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.”
September 21, 2022
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System -- You want to fill up your tub and sinks before a hurricane to help ensure you have water for cleaning dishes and flushing the toilet. This water purifying system can filter out 99.99% of bacteria in up to 100,000 gallons of water so you have clean drinking water as well.
Even if you remember to wear insect repellent and regularly check yourself, it’s easy to forget that your pets are vulnerable to these sneaky critters, too.
Choosing the right repellent matters: Our top products provided several hours of protection, and some of our lowest-scoring ones failed in as little as 30 minutes.