Hike further and stay longer with less weight to carry!
Once upon a time avid hikers were expected to lug tens of pounds on their backs as they traversed the near infinite trails that Colorado has to offer. Things have drastically changed in the last few years, and a new movement — ultralight hiking — has emerged. Even if you aren’t hyper-focused on reducing every ounce of weight, the lightweight gear offered these days can help alleviate the weight on your back, lessening the aches the next day. Many lightweight-hiking enthusiasts try to get their total pack weight under 15 pounds, but to be that efficient and also have high-quality gear takes some research. Here are our top suggestions for starting your lighter journey.
Backpack – Osprey Talon Series
Gone are the days of the 25-pound empty backpack. Osprey Talon backpacks with their lightweight frame and the ability to add a water pouch offer flexibility for long hikes, overnight trips, and backcountry exploration. If you like to travel, multiple pockets and zippered pouches are perfect for keeping items safe in transit. Talon not the right backpack for you? Use the Pack Finder tool on their website to customize what you’re looking for.
Tent – Gossamer Gear The One
Shelter is the most important part of survival, but who knew a tent and associated gear could weigh under two pounds? The One by Gossamer Gear is the ideal tent for your ultralight pack. Its minimalist design lets you pack more essentials like water, food, and tools as you hit the trails. While “ultralight” often means compromised headroom for tall people, this tent’s interior has plenty of room to sleep and stand — something not found in every tent option out there.
Water – Sawyer MINI Water Filter
One of the quickest ways to reduce weight is to dump out the water. Of course water is also the most crucial element to survival other than shelter, so a perfect compromise of weight and preparedness is the Sawyer MINIwater filter. You can use the filtration system to drink from just about any body of water you encounter on your path. Weighing only two ounces, this device lets you greatly expand the range of your travels as long as water can be found on the trail — typically not a problem for hikes in the Rockies.
Sleeping Bag – Revelation Sleeping Quilt
With the heaviest options coming in under three pounds, these sleeping bags are great for staying insulated while also keeping it light. Rated to keep you warm in temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit, these bags are well suited for the freezing temperatures often encountered year round at higher altitudes. They offer plenty of custom options including the amount of down fill for warmth and the size for a better fit.
GPS – Garmin inReach Mini
Electronics absolutely have their place in the wilderness, and the Garmin inReach Mini is the perfect example. No hiker is adequately prepared without their mapping system and rescue options. Garmin has been the gold standard for handheld GPS systems for a while now for good reason. They are incredibly reliable, don’t weigh that much, and offer features like map plotting, location sharing, and GPS messaging that will work even when cell reception is non-existent (satellite subscription required).