Part 4, Pack

by Jay Ham
Complete instructions to construct a 3.1-ounce, 1700-cubic inch pack. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Taming Those Large Flexible Foil Windshields
by Roger Caffin
Learn the tricks and techniques required to make a stable windshield out of floppy metal foil. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Groovy-Biotic Cooking: Quick, Healthy Meals with an Ultralight Cook Kit
by Mike Clelland!
All the details you need to plan backcountry vegetarian meals that are nutritious and tasty. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Bushwhacking Gear: Heavyweight Fabrics and Compatible Construction Techniques to Improve Clothing Longevity for Off-trail Bushwhacking
by Roger Caffin
Thorns, scrub and sandstone can rip ultralight clothing to shreds. What materials and construction techniques hold up to serious bushwhacking? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
A Case Study of Unsupported, Roadless, Long Distance Trekking:
Part 1. Pack Weight, Distance, and Caloric Balance

by Ryan Jordan
It seems obvious that backpack weight and daily mileage will be inversely proportional. But how many days, how many miles per day, and how much food weight are required in order to maximize the total distance traveled without resupply? And what happens when the theory is tested in the Arctic over 600 miles of America's most remote, roadless, uninhabited wilderness? Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Five Yards to SuperUltraLight
Part 3, Tarp

by Jay Ham
Complete instructions to construct a 6-ounce tarp with improved weather protection. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Make Your Own Gear: Five Yards to SuperUltraLight
Part 2, Stuff Sack

by Jay Ham
Complete instructions to construct a 0.2-ounce stuff sack sized right to compress a SUL tarp (Part 3) into a tidy 4 x 4 x 8 inch bundle. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Do It Yourself Projects to Reduce Canister Stove Weight
by Roger Caffin
Experiments from our readers and staff on trimming weight from winter stoves. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Sipping the Waters: Techniques for Selecting Untreated Backcountry Water for Drinking
by Michael von Gortler, MD
Drinking untreated backcountry water can make you sick - but choosing your drinking spots intelligently can greatly reduce that risk. Here, a doctor shares the methods that have kept him healthily "sipping the waters" for the past 20 years. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Make Your Own Gear: Five Yards to SuperUltraLight
Part 1, Introduction

by Jay Ham
Not for the frail at heart, in this article we dive into making a SUL tarp, pack, and stuff sack out of a single 5-yard piece of spinnaker fabric. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Multi-Pad-Ground-Sheet Integration System
by Mike Clelland!
Complete step-by-step instructions on how to size, cut and glue a tidy sleeping pad system. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only The Poncho Tarp: Techniques and Gear Systems for Inclement Conditions
by Ryan Jordan and Alan Dixon
Poncho Tarps are not just for the eccentric. Learn how to use them in foul weather and save considerable weight and simplify your gear kit. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Camera Selection Basics for the Lightweight Backpacker
by Franco Darioli
Features for a lightweight backpacker to look for in a digital or film camera. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Make Your Own Gear Sewing Primer: Straight Stitch and Top Stitch
by Jay Ham
Instructions on how to properly sew two workhorse stitches. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear Sewing Primer: Sewing Machine Setup
by Jay Ham
Sewing machine setup instructions with photos, and tips for sewing lightweight fabrics. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear Sewing Primer: Reinforcement Stitches for Lightweight Fabrics
by Jay Ham
Why standard reinforcement stitches may not be suitable for your lightweight fabric, which ones are, and how to sew them. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear Sewing Primer: Sewing a Felled Seam
by Jay Ham
A tarp and tent ridgeline standard thanks to its water impeding fold. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Stove Windscreen Dynamics and Design: Part II
Practical Applications for the Field

by Will Rietveld
Have you tried a double windscreen to maintain alcohol and fuel tab stove performance in the wind? It really works, and one piece doubles as a GearSheet. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Stove Windscreen Dynamics and Design: Part I
Wind Effects on Stove Performance

