Tips for Lightweight Hiking (Part 1 of 2)
As a hiking enthusiast, my philosophy is to make sure I balance weight and safety. Indeed, anyone who has hiked for an extended period of time knows the value of lightening the weight you carry. A lighter backpack can not only help propel you up that menacing hill, or help your knees on the backside of that hill, but also can help you to enjoy the overall venture even more.
My favorite backpacks combine light weight, comfortable wear and convenient gear organization. For day-hikes, Osprey has one of the largest and most diverse lineups of backpacks on the market. From the Talon/Tempest series to the Sirrus and Stratos, Osprey has a huge variety of comfortable packs with features for everyone’s needs and purposes. Most Osprey packs feature a curved aluminum frame and a perforated back panel to maximize airflow between the pack and your back.
Weight becomes much more of an issue on weekend and multi-day backpacking trips when you are carrying several days worth of food, equipment and an array of gear. The best advice I have for packing light is to KIS: Keep It Simple. If you have invested in a complete kit of ultralight gear and are well versed in the practice of minimalism, I would recommend checking out the selection of packs from Hyperlite Mountain Gear or the Osprey Exos, a very comfortable ultralight pack.
However, if your base weight (the amount your pack weights before food and water) is over 15-20lbs, an ultralight pack will do more harm than good as it doesn’t have the support system to comfortably carry that much weight. The Osprey Atmos/Aura AG series is truly one of the most comfortable packs I’ve ever worn when carrying any amount of weight. The Osprey Anti-Gravity suspension system is truly remarkable and is great for weekend or multi-day backpacking trips.
Stay tunes for more light packing tips next week….