Scaling New Heights
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada.
As I get older, I find that I get tired more quickly and have resolved to travel with lighter gear. I've managed to get down to about 20 lb for a comfortable, non-ultralight base weight, not counting food or the clothes on my back, by trading in my old backpack, tent and stove for lighter and smaller kit. Add in additional gear if needed (crampons, gaiters, SIL tarp) and food, I get to about 35-40 lb, which is a good weight for me for a week. Down from about 50-55 lb, I'm enjoying my trips a lot more this year. I remember last year having to perch my backpack on a rock and getting under it to hoist it onto my back. This year I just sling it on with one hand.
I've found that paying more for good quality, lighter kit is a good investment in enjoying the backcountry. If you take care of it, quality gear will last for years and lighten your load for many thousands of step. Exactly what to choose is always highly personal and definitely makes for many rounds of social media debate.