I have recently started hiking again as my son is 10 and now ready for some more strenuous hikes.  The shorter hikes were starting to get too easy for him so we decided that he could take the next step and do some overnighters.  We just completed out first over night trip of 16 total miles out and back.  He was pretty fatigued on the way back so I had to lighten his load some by carrying all of the water and other items that were weighing him down some.  Well doing this for him also made it tougher on me.  I dont have a ton of money to throw around on expensive ultralight gear but I would like to know what are some of your hacks that you use to lighten your load. 

Here are some of the things that I already know I need to look into lighter options for:

2 person UL or SL tent

UL Down SLeeping bag

Lighter weight water system


The things that I am most interested in is how to shave a couple of ounces here and there with things like :




personal items



I hope to hear from a lot of you guys and gals about this as I am looking forward to showing my son some of the higher up places in colorado and new mexico in the coming years.






I'd say the best ultralight hack I've come up with is cooking using only a mug, spork, and mini stove for all meals.The real hack is that I wrapped the handles of the mug in some kind of non-conducting self-adhering tape I got from the HVAC section of the hardware store a long time ago. Sorry, I don't remember what it's called. This lets me grab the mug from the fire or the stove, so I don't need seperate pans, plates, bowls, etc. You can make mac'n cheese, dehydrated anything, soup, etc in it. Then you wipe it out and make some hot chocolate or tea.

I currently use a small, light MSR PocketRocket 2 (~$45) - but my father-in-law has one from amazon that similarly screws directly on the fuel he got for less than $20 that he loves and swears is a better product than mine.

I also currently use a Snow Peak Titanium mug (also ~$40). You might be able to get something else, but I've had no trouble with warping or anything and have used the mug directly on the heat source for years without issue. I also like the silicone hotlips you can put on it so you can drink from it while hot ($7 for 2). This mug is also big enough you could probably make enough hot water (or maybe even meal) for two, then split it with a second mug.

Hope this helps.



In terms of headlamps, there are lots of good lightweight/ultralight options like the petzl elite, which I use. Depending on your needs this can work great and does weigh a fraction of a typical light. Clothing can be tough, but using things like down for insulating layers works well, and limiting the clothing you bring is probably the best way to reduce weight. You can have a set of clothes that you wear while hiking, then a pair of long johns and a different shirt to sleep in, and that should still be relatively light. In terms of food, dehydrated is definitely the way to go, and for cheaper meals one can invest in a dehydrator and diy their own food. To cut weight on the cook system, one can also try out stoveless to see how that works, by using coldsoaking or other food prep methods.

Hope that helps!

"Not getting to the summit is not failure, it is an opportunity to go there again."
-Kilian Jornet-