Hiking equipment: a guide to choosing lightweight hiking gear
A hikers guide to choosing lightweight hiking gear for the trail.
Choosing hiking gear can be a challenge. You want it to be sturdy enough to last and to provide comfort on the trail, but at the same time you don't want to carry a lot of extra weight if you don't have to. Thankfully over the past few years there have been many advances in light weight hiking gear. This gear, with its new materials and construction is durable but easy on the back and knees.
There are three things in the backpack that create the most weight. These are the tent, backpack, and sleeping bag. One of the most obvious choices for a light weight shelter is a tarp. They are easy to assemble and allow breathability that is not found in standard tents. Tarps are sturdier than in years past and can survive gusty winds as well rain and snow. Many good quality tarps weigh in at less than one pound, but tarps are not for everyone. If heavy weather or insects are a concern, it is probably best to go with a tent. Winter tents, even new lighter weight ones, are going to weigh more and be much more expensive, but if you are looking for a standard three season tent, there are many good, affordable light weight options. With so many good options from quality tent manufacturers the most important thing to take into consideration is how much room you will need in the tent and vestibule. When you go to the store bring your pack and anyone who regularly shares your tent. Get in and lie down to make sure that it is long enough and wide enough. Make sure that the vestibules are big enough for packs and shoes and anything else that will be kept there. Other good things to check for are pockets and a place to keep flashlights, like a cargo net attached to the inside roof of the tent.
The second area where a hiker can save a lot of weight is on the sleeping bag. There are lots of lightweight sleeping bags on the market. However, many of these light bags have a hefty price. One manufacturer makes a bag rated at 20F that is less than 2 pounds, but priced at about $300. However, in warmer weather quilts can be just as effective, just as light, and you probably have some in your closet now. Using quilts for warmer weather trips is a popular option among many lightweight hikers. Make sure to use quilts and not blankets, quilts have more loft and insulate you from the ground and therefore keep you warmer than plain old blankets will. The main advantage to using a quilt, however, is that it is cheaper. A synthetic fill quilt weighs about the same as a synthetic fill sleeping bag. Down generally weighs less then synthetic material, is more durable, packs smaller, retains its loft better, and weighs less. A synthetic bag rated 20F will generally weigh more than a down bag with the same rating.
The last major area where backpackers can save a lot of weight is the backpack itself. Internal frame backpacks tend to weigh less than external frame packs. There are also new packs made with lighter weight materials that can save several pounds of weight. However, it is always a good idea to buy a pack that is appropriate for your travels. People on longer trips should probably sacrifice the extra weight for an external frame pack while people on shorter trips will do just fine with an internal frame pack. The backpack should be appropriate to the weight you are carrying. A backpack not strong enough to handle the load will break and cut short a backpacking trip. It is probably a good idea to figure out how much weight you will be carrying and then to find a bag that is suitable for your needs.
There are many more areas where a hiker can save weight such as stoves and clothing. Canister stoves tend to be lighter than liquid fuel stoves. Some people even make stoves at home using old soda cans and cat food tins. Another light weight option is to use dry fuel tabs. The latter two options are only for those going ultra-light. Neither of these methods are quick to boil water and the fuel tabs smell bad and leave a residue on the pan. People also have a tendency to bring more dishes then they really need. Basically all you need are a pot, a cup, and some utensils. Buy food like dehydrated soup pasta, or oatmeal that can be eaten directly from the pot to save weight in the pack.
Clothing should be synthetic as cotton and wool don't breathe well and tend to stay wet. Synthetic fabrics should always be worn, but be aware, synthetic material absorbs smells and it is almost impossible to wash the smells out once they are in. Many lightweight hikers also wear sneakers or tennis shoes instead of traditional hiking boots. While they are smaller and lighter and dry out faster, sneakers don't provide ankle support and are therefore not recommended for people who have weak ankles or knees or are going on extended trips.
