Ultralight Backpackers – Extreme Survivalists

Ultralight backpacking is an advanced style of backpacking. It emphasizes carrying the least amount of the lightest weight gear needed to survive. Often these backpackers carry no more than 10 pounds of gear, not including food. The simple lesson this sport teaches is how to survive on just a few essentials which in an emergency might also be a very useful set of skills. It’s worth mentioning that ultralight backpacking should not be attempted by inexperienced hikers. Learning these skills takes time and progressing toward a lighter and lighter pack is a very personal and careful process.

For those building bug-out bags and preparing for hard times or disasters, ultralight backpackers can be used as an extreme example of how little one needs to survive with the right skills and planning. Disaster preparedness requires additional items and considerations but the progress made in ultralight equipment and ultralight backpacking techniques combined with normal disaster preparations would make a powerful combination.

The three essential items that make up most of the weight are the backpack, sleeping system, and rain shelter. There are many ultralight backpacks on the market and the size you choose is dependent on the amount of stuff you carry. Sleeping systems can be ultralight sleeping bags or even sleeping quilts which cover the camper and rely on the insulated pad for bottom protection. Rain shelters are often simple tarps or bivy sacks instead of tents. Here are a few examples:

The remaining equipment usually includes:

  • Ultralight Alcohol Stove, Fuel & Lighter
  • Spoon (no mess kit)
  • Lightweight Hiking Shoes
  • Lightweight Clothes (minimal quantity)
  • Balaclava
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Ultralight Knife or Leatherman
  • Chemical Water Treatment Tablets
  • Ultralight Water Bottles
  • Tiny LED Flashlight
  • Infant Tooth Brush
  • Food

Here is more information on ultralight backpacking:

3 thoughts on “Ultralight Backpackers – Extreme Survivalists

  1. Yes those ultralight backpackers r the pros..used to get backpacking mags from walmart and those guys could do some serious miles..but on the other hand..the ultralight equipment is fairly exspensive compared to regular stuff I take camping.. and a bug out bag (to me) would be considerably more weight as I would take as much as I could carry because I wouldnt know how long I would have to live out of the bag ..then theres the protection dept ..aka guns and ammo I would take..I try to get food that would require little prep as possible…deviled ham and canned chicken..etc dried foods..but it sure would be a nice investment to get one of those ultralight stoves..as hot food would taste good this time of the yr in the woods (split pean soup with canned ham chunks)..good post

  2. Pingback: Michael’s Two Cents » Resolved to make Resolutions in 2009

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