My principles for ultralight hiking
1- Your best peace of gear is Knowledge. It has no weight and will increase by using !
2- Heaviest item you are carrying is your body and your habits.
Start to change and adapt yourself to harsh temperatures, less food and walking and walking and walking !
3- You need a scale !
Don’t trust to numbers you see on gears except for well known brands. Some manufacturers don’t include accessories in weight for example stakes in tent !
4- A lot of times people don’t have any sense about ultralight hiking. Ultralight espresso maker or grill are not designed for ultralight hiking, they are designed for ultralight camping. Of course you can have some luxury items but be aware of them.
4- Keep your gears light,small and go fast but not superficial.
Pay attention to environment and weather your are going to experience. Try to avoid cheap or “made in china” as much as you can ! USA, Japan and European countries are making great gears with reasonable price.
5- Decrease number of items. More items you have, more you need to think about them even though they are light.
6- Say no to multi-tools and find multi-use items
6- Learn to modify and invent according to your need.
Tips and gears:
– For clothing. Avoid cotton. Quick drying is more important than water resistance except for rain jacket.
– For shelter: Keep it simple and dynamic. Zpack and Six Moon Designs are well known and well tested by thru-hikers. Then only down side for Six Moon Designs is that items are assembled in China.
– You can use some water bladders as pillow when they are empty and you fill them with the air. I have used MSR dromedary and it works great. It is heavier than other water containers but I use it for water, shower, pillow,… .
– Mirrorless cameras are very powerful and lightweight for photography. Downside is their battery life and exposed sensor.
– A lot of titanium gears have the same weight as aluminum and it is not scientifically accepted that aluminum is more harmful than others.
– Dawn doesn’t work when it becomes wet but it is hard to make it wet especially new gears have moisture wicking layers, don’t be afraid of them.
– Don’t put everything in separate sacks. I put clothing, sleeping bag, socks in one trash bag
– Use trash bag for keeping your gears dry and you can use them as rain gear, sitting mat, dry bag, water container,… .
– Dehydrated foods are the best choice
– Sandals are good for passing rivers and sitting mat and cover empty areas when you are using short sleeping mattress.
– Voice recorder is light and easy way to keep diary and information. There are good applications capable of converting your voice to text !