Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fun - Outdoor Gear Edition

A few somewhat related outdoor links I've come across the last 10 days or so...

Sure, lightweight backpacking is cool. And my gear list usually makes for a 11 or 12lb backpack. But that's down right heavy compared to, get this, Super Ultra Light Backpacking gear list. Yes, apparently such a thing exists. The goal is to get your base pack weight down to 5lbs or so. It's both silly and totally intriguing. It's an obsession I don't need, but will probably look for ways to dabble in regardless.

And why would you need a 5lb backpack (besides, of course, bragging rights?). To fastpack, of course. Fastpacking is essentially trail running, but for a full day or overnight. I don't trail run, and I tend to want to take my time on trails (how else can you snap hundreds of pictures per day?). But still, I'm sure there are lessons to learned from fastpacking, and I'm ready give it a try if I can find the excuse.

With the trend to tinier and tinier amounts of gear, I was going to jokingly suggest that my goal was to shoot for Backpackless Backpacking. Sort of a no bag challenge for the great outdoors. Of course, I've already been beaten to the punch on this. Here's a 1-4 day gear list that includes no backpack in the mix. It includes a slick bat-belt, and a multi-purpose wool blanket. I'm totally loving it. I've realized I'm going to have to step up my goal. It's now Pocket Backpacking. The goal is to spend at least one night in the woods with nothing but what's in the pockets of "regular" set of clothes. Who's with me?

Finally, I was initially unimpressed with Pathfinder shelter kit. It didn't strike me as particularly compact or sexy. But, after watching a video demonstration, I've got to say, I've been won over. The individual items have a lot of utility, and the quick shelter construction idea really seems like it would work. In a lot of respects, this kit contains the real essentials you'd need in a survival kit, and combined with a few items in your pockets would probably beat out most itty bitty survival kits. The size is still too large for me to carry on a regular 'ol hike, but I'll definitely keep the kit in mind.

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