An Interview with Ultralight Outfitters’ Founder

Meet Rob Anue, Ultralight Outfitters’ Founder

Q: What makes Ultralight Outfitters special?

A: Well I think it is our vision of being a complete solution for ultralight backpacking.

Q: What do you mean by complete ultralight backpacking solution?

A: It all started when I began to design my own ultralight backpacking gear. I discovered as I pushed my gear to be lighter that it naturally became more integrated.

Q: Give us an example of integrated ultralight backpacking gear.

A: I saved weight by designing a PonchoTent that was a poncho, a tent, and backpack cover all in one. The cook kit became lighter and more convenient when the cook stove and cook pot were designed to convert into an insulated drinking mug. The backpack had to have a handy place to carry the poncho, and the poncho had to fit well over a person wearing the backpack. You see, in order to get to the lightest weight, it really helps that each piece of gear is designed to work together, and with the big picture in mind.

Q: So “complete ultralight backpacking solution” to you means “integrated ultralight backpacking gear design?”

A: Yes, the gear saves weight by being designed as part of an integrated system. But complete solution also means that we want to help people with everything they need to go ultralight backpacking. The gear is just part of it. ultralight backpacking also needs specialized skills.

Q: What kinds of skills are special to ultralight backpacking?

A: Some skills are gear dependent, like how to set up the PonchoTent and the tricks of how wear it to stay really comfortable in the rain. Some other skills are more general. Knowing how to do good meal selection and planning can save pounds and pounds. You can completely blow your weight budget with wild meal planning. I know a guy that carried a watermelon for lunch…

Q: So Ultralight Outfitters also teaches ultralight backpacking skills?

A: Right. Exactly. That’s what it takes. We want to help people successfully go ultralight backpacking. That’s a big mission. It’s more than just the gear… it’s the packing list, the specialized know-how, and the tricks that experienced campers know that keep them safe and comfortable.

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