Hikers get all the best stuff. In the camping stores their equipment is hidden behind locked glass. It’s always made from the rarest metals and incorporates the cleverest designs and it always looks the cutest.
2 person tent weighs 1kg - packs to 35cm x 10cm →
Hikers get knifes and forks that double as tent pegs, tent poles that turn into hiking poles and tiny, lightweight gas stoves that cook a complete baked dinner that came packaged in a bag as big as a toothpick holder.
Hikers get all this great gear as compensation for enduring agonizing, week long walks through hostile terrain with massive blisters under their titanium socks. They are compensated because when they finally collapse at night they get to cook on a micro stove that cost 500 bucks before passing out in an eight hundred dollar sleeping bag that doesn’t make the ground any softer.
One day when you have a little spare time and struggle to entertain yourself, go down to biggest camping-leisure-outdoor store you know of and spend an hour scrutinising, poking and testing the marvellous array of hi-tech gadgetry designed to minimize weight for backpackers and hikers.
Inside the hiking world lurks an even smaller world known as ultralight hiking. These people are like the little wooden Dutch dolls from the Netherlands – another world inside the next one. Ultralight Hikers buy things like Zeiss MiniQuick Monoculars for evaluating and seeing over distance. That’s right – they don’t even have room for 2 lenses, a proper pair of binoculars. Ultralight Hikers know that their sleeping bag weighs only 600 grams and that a Photon Micro Light weighs 7 grams. We came across a guy who aims to pack for a 5 day hike and keep his total equipment weight under 15kg, including 5 days food. Backpack weight – 13.86kg, clothing on his back – 1.04kg. -madness.
We discovered this magical, micro world in our quest to reduce overall vehicle weight, by only packing lightweight equipment for our extended camping forays. Although we own hiking boots, camelbaks and an assortment of equipment designed to make an outdoor stroll more comfortable, we don’t seriously consider ourselves to be dedicated bush walkers.
← A new moon landing pod or a hiking stove?
We are essentially campers and we like being comfortable in the bush and we enjoy proper, well cooked food with all the trimmings. We discovered a way to make proper European café style coffee on the road and we have a machine that creates instant gas hot water for showers. We have been scratching around in the Australian and African bush all our lives and the methods and equipment we use are decided upon from finely honed experience and a desire to maintain a reasonable level of creature comfort.
But, we can’t help gazing in wonder through the locked glass every time we visit an outdoor supplier and contemplate the joys of creating a tiny gourmet meal on a burner made from unobtanium before unrolling a specially woven hiking sock that doubles as a bed and going to sleep.
monoculars - for one-eyed hikers →
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