Getting Outfitted for Ultralight Backpacking is Not that Easy

You can’t create a good ultralight backpacking system by going to my favorite camping store and buying the lightest and best gear!

I can buy the lightest cook pot, the lightest stove, the lightest drinking mug, the lightest tent, the lightest raincoat, the lightest backpack cover, the lightest multifunction tool, and the lightest or best backpack and my gear will be overweight for Ultralight Backpacking! Why? Because there are two keys to creating an Ultralight Backpacking system that have nothing to do with buying light weight gear!

The first key is that I need to focus on reducing the weight of my whole backpack, not just the weight of each separate piece of gear. The gear I carry is a system, and each piece of gear should be optimized to work with that system. In order to do this, most of my gear should be designed to perform multiple functions. This is an important way to save weight.

The second key is that I have to develop ultralight backpacking skills. This includes knowing what gear I can do without and knowing how to do more with the gear I do carry. This is not about sacrificing comfort! It’s about learning how to stay comfortable with less.

Still wondering if it’s worth it to make the shift to ultralight backpacking? Read this interview with a traditional backpacker who has traded his heavy pack for an ultralight backpacking system.

Here are some examples of the kinds of integrated gear that Ultralight Outfitters has designed, and the kinds of ultralight backpacking skills we teach.

Our Poncho Tent is both a Tent and a Poncho.

The poncho will keep you and your pack dry while walking in the rain, and the tent is all you need to keep the rain out at night. It is lighter than you could ever get with a separate tent, raincoat and backpack cover, but it needs some extra skills and tips to get the most out of it. The instructions teach you how to find the best places to pitch the tent, the best knots to tie it up with, the best place to carry it in your pack so it is handy as a poncho, and the best way to dry your poncho while walking after it rains.


Our Beer Can Stove and cook pot fit together to create an insulated drinking mug.

Together, they provide everything you need to cook and serve hot food…. all in one. The instructions teach you how to cook with the stove and how best to pack it up, but there is much more to cooking and ultralight backpacking. On our blog pages, we’re building an ever-expanding resource of food ideas, recipes, tips on meal planning and ways to make shopping easier. There are stories on how this ultralight cooking system works when camping with kids and teens. (They love it, and it’s educational.)

The two keys to ultralight backpacking are just this simple. Use well-designed Ultralight Outfitters backpacking gear that works together in a system, and learn the skills to stay comfortable and safe with your gear.

Never Going Back to a Heavy Backpack
Rob Interviews Dean, an Experienced Backpacker

Now, get a closer look at where exactly Ultralight Outfitters backpacking saves weight.