Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

Super lightweight backpacking

Posted by Frum Hiker on July 14, 2010

After a recent 3 day backpacking trip to Yosemite, I realized the joys of packing less. For years I have struggled with what I would call “into the wild syndrome” in which I pack everything and more because I think that extra fleece or battery is going to save my life. Ever since buying my smaller pack an Osprey Atmos 65 I have been able to go longer with less.

Small packs force you to take less, if I go into the woods for less than 3 days, I leave my stove and fuel at home. I rarely take a fleece, just a long sleeve wick shirt and I just recently purchased my first solo tent, an REI quarter dome which weighs just under 3 pounds, but since it’s freestanding you never need the spikes and since it’s the summer you never need the raingfly, without those items I would estimate the tent is closer to a pound and it’s super small and is high enough to sit up in.

As for food, I have been packing in a lot of nuts, dried fruits and energy bars, but could always use ideas on lighter foods, sometimes I take a loaf of bread and small almond butter packets. I have figured that the lightest grain is Israeli couscous or orzo. Trader Hoes has a good mixed bad of it and it’s kosher.
I do have a titanium cookset on my wishlist and have been figuring on getting a lighter bag for the summer months, right now my bag is over 2 pounds and rated to 25 degrees.

This past Thursday night I hiked the Pine Ridge Trail to the Coast Ridge Road where I camped and then hiked out the next day, it was super quick and light and awesome to be able to cover so much ground in so little time, on a weeknight in which I was at work the whole day no less. Will keep you posted on more adventures.

Oh and you all should visit my friend’s website for a unique Jewish Gift

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2 Responses to “Super lightweight backpacking”

  1. The lightest food is freeze-dried food, since water is heavy and f-d food has none. I don’t how easily available kosher f-d food is, but you should check. You’d be amazed how many calories per ounce you get with f-d.

  2. Edward Berg said

    While I’m not a frum Jew (I’m Conservative) but I love backpacking and encourage you to check out Whiteblaze.com. There are some great backpacking tips there. To second the other reply, while I know of no commercially available kosher freeze dried food, many backpackers have been purchasing dehydrators to dehydrate food the prepare themselves. This would provide you with hot kosher meals at just ounces a serving. Depending on where you’re hiking, if you sometimes encounter trails with no level ground, a camping hammock such as Hennessy Hamocks (hennessyhammocks.com) is a great alternative. I love mine as it not only keeps me off the ground when it rains, you can set up any where there are two trees, and most importantly they are very comfortable. You just want to make sure you have insulation underneath you or the hammock. I find there is no better way to enjoy G-d’s creation then out on the trail. Either way, enjoy the trail and “Hike your own hike.”

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