An Introduction to Backpacking

Backpacking is simply hiking that involves one or more nights spent camping out. If you enjoy hiking and the outdoors, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. The main obstacle of course is the gear and expense involved in making the experiment. You may have friends from whom you can borrow gear (and better yet go with). You may have camping gear that can be pressed into service (but be aware that you may enjoy it a lot more with lighter backpacking specific gear). You may be convinced already that you want to take the plunge.

These pages will hopefully be of use to the absolute beginner as well as the traditional backpacker making the transition to lightweight backpacking.

As I began to write this, I asked myself why I enjoy backpacking, what I enjoy about backpacking, why I do it, and even whether I enjoy it (clearly I do). This introspection will give you insight to what makes me tick (though I don't think I am all that unique). Above all, I enjoy being in the outdoors. I enjoy day hikes, and I also enjoy primitive "car camping". I came dangerously close to a career in geology because I thought it would be a way to earn a living working outdoors. If you don't think you would be put off by a bit of my own travelling down memory lane, you might want to read my:

My interest in backpacking has experienced a recent renaissance with the discovery of ultralight backpacking. I have done a lot of heavy weight "traditional" backpacking, but had begun to wonder if the suffering was worth it. Then I did a trip with some guys who were doing the ultralight thing and have never been the same. I will absolutely try to convince you that lightweight backpacking is the only game in town.
You may want to jump right into my:


Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's hiking pages / tom@mmto.org