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Welcome! Here you will find info, tips, gear lists, and links for ultralight and lightweight backpacking.

My philosophy is to go backpacking as light as possible without eliminating important items like a toothbrush or a first aid kit. I aim toward minimalism to lighten my pack, eliminating unnecessary items and keeping everything as simple as possible. I prefer low-tech bare essentials so that my gear is able to handle the abuse of the outdoors without constant coddling or repair.

I don't necessarily chase after the most recent breakthrough in ultralight gear or fabrics, but rather wait for ideas to prove themselves. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have my pack under 5 pounds, but I don't want to break the bank, and I want my gear to be reliable.

If you have any questions, comments, ideas, tips, or corrections, please feel free to e-mail me at liteTornado [at] gmail [dot] com. Enjoy!


| Site Updates |

7/15/2012 --

I recently added a long side zipper to my bottomless sleeping bag for better ventilation options, seam-sealed my poncho shelter, and got a new pair of gloves. This all resulted in a few ounce addition, but my entire equipment list is still weighing in at a svelte 8 lbs, 4.7 oz.

11/13/2011 --

Added a bunch of new/changed gear, including my a homemade sleeping bag, tyvek bivy, poncho shelter, and new lightweight insulated jacket. Also, I weighed all of my gear that was previously weighed on my home scale on the postal scale for accuracy.

3/31/2011 --

Added the 10-pound Backpack to the links page, if you're looking to compare all the ultralight gear available, you must visit here. Also, fixed a broken link to Granite Gear's website (thanks Stu!).

12/26/2009 --

Happy Holidays to all my fellow hikers and ultralighters! Just doing some regular maintenance on the site, and added some new fabric suppliers and ultralight friends on the Links page. Also, please make sure to keep checking The Lighter Side for my blog posts.

5/28/2009 --

I just finished sewing and assembling my own G4 pack! Check out the details here. At 15 ounces, that brings my total pack base weight a hair under 10 pound at 9 pounds. I also purchased a small stainless steel mug/pot with a wire handle for a couple bucks, which I'll be using to shave a few ounces off my cookkit weight (instead of my cumbersome 8 ounce aluminum frying pan and pot). On my blog, I just reviewed the very cool Lightload towels, check it out.