Resources on long-distance and ultra-light hiking.

Where I started:

  • Trail Life by Ray Jardine (the most cited ultra light guru): he outlines his approach to long-distance hiking, the equipment he and his wife make and use, their techniques from the very basic to the more advanced, and the philosophy behind it all. Highly recommended even if you don’t follow all his methods. Some people find him arrogant. I’m glad he is confident in what he believes. And if you think he’s arrogant, you should wonder why you are so defensive…
  • Hiking Light Handbook is a primer by Backpacking Magizine. Recommended to me by the staff at Next Adventure in Portland when I asked about getting into lightweight and getting a go-lite bag. I wish I would have bought Trail Life first. I would browse this one at REI for inspiration, and then order trail life and start reading blogs.
  • Blogs: will post more of these as I go. Check out Hiking in Finland, especially the weekly updates, for lots of links to get you started.
  • Websites: will post more of these as I go. Backpacking Light is a great place to start, but much of the content is pay only (and I have yet to subscribe). The forums are great, especially the gear swap
  • Stuff: Check out light weight gear makers, see what’s out there (and at what price) before you go to another REI Anniversary Sale (guilty as charged). Try MLD and Gossamer Gear to get started.
  • Gear Lists: See what people are actually packing. Inspiring and challenging. See Chris’s for a great walk through of what he carries and why.

Got a source you love, share it in the comments!


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