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Tips: Packing

Finding the right balance between ultra-light and uber prepared is something that even the best outdoorsmen struggle with.  On one hand, you have superior comfort because of a light weight pack.  But on the other, you sleep rest assured that nothing will happen that you aren’t prepared for.  So here’s how to get the best of both worlds with my go-to pack list.*

  • Lightweight and breathable rain jacket
  • Down sweater/jacket
  • Warm hat
  • Wool socks for in camp
  • Camp shoes
  • One pair of quick drying shorts
  • One quick drying shirt
  • One pair of underwear
  • One pair of hiking socks
  • Rain pants
  • Tent (poles, fly, stakes, and footprint)
  • Stove and enough fuel to last two days longer than you plan to be out
  • Toiletries (miniature is better)
  • Headlamp
  • Cooking supplies
  • Pack cover
  • Rope

An uncomfortable pack can result in not only an excruciating painful trip, but also an unsafe trip too.  Weight balance and distribution help keep you pack floating comfortably on your body. This is a diagram for weight distribution throughout your pack.

Keep small things such as sunscreen, water filter, GPS, chapstick, headlamp, etc. in your brain for easy access.  Pack your rain jacket and pack cover on top or at your fingertips so that you can grab them in seconds.

*Keep in mind that this is how I would pack for summer backpacking in Colorado averaging at about 9-11,000 feet in elevation.  Time of year, location, and elevation all play key rolls in temperature and weather.  Check local weather reports before you leave.

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