Lightweight Backpacking Gear
Journal entries from July 2014:
July 5, 2014
My new purple backpack arrived today from ULA Equipment in Logan, Utah. Mel did the research on it and made his decision based on his long distance hiking experiences and my physical needs–number one being light weight. This pack only weighs 2lbs 4oz. It also has two pouches on the front to put snacks and maps in so they are easily accessible. Another feature of this pack is the S-curve straps–making it a more comfortable pack for women (who happen to have boobs to contend with). And, as a nod to femininity, I ordered it in purple.
As I sit here admiring my new pack, I start wondering if people name their packs. Mel named his bike, Betty, for his 4,000 mile cross country bike trip, why not name my pack? I asked him if backpackers did that. Yep, they do. Hmmm. I’ll have to give that some thought–after all, we’re going to be very intimate for a very long time; it should have a name. Maybe Barney–after the purple dinosaur!
By the way, my new best friend cost $225 plus $15 shipping. Lightweight backpacking costs more than heavyweight backpacking–unless, of course, you’re Grandma Gatewood!
My exercise ball also came today. I’m not going to carry it in my backpack, but I am going to use it for a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises, but I need to go online to see exactly what I want to do. I’ve also made an appointment with a local chiropractor who was highly recommended on Angie’s List. I want to know if there is any more I can be doing to make my back stronger because it invariably aches when I am standing too long or walking too long. I don’t want it to be a problem on the trail. So, we’ll see what the chiropractor says.
July 9, 2014
At our neighborhood block party today the subject of our hike came up and people had lots of questions: What will you do with your dogs?? How long will you be gone? Where will you sleep? WHY are you doing this (as in “are you crazy?”), and WHAT are you doing to get ready? My ‘WHY’ answer is basically, “I want to see if I can.” And my ‘WHAT’ answer is, “Mostly, I’m walking more every day –sometimes two or three times more than I previously had.” I’ll keep increasing that mileage whenever I can. I’m also doing sit ups and push ups and stretches and deep knee bends –whatever might make me stronger, more flexible or more balanced.
July 14, 2014
I’ve started packing! Only 9 months to go! I decided to start putting all my new things into my backpack so that I’ll know where everything is when I need it. Sometimes, when we buy stuff ahead of time, we put it away somewhere safe and then promptly forget where we put it! I don’t want to be all ready to go and find out that I can’t find my pack towel or my buff or my bandana. So, this is what’s going in my pack so far…
…a new pair of lightweight, nylon shorts that I bought on sale at REI in Ann Arbor this weekend. I had to buy men’s shorts because they’re longer and they have a dark liner in them. The liner eliminates the need for underwear, and a dark liner means it won’t look gross after 6 months!
Mel also bought this pack towel for me from REI. It is extremely lightweight and very absorbent. I’ll use it to dry off or to keep my sweaty head dry! His towel is even smaller than mine but he has more body to dry! Hmmm.
This is a buff. It is a long, stretchy, light weight tube of fabric that is extremely useful. Usually, it is worn on the head, although it can also be worn around the neck. (On a very small girl, like Cartwheel, it can even be a tank top!) If you wet it down and wear it on your head, it will keep you cool. If it’s cold outside and the buff is dry, it will help keep your head warm.
Then, of course, there is the ever handy bandana, which can also be used as a handkerchief, a washcloth, a neck shade under a hat or, the ever popular, tourniquet.
July 19, 2014
My new sleep mat arrived! It is very, very light–11 oz, I think. Its only drawback is that it has to be blown up every time you use it, but it’s very comfortable, so it will probably be worth the time it takes to blow it up. It also will pack up really, really small in my pack. Deflated, it will fit in the little black bag shown on top of the mat.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.