What is ultralight backpacking?

Kevytretkeily tunturimaisemassa

In ultralight backpacking, bigger attention is paid to gear weight. Traditional way of thinking is to pack everything that increases comfort. This way you often end up struggling with a crushing weight just to enjoy the slight extra comforts in camp. But walking in nature should be something else: free, easy and enjoyable!

A lot time on hikes is spent, well, hiking. Thus it makes sense to focus on comfort during those hours of walking. With modern ultralight gear, you don’t have to make compromises in camp comforts.

If you have hiked with a traditional pack, the switch to ultralight can feel quite incredible. The difference is tangible. You almost feel like flying on the trail!

Ultralight backpacking still ties back to its original roots, the long trails in the US. These include Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail. But ultralight backpacking is also growing rapidly in Europe. The philosophy works well for the Northern wilderness, and ultralight is probably the biggest trend in Nordic hiking currently.

People who start ultralight backpacking are from different age groups, both women and men. Senior hikers are also very interested in the lightweight philosophy, and it certainly makes sense why. Lighter pack is also appreciated by nature photographers, soldiers, biologists and other people routinely carrying gear in the wild. Hunters, fishermen and photographers also have a lot of extra gear, and it helps if camping gear is compact and light weight. This way more energy is spared for the work or hobby, and one is not completely exhausted after the walk.

Lighter pack means also longer distance. This equates to long trips through untouched wilderness. You will get familiar with vast areas quickly. There are many opportunities for long hikes in the Nordics, and beyond. Camino de Santiago, Te Araroa or Brooks Range Traverse? Be ultralight, and choose your adventure!

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