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Empty Your Pack: 55+ Ultralight Thru-Hiker

Barney "Scout" Mann hiked the Triple Crown after turning 55. Here's his ultralight pack list for trips of any distance.

Triple Crowner, self-confessed gram-weenie, and Backpacker contributor, Barney “Scout” Mann has backpacked 16,000 miles–more than 10,000 of those since turning 55. “I use this packlist for a single-night or five-month trek,” he says. “The only thing that change is the water and food.” He is the author of Journeys North, which chronicles the reality of a northbound Pacific Crest Trail hike. Read the excerpt we published in our Nov/Dec 2020 issue.

Total Pack Base Weight: 9 pounds, 3 ounces

Gear that saved the day: Tent

I’m in a lightning and hail storm—20 strikes a minute—on the Continental Divide Trail above 11,000 feet in New Mexico. I’m the only human being for miles. It’s only 17 degrees and the booming and rat-a-tat-tat on my tent sounds like a war zone. But I’m whooping and hollering for joy, wishing I could kiss the feet of whoever sewed this beautiful shelter.

My luxury item: Sit pad

For 1 ounce I get to insert a veneer of civilization between my rump and snow, gravel, or rock. It enhances any break, lunch or dinner, almost as much as a pizza delivered trailside.

I’ll never part with: My umbrella

You won’t find me peering out through a tightly cinched hood with a frown on my face in driving rain. Instead, my cone of dryness extends to my waist. I am “Umbrella Man.”

Continue reading the full pack list from the 55+ ultralight thru-hiker here.

LAST UPDATED

September 21, 2022

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Barney Scout Mann

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