Traveling light

There is an underlying concept anytime we try to describe our trips: for us, to travel carrying little weight is essencial. With fair weight, indeed. The advantages of carrying 8 kg instead of 16 are more than obvious: you tire less, you can move faster, get further, with less risk of injury or discomfort … Obviously, considering that we endure what we like to call “long-distance hiking in non-extreme environments”. If your activity can’t be cataloged like that, maybe it is not safe for you to follow these tips…

It’s a known fact that within the “outdoor world” there is a tendency to reduce the weight of the equipment. That might be related to the speed records obtained by superstars like Kilian Jornet or Ueli Sleck (to mention two of the most famous). These activities provide a different approach to classical mountaineering, and therefore require a specific material. Some experts think that faster is safer (because you’re less time exposed), which has favored that many folks now follow that “philosophy”. Thus, the ultralightweight movement appeared, aiming to reduce the weight carried to increase, on the one hand, the speed with which the activities are completed; on the other hand, comfort by carrying less weight; and on the other, the autonomy, because reducing the weight of the base equipment you’re able to carry more weight in consumables (water, food, fuel). There are people who have developed even more this idea, but between us (now that nobody’s looking) it seems that they seek a drastic reduction of the weight carried as premise and essential requirement. They opt for very specific (and usually expensive) materials and accept a series of “sacrifices” that in our opinion can lead to psychological wear and tear in the long run.

Our focus is rather on reducing weight without having to make big money disbursements, nor forget about a certain degree of comfort. We achieve that with three different strategies, which we will now explain briefly, and in future entries we will do it in more detail: trim weight where it can be trimmed, leave aside superfluous elements and acquire habits that allow weight reduction.

  • Trimming weight: this is as simple as, when it comes to buying gear, consider weight as a relevant factor. For example, changing the “big three” (tent, sleeping bag and backpack) for lighter versions can easily decrease 3-4 kg. (asuming you currently have standard ones, of course). Manufacturers are increasingly putting their weight on this, and almost all major brands have “lightweight” product lines. Not to mention manufacturers specializing in products of this type. The disadvantage of opting for this method to lighten weight is that it will also lighten your budget…
  • Leave aside superfluous elements: every time we see someone on the trail carrying a reading book, we get on our nerves … They are heavy!! For us it is preferable to look for other ways to hang out that do not involve carrying extra items. In the same way that we think that it is not necessary to bring troiletry bags, binoculars, dishes, music equipment … (especially the latter !! who has suffered, knows how hard it is to walk along with someone who does).
  • Acquire habits that allow weight reduction: we will come back to this in future posts, but as a spoiler: repackage everything (food, medicines…), rehydrate food with the minimun fuel, cut maps, take with you pictures of the travel guide instead of the guide, sleep in a light sack and wear a puffy jacket if it is too cold (instead of carrying a heavy sack), wear shoes instead of boots …

As we’ve already said, over time we will explain in detail each of the strategies we use, so do not forget to check this section from time to time, or better, subscribe to our site.

See you!

As we always say, english it’s not our mother tongue. So don’t be harsh with us…

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