by Will Rietveld
The theory (Bernoulli Effect, laminar and turbulent flow) behind how wind affects backcountry cooking. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Winners
by Backpacking Light Staff
The winners of the Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest are a diverse group. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only How Far, How Fast, How Heavy?
Calculating the range for unsupported, long-distance hiking

by Roman Dial
Formulas and theory for predicting possible distances and times with ultralight gear for long distance backpacking. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Transforming a Mummy Sleeping Bag into an Arc Top Bag
by Jay Ham
Complete step-by-step instructions on how to convert a mummy bag to an arc quilt. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Make Your Own Gear: The Micro Z-Stand Pot Support
by Jay Ham
Using Backpacking Light Titanium Alloy UltraRods to build a sturdy, and now heat resistant, sub-0.20 oz (5.7 g) Z-Stand pot support for alcohol and solid fuel stoves. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Toilet Paper Free Expeditions
by Mike Clelland!
Go wild - leave the TP at home. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Selecting a Canister Stove for Cold Weather Backpacking
Part II: Commercially Available Canister Stove Systems

by Roger Caffin
Many canister stove models become excellent cold weather performers with a simple twist. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Selecting a Canister Stove for Cold Weather Backpacking
Part I: Stove and Fuel Fundamentals

by Roger Caffin
Fuel fundamentals and basic flame chemistry explained so that canister stove cold weather performance can be optimized. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Alcohol Stove Windscreen
by Jay Ham
Complete step-by-step instructions on how to construct an efficient alcohol stove windscreen. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
2005 Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Entries
by BPL Staff
Reader submissions of spreadsheet files used for trip planning and gear lists. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Make Your Own Gear: The Z-Stand Pot Stand Revisited, Revised, and Relightened!
by Jay Ham
Using Backpacking Light's Titanium Alloy UltraRods to Build a Sturdy 0.15 oz (4.2 g) Z-Stand Pot Support for Alcohol and Solid Fuel Stoves Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Shortening a Therm-a-Rest UltraLite Self-Inflating Pad
by Jay Ham
Complete step-by-step instructions on how to cut, reshape, and reseal a self-inflating pad. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Lightweight Backcountry Professional Photography
by Anatoly Ivanov
Complete lightweight camera and accessories setup for the professional backcountry photographer. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: The “Z-Stand” Pot Support for Alcohol Stoves
by Jay Ham
Complete step-by-step instructions on how to make a lightweight and unique pot stand. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
The Backpacking Fly Fisherman
by Ryan Jordan
Ultralight fly fishing gear for the backpacker fishing on the move. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Backcountry Fly Fishing: Lightweight Gear and Style
by Larry Tullis
Outdoor writer Larry Tullis brings a lightweight ethic to backcountry fishing. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Foot Care for Diabetic Hikers
by Gerard Olenick
Perspectives on footwear and foot care from a type II diabetic backpacker. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Members Only Make Your Own Gear: Open Jet Alcohol Stove
by Jay Ham
Complete step by step instructions on how to construct an open jet alcohol stove that looks as good as it works. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Can A Sane Person Truly Enjoy SuperUltralight Backpacking?
by Carol Crooker
SUL for the masses? Perspectives on comfortable gear - with a suggested gear checklist - for a non-technical canyoneering backpacking trip requiring less than five pounds of gear on your back. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
An Old Dog Learns New Tricks - How Lightweight Technology Keeps me on the Trail at 70
by Ron Hamm
How lightweight backpacking gear has kept the author on the trail at 70. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Trail Food: Keeping it Interesting and Energizing
by Rosaleen Sullivan
The basics of selecting trail food that is appetizing, energizing, and easy to prepare. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Considerations for Selecting a Lightweight Backpacking Stove
by Will Rietveld
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Frequently Asked Questions About Lightweight Canister Stoves and Fuels
by Will Rietveld
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Getting the Most out of an MSR White Gas Stove: Maintenance Tips
by Don Johnston
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Saving Time and Weight: A "Winter Water" Routine Tuned for Lightweight Style
