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Chasing Ten with Steve "Doom" Fassbinder

How long have you been going light?

It's been a lifelong learning curve.

What’s the base weight of your pack before adding consumables like food and fuel?

This can vary greatly on the type of trips that I participate in. But I will say that most of my trips are of a non-standard variety like bike-packrafting, or bike trips with repels or desert tower climbs along the way. All of these trips have very specific, and often times heavy gear needs. 

Beyond the “The Ten” items, what other kinds of gear do you make room for, and why? 

As a professional photographer, the camera always goes with. Sometimes with extra lens weight and bodies, sometimes single lens, single body.

Are you currently forgoing any of the ten pieces? Why?

I often forgo the shelter part due to the dry, arid climate in my local Four Corners zone. We get over 300 dry days per year here, so it’s a good bet to hedge.  The packraft can be used as a tarp in a pinch. Not recommended.

What has achieving this low base weight done for your trips outdoors? How has it impacted the way you travel? 

My most compact camera kit weighs in at 4 lb. Adding lenses will cost 2 lb per lens on average. This gets heavy fast, so it’s imperative for me to keep my base weight as low as possible. The guy in the back never gets the shot.

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