Going lightweight can drastically increase your enjoyment of the outdoors on hiking or backpacking trips. One can go faster and be more free to take side trips and not be as worn out at the end of the day. However people going the light weight route must be careful to think about what they are willing and not willing to give up to lose some weight of their loads.
Teenage boys have enough to deal with without having to stress over fashion do's and do not's. Following ten simple rules will help to make sure that fashion slip-ups are avoided.
Growth spurts...acne...squeaking voices...teenage boys have enough to deal with without stressing over the do's and don'ts of fashion. Adhering to a few simple rules will make the road to manhood a little smoother by eliminating a few of the questions that teenage boys harbor regarding fashion.
The following ten tips are general rules of thumb that should always be followed to ensure the avoidance of fashion slip-ups: 1. The first rule to being fashionable is to find clothing that fits into your comfort zone. If you don't feel good in it, chances are that you won't look that good in it, either. Next, find a signature style. If you have a certain outfit that you feel you look your best in, stock up on other pieces in that style. 2. Don't be afraid to break away from the norm every once in a while. If you usually wear jeans and a tee-shirt to school every day, mix it up once a week by wearing khakis and a polo shirt. Wearing the same style every day will cause you to blend into the crowd, but varying your style just a little will keep it interesting. 3. Don't follow trends too closely. A trend is defined as what is popular at a certain time, but that time is usually a short one. Chances are, those lime green cargo pants that were super hot this month will be out of style in two month's time. 4. Always dress appropriately for the occasion and situation that you are in. While jeans and a tee-shirt might be suitable for school, they won't necessarily fly when attending a church service or club banquet. Khakis and a button-down shirt would probably be a more appropriate choice. On the flip side, don't overdress for more casual affairs. It will seem as though you are trying too hard. You wouldn't want to show up to a pre-game tailgate party in a jacket and tie because it would most definitely look out of place. 5. Matching is very important. Make sure that the colors of your clothing match. Don't mix patterns. For example, don't wear plaids and stripes together. If you are wearing a patterned shirt, always pair it with plain pants to avoid clashing. Also, match your belt to your shoes, generally brown with brown or black with black. 6. Don't be sloppy. Make sure that all clothing items, even tee-shirts, are wrinkle-free. Also, always tuck in your shirt tails when wearing a tie. Sagging pants are not attractive. No matter how fashionable it may seem, no one - not even teenage girls - wants to see your underpants. Invest in - and wear - a belt. 7. For special occasions, find an oxford or button-down shirt that fits correctly in the neck. Ask an associate at your local department store to measure your neck to get a good fit. The top button of your shirt should always be buttoned when you wear a tie. Also, choose a tie that falls to the top of your belt line. Styles that fall short of this point tend to look silly. When tucking in shirts, be sure to pull them out just a bit so that they blouse slightly over the waistline of your pants. 8. When wearing shorts, wear ankle socks or slouched higher socks. Do not pull longer socks up the calf. Also, don't pair sandals with socks...ever. This is a big fashion faux pas. 9. Stay away from tapered-leg pants. They usually tend to look outdated and old-fashioned. Choose wide-leg or boot-cut styles for a more up-to-date look. Find jeans and other pants that sit at the base of your natural waistline. Pants that are hiked above the waist bring about images of world-famous nerd Steve Urkel. 10. If all else fails, ask a female. Your sister, girlfriend, and yes - even your mother - are great resources for fashion advice.
We search top stores daily so you don't have to.
For personal non-commercial use only; please check stores for current prices and exact amounts. Product specifications are obtained from merchants or third parties. Although we make every effort to present accurate information, Okto is not responsible for inaccuracies. Store ratings and product reviews are submitted by online shoppers; they do not reflect our opinions and we have no responsibility for their content.
As remuneration for time and research involved to provide quality links, we generally use affiliate links when we can. Whenever we link to something not our own, you should assume they are affiliate links or that we benefit in some way.
OKto.com - 4283 Express Lane, SUITE 003-239, Sarasota, FL 34238, p: (941) 538-6941, f: 8154253395, e: support [at] okto.com