Ultralight Kitchen Gear for Hikin’ and Bikin’

I was organizing the gear locker and thought it would be good to show some of my favorite items for preparing food when backpacking or bikepacking. One of the benefits of ultralight hiking gear is that it transfers to bikepacking well and the principles are identical:

  • Take only what you will use
  • Seek out the lightest, highest performance items that you can afford
  • Look for items that have multiple uses

Continue reading

On Bicycles and Tools

tool
/to͞ol/
noun: tool; plural noun: tools
1. a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function.

I like tools. They help me earn a living, to keep my life in order, give me some independence, and aid creative output. And I like tools just for the design, the form and function. Some are quite beautiful and clever. I know how to use tools, so having them is an extension of my knowledge and ability. I’m smarter with tools at hand, so more is better— maybe.

Continue reading

Anatomy of a Hike

I thought I would share my resources and techniques for planning a hike. I live in Seattle and most often hike in the Western Cascades.

First of all, I check the weather report. That helps to decide when and where to go and what to pack, not to mention if you should head that way at all. First and foremost hiking is recreation. The idea is to enjoy the journey and come home safely to do it over and over again. In my humble opinion, no destination is worth a critical injury or death. Never feel bad about canceling your plans or turning around when things aren’t right.

Continue reading

Ultralight Backpacking Basics

Long before I got into my fascination with bicycles, I discovered ultralight backpacking. In my younger days a typical weekend load could hover around 50 pounds and it was just plain miserable. Gear and techniques have changed greatly over the years and I can now head out with a total load of 20 pounds or so. Ultralight folk use the term base weight to describe the weight of all their gear not including consumables, like water, food and cooking fuel. My 3-season base weight varies from 8-12 pounds per the season (read insulated clothing and sleeping gear) and shelter options I choose. As you lighten your load, you will start to feel the snowball effect and find the need for a heavy pack and boots is offset. You can hike farther and faster with less effort, giving you more time to enjoy the views, or take an afternoon nap in a sunny spot.

Continue reading