View Full Version : Newbie guide to ultra light hiking.

01-12-2013, 04:35
O.k. This is simple. While you are at home go to the back yard wearing only lightweight shorts/ underwear, no shirt, no socks or shoes, nothing but a bandana around your groin. Next, after an hour or so, what do you need? Water? Go inside get a ziplock bag full of water. A ziplock bag is lighter than any water bottle I know of. O.k. it rains. Go inside, get the lightest tarp/rain coat, glad trash bag, whatever. Oh, grab some food because you will get hungry. Repeat process for all other needs like cook system, sleeping system, and so on. No need to spend thousands of dollars, simply find the lightest most durable items you can find to suit your needs and comfort level. I hiked 300 miles through the Smokie's to Erwin, Tenn. and back with no tent, sleeping bag, stove, or socks ( I had 5 finger shoes ) and all my gear was in a 1 gallon ziplock back with trash bag straps and ziplock water bag. True, it was August, Hot days 90's 100's low in the high 40's mostly mid 60's at night. Total pack weight with food and water 2.5 LBS. add clothes and items carried another .5 pounds. Total 3 pounds. Every time I saw water, I purified it and drank it on the spot. No food? I resupplied at Hostel, in town, or what ever I found. My tarp was my shelter, rain jacket, Bivy, and nighttime sleeping cover. My ziplock bag was my food bowl, pillow, and water bag. No fuel, no stove, all food was pre-cooked at Hostel or trail head. The above story is true. Try it and drop pounds off your pack weight!

Coffee Rules!
01-12-2013, 05:58
So your budget for a thru would be about $9.57, give or take? :p

01-12-2013, 18:58
It is certainly possible and can be fun to do things like this during the summer in a warm area. If nothing else, it's an interesting exercise. I've gone out just to practice "survival skills" and just carried emergency gear and tried to get by with as little as possible. I'm pretty sure after a few days I wouldn't mind carrying a couple extra pounds so I could actually have some food/water with me, shelter from the bugs, a sleeping pad/pillow, some sort of extra insulation for night time, extra socks...

What you did is pretty extreme and makes a lot of sacrifices, but if you really look hard at only what you "need", it's not tough to knock your summer baseweight down to around 4-5 pounds and still maintain a high level of comfort.