Category: Planning & Packing
Every credible organization provides a pack list to participants before taking them on any sort of high adventure backpacking outing. Inexperienced participants and their parents dutifully take these pack lists into stores to buy everything, exactly as it is written on the list. This is all very nice, except some pack lists are not very good at all.
Many Scout backpackers try to lighten their loads by counting ounces on smaller cheaper things in their pack or they try leaving extra clothing, food, and equipment at home. This is a nice idea but you can’t make a big weight difference with small sacrifices. The only way to significant lower your pack weight is to replace your backpack, tent/shelter, or sleeping system – often called the “Big Three of Backpacking.”
Parents of new backpackers often scrimp on their initial purchases and buy things that don’t work well or are too heavy. These inadequacies become very obvious after just a few hours of walking along a trail. It’s not unusual, then, for the new hiker to quickly decide they don’t like backpacking at all. When this conclusion is reached, the new equipment gets stashed in the garage and the ersatz hiker reaches for the remote control. (Please forward this email to your backpacker friends.)