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Guide to Lightweight Backpacking

Gear Makeover

 Is your backpack so heavy that you need help lifting it off the ground? If so, perhaps it's time to learn about lightweight backpacking and how to reduce the weight of your pack to a more comfortable 10 to 15 percent of your body weight »


Learn how to reduce the weight of your current tent and what to look for in a new tent if you decide to replace yours, in this second piece from our introduction to lightweight backpacking. Also, consider some alternative ultralight shelters »

Sleeping Bags

Lightening your load? Learn how to choose a sleeping bag under three pounds. Evaluate different sleeping bag and quilt designs, insulation, temperature ratings, sizing, and more »


Consider a backpack that weighs between 1 and 3 pounds and can carry 20 to 30 pounds of gear. Learn how to size one, how to choose a pack made with durable fabrics, and how backpack suspensions work »

Stove Systems

Consider the pros and cons of different lightweight backpacking stoves and how to think about stoves and cooking from the perspective of a lightweight backpacker »




Philip, awesome series. It has been very informative for me. Granted, I knew quite a bit of this but at the same time there were a few things that definitely helped me out. Thanks for taking the time to do the series, good stuff.

Thanks Rick - I enjoyed writing these articles and chatting with you and others in the comments for each post. More to come.

Good stuff, keep it comin. :)

Phillip I did and do appreciate you taking the time to write well thought out articles. They have been good and look forward to your next series..

Enjoying reading suggestions of lighter gear and other hints on lightening the load.  I am always looking to be lighter and less.

Nice to see you mentioning an Esbit stove. I've carried one for years and recommend them to everyone I know, even gave out a few.

Folded, itcarries four fuel tablets and fits in a shirt pocket. One tablet will cook tea or soup 3 seasons and 2 tablets will do it in the 4th.

Esbits are great for emergencies or simple fair and can use the tablets or sticks/paper.

Of course one needs some method of lighting and something to cook and to cook in or the stove is useless.

Another lightweight is the aluminum 'Swiss Volcano'. It isn't small but it is light and again burns tablets, wood/paper etc, and it is also a canteen and a pot all in one [well 3 actually].

Neither stove mentioned cost more than $10.00 and I have pretty much quit carrying anything else since I'm not into elaborate meals. I eat light, like the occasional warmed tea or want an emergency stove handy.

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