My ultra-lite gear is used to death. My favorite pack is so worn that when I try to sew up the holes, the fabric comes apart in my hands.
It's been a funny progression.
When I started long distance hiking, I bought all of this heavy gear that I thought I needed while I was still figuring things out. Big packs with big frames, a tent whose rainfly weighs more than my entire current shelter, too many clothes, too many things in general. Those items got shoved into the back of my closet and forgotten as I replaced them with a lighter, simpler kit.
The pinnacle of my ultra-lite ways was back in 2008 on the Pacific Crest Trail. My tarp was small enough that I could stuff it into the water bottle pocket of my Jam II pack. My Thermarest served as a frame for my pack. I had a down quilt instead of a sleeping bag (I was pretty freezing most nights but it sure was light!) My ground cloth was a delicate piece of plastic and my cold weather options consisted of a raincoat.
Most of the gear lasted for years but since then, as different items wore out, I slowly began replacing them with my original, heavier purchases. It seemed silly to buy something new when I already had a slightly different (heavier) version. This fall as I headed off to Sweden to hike Kungsleden, I found myself packing gear a little too close to what I was using at the heavy beginning of my hiking career. I had to laugh at that.
. . .
Now that I'm starting my blog fresh on the main page of my site, I thought I'd begin by posting entries from this summers' adventures starting with Kungsleden as well as weekly thoughts on things you can do right now to help the earth.