The ongoing trend in the consumer market of providing small, ready-to-go, individual size packages of consumables has been a win-win for the lightweight and ultralight backpacking communities. Always looking to shave a few extra ounces or grams off of our overall pack weight, these individual servings are the perfect fit for trail snacks, drinks, condiments – you name it.
However, these nicely packaged individual servings can come at a premium. They can often be pricy or difficult to find without going online and ordering in bulk + shipping. That’s when the creative types among us come up with ingenious solutions that lets us make our own alternatives using things we usually have lying around.
This is the fourth post in my series on lightweight backpacking aimed at helping you reduce your overall pack weight without sacrificing any of the comfort or necessities. In my first post I introduced you to the concept of lightweight backpacking, the benefits, how to get started, and taking less stuff. The second post focused on weighing your gear, using gear lists, and knowing how much weight you are carrying. The third post focused on reducing the weight of your “Big Three” – your tent, backpack, and sleeping bag.
This is the third post in my series on lightweight backpacking aimed at helping you reduce your overall pack weight without sacrificing any of the comfort or the necessities. In my first post I introduced you to the concept of lightweight backpacking, the benefits, how to get started, taking less stuff, and smaller amounts of things. In my second post I focused on weighing your gear, using a detailed gear tracking list, weight summaries, and the importance of keeping it up to date. How else can you know how much you are carrying if you don’t weigh your gear?
For this third installment I wanted to focus on the three pieces of gear that every backpacker must have and which collectively account for the majority of the weight you will be carrying – we call them “The Big Three” – your tent, backpack, and sleeping bag.
If you read my previous article, an Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking, you’ll remember that I only touched on the basic principles of lightweight backpacking such as how to get started, weighing gear, taking less, multi-use gear and some of the benefits of reducing your pack weight. In the following series of posts I’d like to focus on each of the core principles in more detail. Let’s start with weighing your gear.
In order to know how much weight or gear you need to eliminate, you first have to understand what you currently have and how much you carry on a regular trip. One of the most common mistakes that people make with a gear list is that they forget to maintain it, refer to it and adjust it. Having a detailed list of your gear is great, but keeping track of what you use and don’t use will provide you with valuable insight into areas where you can reduce or eliminate weight.
Another common mistake is not breaking your gear down into their individual components, for example don’t just weigh your first aid kit, weigh all of the pieces individually. [Read More…]
The straps on G-Shocks can sometimes be a bit too long for the average person. That’s especially true of my GW-5600J, to the point where they stick out and catch on the cuff’s of my shirts and long sleeves.
I posted a question on a popular watch forum to ask if anyone ever trimmed their straps, partly because I was curious to know how many other pencil-wristed G-Shock wearers were having the same problem and partly to see how many people were willing to take a knife to their beloved Gs. [Read More…]
Here is a very simple, stealthing project for your Casio G-Shock watches. I am planning to do a lot more to my little DW-5600 like reverse the display, stealth the faceplate (if possible), but for now I wanted to stealth the bezel (aka: remove the white paint).
The first step is to gather all the necessary equipment. For this project you’ll need some Goof Off (not Goo Gone or any similar sounding products), a small ceramic bowl/dish (plastic ones may melt with the Goof Off inside it) this is one I made myself, a small pair of tweezers, and an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush. [Read More…]
The most frequent question I get asked by people I meet on the trail or who read my blog is how do they get started with lightweight backpacking?
Usually they’ve read some articles online, seen some gear reviews in a magazine, or hiked with someone who had a much lighter pack they theirs. They’re typically already convinced of the benefits of going lighter, but just don’t know where to start. [Read More…]