We took our blog in a new direction this year, adding more “how to” articles and posts on what going light or ultralight really means, among other things. We hear loud and clear that you want to learn how to lighten your load. These are the top ten most-read articles of 2015. They range from tips on how to pack or cook lightweight food in the backcountry to how living with less allows you to experience more. Enjoy these articles, plus some of the most popular photos we published this year!
The Top 5…
Stripped Down: Food Prep & Recipes for Ultralight Thru Hike Adventures
In order to get ready for a 16-day expedition below the rim of the Grand Canyon, Hyperlite Mountain Gear CEO Mike St. Pierre carefully planned out his meals. He needed light, compact, nutrient-rich food that would be easy to carry. He spent weeks prepping everything so that all he needed to do was add water to his dehydrated meals (which he dehydrated himself). Learn more about how to prepare food for an ultralight thru hike, and check out some of St. Pierre’s awesome recipes.
Stripped Down: Gear Check For Thru-Hiking & Backpacking:
“I believe embracing lightweight translates to going further, faster and suffering less in general,”says Hyperlite Mountain Gear CEO Mike St. Pierre. In terms of outdoor escapades, the first thing he did to lighten his load was address the “Big Three” (aka “The Three Heavies”)–pack, shelter and sleeping systems. This article outlines what St. Pierre takes with him on the trail during the warmer months. Plus, he offers some recommendations for stoves, clothes, filters, shoes and more.
Stripped Down: 5 Items You Can Get Rid (even if you’re already on the trail)
Every ounce matters when going ultralight. What may seem like trivial weight adds up once you are in the backcountry. In order to get the most out of your outdoor adventure and truly be a lightweight hiker, cut out the inessentials from your kit. Mike St. Pierre explains how to shave off a few pounds with five quick tips ranging from what type of footwear is best to why the hatchet should stay at home.
Ashley Hill On Thru Hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail
Most people haven’t ever heard of the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT), a 1,200-mile path connecting Washington and Montana. “I’ve met Ranger’s who oversee sections of the trail who have never heard of it,” says Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador Ashley Hills. “Instead of thousands of thru hikers attempting the trail each year, the PNT sees fewer than 50.” While hiking the trail, Hill answered a few of our questions about herself, about how the PNT compares to the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Best GPS Device You Already Own
Getting lost in the backcountry can be a death sentence. Thru hikers and backpackers should know their navigation and their GPS devices. But which devices are the best for the job? “The smartphone is obviously the single best piece of outdoor gear,” says adventurer and writer Max Neale. “It has greatly enhanced the ease with which I move through a landscape.” In this post, he discusses the pros (and cons) of smartphones, the various apps you can use, tips for conserving battery life and more.
The next five…
Stripped Down: Weigh Everything
Mike St. Pierre learned the hard way that too much heavy gear can be dangerous in the backcountry. While recovering from a knee injury sustained by carrying a big load, he began to weigh his gear. “You can streamline what you bring to reduce the inessentials that will weigh you down and make you more prone to injury,” he explains. Included in this post are a few resources St. Pierre uses to help calculate his gear base weight and help eliminate the excess items.
Stripped Down: Stuff Sacks For Thru Hiking & Backpacking Trips
Most backpackers and thru hikers use stuff sacks. And more often than not, they aren’t as light as they could be or as water resistant as they should be. According to our CEO Mike St. Pierre, he always considers three key things when choosing his stuff sacks for thru hikes: Do they help him organize his pack? Do they protect his stuff? Are they lightening his load? If a stuff sack doesn’t answer all these questions, he won’t use it.
Stripped Down: Why Cuben Fiber? It Just Makes Sense
Cuben Fiber is the key component to almost every Hyperlite Mountain Gear product. “It’s white, it’s crinkly, it’s waterproof and it feels like it weighs about as much as tissue paper. But what exactly is Cuben Fiber, and why use it?” Mike St. Pierre breaks down the mysterious fabric and explains why it’s the way to go for ultralight and durable outdoor equipment.
Stripped Down: What is Lightweight Exactly?
What is lightweight? It’s just carrying lighter gear right? That’s not all though, as Mike St. Pierre explains, “Going light is a lifestyle; it’s about hauling less on your adventures; it’s about simplicity and streamlining your systems so you bring only what you need; it’s about having a simple backpacking kit that offers full utility.” In this blog post St. Pierre discusses what lightweight is, what base pack weight is and also the three styles of going lightweight.
Live With Less, Experience More
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador Kt Miller adopted the “go light” philosophy when she started regularly skiing with partner and fellow Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ambassador Beau Fredlund. Now well versed in lightweight backcountry travel, Miller says, “That’s what it’s really about in the end. To go light is to live more simply, to live with less, and as a result, be able to experience more.”