Ever wonder if you could apply your happy-go-lucky lightweight backpacking principles to your everyday life? Have you ever found yourself in the cell phone store wondering which phone was lighter? Ever been in the market for a new car and asked the baffled salesman which Subaru weighed less? Have you recently looked at the hair of your friend/sister/spouse/child and considered how much weight they could save if they just chopped it all off? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then you, too, might be thirsty for more information on how to go lightweight in the front country. Enter Ultralightliving.com.
The Portland, Oregon based website, which was started and is maintained by Jon Aebi-Magee, is a virtual cornucopia of links to lightweight living resources and information. Expanding beyond lightweight backpacking, the site offers information on new technology, gear and even lightweight lifestyle choices. You really can go to this site and read up on everything from where to find the best lightweight backpacking gear, to which airplane is lighter, as well as get up-to-date information on the latest and greatest lightweight technology.
"The ultra-light movement is really a new way of thinking. It's about reducing the burden of weight. Backpacking is only a tiny part of that movement. You can see ultra-light in the news today, ranging from computers to clothing to commercial jetliners," says Jon. "By producing products that are lighter, manufacturers are also creating products that use fewer natural resources, use less energy, are more economical and have superior design." With multiple lightweight groups and companies that offer lightweight products linked to the site, it is possible to get lost for hours, fully indulging in the preoccupation of going light.
And why not indulge a little? Going light is becoming a way of life for many people and not just those who backpack. Less and lighter stuff means less of an impact on the planet and your wallet, more time available and more of a focus on the act of living itself. Even Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, felt compelled to follow up his best-seller with a companion book, In Defense of Food, which, among other things, voices the reasoning that even eating less is better for us and for the planet. For the many people who casually refer to themselves as lightweight enthusiasts, going light can be about more than the type of gear they carry; it can about living with less in an effort to gain more.
The Ultralightliving.com site is a source of information for both the lifestyle lightweight enthusiast and those who are just getting started. In additional to the many links, one can find articles written by other lightweight enthusiasts, such as one contributor (who has also written for Backpacking Light) who wrote about backpacking with his two kids. Links to lightweight philosophy-centered weight loss programs and articles on tiny homes compliment the generous number of articles dedicated to gear, clothing, cars, and innovations. One downside is that while the information on the latest technology is copious and current, there are no forums to discuss that technology with other lightweight enthusiasts, which may leave the reader wanting more.
As a vehicle for taking your lightweight philosophies out of your pack and into the rest of your life, this site is a fabulous place to start.