I started this ultralightbackpacking website, in 2002, now, thankfully, widely imitated.
I was inspired to model this website after the Southwest Ultralight Backpacking website and to spend my first winter in the american southwest desert.
In spite of the fact I was entirely unfamiliar with anything different from the Pacific Northwest and Montana, I found out I could be reasonably well prepared and well-equipped.
My background includes family camping, since childhood.
I also accompanied my dad for his outdoor photography hobby.
My dad loved canoeing and we had an Old Town wood and canvas Trapper canoe. I got to paddle in front.
My kayak is an Old Town Loon 138, that has a canoe hull. I like it.
I took up mountaineering, at the encouragement of a teacher. My second year, I was a rope leader. I was 15 years old. My involvement with mountaineering brought me to Mountain Rescue. I was trained by George Martin and his associates.
He and his friends with him had also trained Lou and Jim Whittaker.
While I was in the U.S. Army, the only wilderness at hand was on San Francisco Bay and ocean. I was crew on Bold Flight, a Newport 30, winning the YRA Division R Season Championship, in 1974.
In addition, I took up bicycling, solo hiking, solo camping and solo kayaking.
There has been quite some change since I got my start hiking and family camping in the 1950's.
First, I had worn old clothes. Next, hand-me-down boy scout pants and packs. Then, army surplus and Filsons.
Finally, my real introduction to specialized clothing and gear was the REI, Pike Street store. I got Raichle boots, an ice axe, rucksack and a British ventile cloth mountaineering jacket.
I knew immediately this equipment and this clothing was better suited to our trips in the mountains.
I remember my first lightweight backpacking effort.
I removed the canvas sack from the wood and rope frame on a pack for boy scouts, carrying all the 10 essentials including extra clothing and extra food in that little canvas packsack for our Mt. Townsend summit trip on snow.
I was "challenged". I dumped out everything right there on the trail. Everything was inspected, by one and all. After that, no one challenged my pack.
I remember I had worn knee high insulated packs for footwear.
I have had more and more comfortable and practical clothing and gear since.
For one thing, now, I don't have hand-me-down clothing and gear. For another, there are very nice things to choose from.
How did I choose? I provide all the detail of clothing and gear choices. I share all that experience and information with you.
Here is my gear, now.