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The Trek: Is Packing Your Bikini Ultralight? I’d Say So!

I’ve never been a big gear junkie. I feel like everyone has formulated an opinion on the latest and greatest gear. I’ve always taken that with a grain of salt because what works for one person might not work for another. On the AT I learned that quick. I learned that I do not like to carry a lot. At the start of my hike I had bags tied to the outside of my pack dangling as I walked.

As I covered myself in 100% Deet, I threw on my bug net jacket and strapped on my sleeping pad and some leftover pizza. I hiked like that all the way from Maine to Pennsylvania. After 895 miles, I ran into Hambone and Captain. Their packs were so small and they barely carried anything! They were basically sprinting down the trail. I was pushing as hard as I could to keep the same pace even though I was carrying 30-35 pounds on my back. I was in need of a shakedown!

It was pouring rain and as we huddled into the surprisingly large privy the shakedown had begun. Hambone threw everything he said “I didn’t need” in a plastic bag and tied that bag so tight I couldn’t get into it! In the spirit of ultralight, I didn’t look in the bag. I hiked into Delaware Water Gap and shipped it home. I knew I had to make some sacrifices and that my body would thank me. I cut my foam sleeping pad so small that it only covered half of my back. That didn’t seem as extreme as Captain trading in his sleeping bag for two fleece blankets and an emergency bivy.

See the full article by Sunney Mahalak on The Trek's website here.


October 22, 2023

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