by Ryan Jordan
Water prep in the winter is a time- and fuel-consuming chore. Learn tips and tricks to save time and weight in this treatise on lightweight winter water prep using a white gas stove. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Guide to Selecting and Using Ultralight GPS Systems
by Blake Morstad and Alan Dixon
Systematic analysis of considerations for evaluating a GPS system of lightweight equipment and software for efficient navigation. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Backcountry Hygiene for Ultralight and Long-Distance Hikers
by Ryan Jordan, Ph.D.
A short primer on the topic of backcountry hygiene to help you minimize the risk of contracting stomach-borne illnesses while in the backcountry. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Bear Bag Hanging Techniques
by Ryan Jordan
A brief review of bear bag hanging techniques with a focus on minimizing weight and maximizing simplicity. Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Packrafting: An Introduction to Wilderness River Running with a Packable Inflatable Boat
by Jim Jager, Sidebar by Sheri Tingey
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Members Only Hiking Efficiency: A Day in the Life of an Ultralight Hiker
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Fast and Light with Gary Scott: Lightweight Backpacking and Climbing Strategies
by Gary Scott
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Winter Backpacking Comfort: Lightweight Gear and Techniques for Shelter, Clothing, and Sleep Systems
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Wireless in the Wilderness: An Overview of Communications Technologies for Backpackers
by Eric Kammerer
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Buying an LED Torch: Headlamp Design Considerations to Help Guide Your Purchasing Decisions
by Rick Dreher
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
The Weird Science of Night Vision: Lighting Considerations for Lightweight Backpacking
by Rick Dreher
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Thermoregulation: An Overview of Heat Loss Mechanisms and Practical Guidelines for Staying Warm with Lightweight Gear
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Lightweight Backpacking with Young Children
by Stephanie and Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Make Your Own Trekking Poles
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Advanced Tarp Camping Techniques for Inclement Conditions
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques & Best Practices
Lightweight Backpacking for Couples
by Alison Simon and Alan Dixon
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
The Lightest Kitchen? A Cook Kit for Ultralight Backpacking
by Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Soft Shells: The Real Story
by Alan Dixon and Ryan Jordan
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only Clothing and Sleep Systems for Mountain Hiking, 1st Edition (August 2002)
by Ryan Jordan, Jim Nelson, and Alan Dixon
Clothing and Sleep Systems for Mountain Hiking, 1st Edition (August 2002) Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Backcountry Travel on Snowshoes for Lightweight Backpackers
by Don Ladigin
Backcountry Travel on Snowshoes for Lightweight Backpackers Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
A Homemade Gear Sled (Pulk) for Backcountry Winter Travel
by Ken Knight
Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only High Exertion Moisture Accumulation in Rain and Wind Shells
by Alan Dixon
High Exertion Moisture Accumulation in Rain and Wind Shells Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only The Science of Breathability and Its Impact on Raingear Selection and Use
by Ryan Jordan and Stuart Bilby
The Science of Breathability and Its Impact on Raingear Selection and Use Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Lightweight Backpacking 101: An Introductory Manual for Lightening Your Load Today (1st Edition - August 2001)
by Ryan Jordan, Alan Dixon, George Cole, Lee Van Horn, Dave Schultz, and Rick Dreher
Lightweight Backpacking 101: An Introductory Manual for Lightening Your Load Today (1st Edition - August 2001) Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Face-Off: First Aid and Emergency Gear
by Bill Thorneloe, David Schultz, and Ryan Jordan
Face-Off: First Aid and Emergency Gear Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Members Only The Petersen Test Methods for Evaluating Shell Clothing Performance
by Curt Petersen
The Petersen Test Methods for Evaluating Shell Clothing Performance Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Lightweight First Aid Kits for Hiking
by Bill Thorneloe
Lightweight First Aid Kits for Hiking Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Make Your Own Gear
Homemade Canister Stove Windscreen
by Ryan Jordan
Homemade Canister Stove Windscreen Read More...
ARTICLES Techniques Techniques
Nutritional Considerations for Cold Weather Hiking
by Brenda Braaten
Nutritional Considerations for Cold Weather Hiking Read More...

Paginate