How to Go Lighter by Glen Van Peski of Gossamer Gear

While checking out the gear that Gossamer has on their website I ran across this well put together article on how to backpack lighter by the founder of Gossamer Gear, Glen Van Peski.

How to Go Lighter

Out of all the things he mentions this little section is perhaps some of the best advice I have ever heard…..

“Changing your hiking schedule

For people who get this, it can be a significant weight savings, simply by changing the way you hike. Most people like to hike all day, or most of the day, get into camp, set up their tent, cook dinner as night falls, and sit around until its time for bed. This means you are sitting around, not generating any heat from activity, during the coldest part of the day. In turn, this means you are probably bringing long underwear or a puffy jacket that is too warm to hike in, and the only purpose is to wear it around camp. Consider instead:

No breakfast or later breakfast

The early morning will be one of the coldest parts of the day. It makes no sense to stand around in the cold. The best bet is to pack up quickly, throw a food bar into your pocket, and start hiking. The activity will quickly warm you. Then, when the sun is shining brightly and you come to nice sheltered or scenic place, stop for breakfast.

Do the main break in the late afternoon

In the warmth of the afternoon, it’s great to take a long break. It gives you a chance to dry out any damp gear, and it breaks up the day. You can pick a scenic place, near water, which may not be good for sleeping at, but is perfect for cooking the main meal. You can enjoy the meal without shivering. Heck, you might even take a little nap if so inclined.

Hike on, and dry camp

Then, hike on. You’ll be fueled by the meal, the cooling evening is great for hiking, and the miles will pass easily beneath your feet. As daylight wanes, you can pick a stealth camp without worrying about cooking. You don’t need flat rocks, logs to sit on, or water. You don’t need to worry about cleaning up in the cold and dark. You don’t need to worry about attracting bears from the smells of cooking. You hop into your sleeping bag warm from walking. And best of all, you saved the weight of the clothes you didn’t need to bring because you weren’t standing around in the cold!”

I have tried this and it works. You will be amazed at how well this works even on the coldest and rainiest of days. I have been out on days where it was 45 degrees and rainy with just a pair of shorts and a performance tshirt (not cotton) on, and have felt perfectly warm just because my activity level was so high. If you can get into a nice dry warm sleeping bag with dry clothes on you should be perfectly fine.

This is part of the “Thru Hiking the Colorado Trail” Series…