The fastest way to lighten your pack is to leave stuff at home.
Next look carefully at your important big items. Think hard about hour pack, sleeping bag, tent and pad.
I have gotten older so now I carry a tarp, down bag, new fangled light pad, and a ULA pack that weighs under 2.5 pounds. Lighter equipment has kept me out there to age 70. Now I have some heart issues, somy backpacking career may be coming to an end after 60 years.
This whole thread has been really interesting and informative. I've been fighting with self for years every time I prepare for tripping. I'm at it today as I pack for a seven-day canoe trip into Haliburton. Do I need this? How many should I really be taking? Do I really need this? Oh, ya, I already said that - then again I say that numerous times and debate within my head again and again.
I'm with "Roybrew" - luvs to hear some of those stories "ppine" - it might be good to put them to paper for posterity sake. It's really great to have met you on this site. You're one of the pros.
Wow thanks you guys. I really like the people around here. Always have. Much less attitude than most places.
A quick story about backpacking in the Cascades. When I went of forestry school in Seattle at UW, I used to head out with my dog for 3 days or so just for mental health trips and to look at forests. I would often hitch hike back in the 1970s so I could go in a loop and come at different places than where I went in. Quickly the drier East Side pine forests started to have a lot of appeal. There were no permits in those days. I took my dog into the Enchanted Lakes Basin where we camped right at treeline during the full moon. I rolled out with no tent to watch the sky. Lying there with my dog Blue, a collie, we watched the Northern Lights and the shadows of the full moon dancing. That was almost 50 years ago, but I remember it like it was last Tuesday.
Luvs the account "ppine"- ya didn't see me, but as I read your account I sort of drifted off in my memory to a time I spent at Lake Louisa in Algonquin. I was camping out with my dog Blazer [a golden retriever] and a buddy from my university days. In the distance, we could hear the distinct wail of a Loon, that haunting call that Loons give back and forth to figure out each other's location. I rounded out the sand on a deserted beach to match my body shape and placed a towel down to ward of the damp. I gazed up into the heavens to look at the moon as if I had never seen it before. Blazer nuzzled up beside me and went to sleep.
Who would ever think a simple act so long ago would be cherished as if it happened yesterday.
I'm ready for our enhanced trip this year from August 10th to the 28th. I'll toast you "ppine," at a crackling campfire, with a smooth glass of Manischewitz. Unfortunately, the full moon will have occurred on the 3rd.
It is worth traveling to the North woods just to hear the loons. They are mesmerizing. I like to fish in the fall in the Sierras, and we often have at least one or two common loons resting during migration. They remind of those days long ago on the MN/Ont border paddling the old fur trade routes and talking with a French accent. Merci mon ami.