Drug dealers and precious metal investors are not the only ones obsessed with grams. For years “ultra-light” backpackers have created spreadsheets and poured over new gear specs in the quest to shed those final few grams that make the difference between a 10-pound base weight, and a undetectably lighter 10-pound base weight.
But what can a person do after they have cut their toothbrush in half, counted the exact sheets of toilet paper they (think) are needed, and decided to sleep without padding? Funny you should ask, in my years as an ultra-hyper-minimalist lightweight hiker, I can pass on the best tips for shedding those pesky grams that seem impossible to cut.
- Lose the Water
The adult body is mostly water. For men, 60%, women 55%. So a 135 pound woman is already lugging around over 74 pounds of water. How much more goddamn H2O do you need? Do you really think the two liters you are annoyingly sucking out of your Camelbak tube is that important? Save that weight.
- Forget the Tags, Cut the Collar
Last summer a young lady on the trail was complaining about weight, explaining how she had even cut tags from her clothes. I noticed she had a collared shirt, so I offered to cut it off with my knife, She removed her shirt and was wearing a lightweight minimalist bra ill-equipped for its intended task. But I barely noticed that during the 2 ½ hours it took to cut the collar from her shirt.
- Don’t Carry Food
Some call them “bear poles,” I call them “trail magic poles.” So much good food just hanging there for the taking.
- Stop Loading Up Your iPhone and Kindle
If you’re counting grams, you have to learn that data is heavy! A full Kindle or iPhone will be a burden of 10-18 grams. So much for technology, it all adds up.
- Socks are Wool Anchors
Blisters, infections, you say? All I hear is “blah, blah, blah.” Do you want to be in the ultralight cult or not.
6 Lose the Hipster Cap
I know you think you look sooo cool in your knit cap….in the summer.