Lightweight and Ultralightweight Backpacking

The View from Here

Panoramic view from a mountain top in Glacier National Park, Montana

Packing for special interests


You may like to carry a DSLR camera outfit.

I like to carry a smaller point-and-shoot with 10X optical zoom lens, or more, just so the mountains look life-size. I do not recommend digital zoom, because the digital images are so often degraded by the digital zoom.

I have selected a small camera that will do it all, including video.

There are also very small handheld videocams, that will also do still photography.

Some digital cameras and videocams have GPS so you can upload your photos to a Google map track of your trip, if you like.


I also recommend a waist pack to support a soft rucksack, for example. In this way, the notebooks for birding are more readily accessible.

I like waistpacks, lumbar packs, and the like because I can also pull it around front.

I have a BAK-4 monocular I like very much.

If I carry binoculars, I like to carry my binoculars using an elastic strap chest harness like that used for navigation around the buoys on sailboats.

Amateur radio

I always carry my minmum overnight backpacking gear for safety. It is a good practice.

Here is how I have made it all reasonably lightweight.

I have acquired a Yaesu FT-817ND all-mode transceiver radio to fit more easily in my backpack.

I have installed and carry an extra LiFePO battery-pack, that will fit into a warm pocket. I also want to have a 20-watt flexible solar panel for at the campsite.

I might acquire a reasonably lightweight Super Radio SS-301 or the Magnum 1012 Handheld HF 10 Meter HAM Radio.

However, I am more than content with my TJ2B MK2. It is a four band HF transceiver plus all band SWL "trail-friendly radio".

No matter what radio transceiver I have selected, I only have to concern myself with the antenna.

I like to work out the optimum portable antenna for my location and for the operating band width, based on propagation.

I particularly like that I need to be in tune with the fact the propagation conditions change. I also enjoy having to accomodate the weather and any relevant weather systems.

As far as I am concerned, it is all part of having a good time.

Packing up

I can use any backpack when I am carrying these items, because I make selections that are lightweight.

I loosely pack some high volume item, down jacket, half bag, or the like, with all the more lumpy photography, birding or amateur radio gear in "stuff sacks" nestled inside.

I have carried the coax and wire for my amateur radio antennas in stuff sacks in the outside pockets to avoid tearing mt backpack or any extra clothing I carried, or, worse, tearing my down sleeping quilt or down sleeping bag.

If windblown dust may be a factor, I use roll-top waterproof bags or waterproof zipper bags stored away well inside my pack. If I want to do photography in a wind-driven dust environment, I use the Aquapac soft camera bag designed for immersion under water.

In pleasant weather, I use my Lowepro Inverse 200 AW camera bag for the amateur radio gear and have the bottem of a small or medium-size backpack rest on top.


copyright © 2017 Connie Dodson. All Rights Reserved.