Adventure Outdoors Magazine Summer 2016 - Page 62

As for sunglasses and sunscreen, this is only a must if you are in warmer weather. During the winter, we would tell you that a coat is necessary. As summer is now beginning, sunscreen is not a bad idea, especially when you are going to be vulnerable to the elements for long periods of time while backpacking. Opt for a small photon light keychain attached to your multi-tool, or a headlamp. For ultra-lightweight camping, the photon light is the way to go. These are sold individually, for around $10. If you decide to purchase a small survival kit, sometimes they include a light, as well as a whistle, and some other items. These kits go for about $20, depending on the quality and materials. When considering the weight of literally everything, you may not think that things this small will make much of difference, but they will. Pack this stuff first, and if there is extra weight leftover, then throw in toilet paper and snack bars. A FIRST-AID KIT IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST. If you catch a cold, you’ll need medicine. If you scrape your knee open on a boulder, you’ll want ointment. These are all extremely likely events when you put yourself in the position to be exposed to such conditions. YOU’RE OUT IN THE WILD; YOU’LL COME INTO CONTACT WITH SOME SORT OF DANGER. The important part is to remember what to do in those unique situations and to be as prepared as possible. 60 Summer 2016 Adventure Outdoors With a pack at 5lbs, sleeping gear at 3lbs, nutrition and a stove at 3lbs, and the essentials coming in at about 4lbs, you’re looking at the bare minimum adding up to a total of 15lbs. This is a rough estimate, as some new technology will offer up gear at a fraction of the projected weight for its class. The category is known plainly as “ultralight,” so look for that when purchasing new equipment for this specific trip. Gear this light, that still maintains applicable durability and function, does not come cheap. Be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars for a sleep sack under 2lbs, and shop around for an alcohol-fueled stove. Do not purchase any gear online without making sure that it is coming from a verified source with a return policy. Don’t expect to find a product of quality for $100 less; It just won’t perform. Whether you’re wanting to explore nature with the bare minimum as a challenge to yourself, or if you are looking for ways to lighten the carload next time, these methods are great for determining what is necessary. If you have been camping a few times before and would like to try something different, this is for you. If you’ve never been camping before, then we recommend staying with experienced campers for the first few outings. Ultra-lightweight backpacking is ultra-challenging, but worth every bead of sweat. Take advantage of the purity nature has to offer. good luck out there!