The Philosophy of Going Light, Part III, is part of our Stripped Down Series
Photo courtesy of HikingVentures.com. Sarek National Park, Sweden, Packrafting.
By Max Neale
Though going light doesn’t mean just buying lightweight gear, this is still key to your safe and fun adventure. The two most important things to consider when buying high-quality gear are adaptability and durability. Maximize your return on investment by buying a few very good products that are multi-useful and sturdy.
Adaptability is the capacity of a product to adjust to a wide range of activities and/or environmental conditions. Gear that is adaptable is a good value because one single item can perform many different roles. Adaptability is a key component of Hyperlite Mountain Gear product design. For example, our Southwest ultralight backpack performs very well for all types of backpacking and also for high altitude mountaineering at very high altitudes, such as on K2 or Mount Everest. Another example is our UltaMid Cuben Fiber shelter, a four-season fortress for everything from summer backpacking to ski touring, to basecamp cook tent.
Durability is the second most important component of high quality outdoor gear because:
- The best value products are those that last the longest;
- Durability equals dependability.
Having something fail out in the backcountry sucks and can be dangerous. Durability should be a key consideration for any company or individual making gear. For example, at Hyperlite Mountain Gear, we choose materials that strike the ideal balance between weight savings and longevity. For example, though still very light, our shelters are made out of a more durable Cuben Fiber than some of our competitors. So while they may be slightly heavier, they are more burly. We make great efforts to reinforce key areas, like the top of the UltaMid, the bottom of backpacks, and the tieouts on all shelters. We also offer products in different materials so that you can choose the optimal one for your needs.
In our next issue of Stripped Down we’ll explore why going light doesn’t mean freezing your butt off or putting yourself in dangerous positions.
We don’t recommend you regularly carry large logs on your back. Photo by Nick Truax