The morphic resonances of the bloggersphere never cease to amaze me. Just as the American Bushman was posting ‘unloading superfluous gear’ BoB and I were having a conversation along similar lines. As well as using his visit as an opportunity to give me the Opinels he told me the location of a long-time-no-see Trangia stove that he didn’t have a need for. As things do, the conversation rambled round to talking about the lightening the load, travelling with as little kit as possible, while still having everything you need to look after yourself. I showed BoB the amazing Anti Gravity Gear site and the caldera stove system, which is basically a Trangia that’s been seriously slimmed down.
BoB said he’d seen an article from the 1950’s where guys going on a climbing expedition carrying framed rucksacks had wielded up the holes in the frames, enabling them to use their frames as fuel bottles.
As even the most cursory look at the scouting and hunting technologies of the first nations shows, the need-for-speed in backcountry travel is as old as backcountry travel itself. Saxton Pope took instruction from Ishi’s in the art and science of travelling light.
‘In our early training with Ishi, the Indian, he taught us to look before he taught us to shoot. "Little bit walk, too much look," was his motto. The roving eye and the light step are the signs of the forest voyageur.
The ideal way for an archer to travel is to carry on his shoulders a knapsack containing a light sleeping bag and enough food to last him a week.....This will weigh less than ten pounds. With other minor appurtenances in the ditty bag, including an arrow-repairing kit, one's burden is less than twenty pounds, an easy load...... If you have a dog, make him carry his own dry meal in little saddle-bags on his back...
Nessmuk was also an early devotee, taking it as a focus in the classic Woodcraft and Camping.
While I was looking for a downloadable copy Nessmuks book for you I found Nessmuking, a site about super lightweight canoeing with this interesting ‘gear list’ challenge.
How light can you get a 35-day pack?
Last word goes to Mors Kochanski
"The more you know, the less you carry."