Adrenaline junkies are ready to step out for adventurous camping trips this summer. However, oftentimes, they have bulky luggage holding them back. So, this summer, go ultralight. Keep in mind that going ultralight does not always mean buying expensive stuff. Sometimes, it also comes down to the decisions you make regarding your essentials. These five backpacker-tested pointers will help you cut down on your weight effectively, without spending a penny.
Ditch the Sleeping Bag
Usually, thinking of it as an investment, people tend to buy bulky sleeping bags that, while working throughout the year, also add major weight. So, to take care of things without having to shell out your pockets, the most preferable way to go would be with an insulated camp blanket. Draftier than quilts, down or synthetic blankets are warm enough and light, making them perfect for summer nights. The snaps and drawstrings let you have protection as well as comfort anywhere in the world in any given setting. You can pack yourself in on brisker nights while letting it unfold in order to share it with a partner.
Ditch the Tent
The tent is most probably the heaviest gear in a backpacker’s kit. However, it is your only shelter, so leaving it behind altogether needs proper thought. If this is your first venture into the trekking or hiking game, it would be best to start out with the desert, with fewer surprises. If you are uncertain about the weather conditions being on either extreme, it’s always wise to pack a space blanket or a tarp to stay safe.
Ditch the Stove
Packing pre-cooked food is one thing backpackers think might work, but ultimately ends up giving them a bad experience. So, the best and most hassle-free way to go is to stick with properly and thoroughly planned menus that are designed to eat cold. While you might want to end a long day with a warm bowl of mac and cheese, try easing your way in during the summer expeditions. This is because, in the summer, one’s appetite is generally lower, eliminating the need to lug around that bulk stove that is a requisite for winter trips. Plan out your meals with food that can bring you the same comfort and support that warm meals can.
Take Longer Days
Longer days, with more hours of daylight, can help lighten your backpack significantly. During such days, you can cover more miles, making your trip shorter, and likewise, your need to carry more things and food items will decrease. Even those who like to take their own sweet time throughout the day can benefit from the increased daylight hours from the season. The key is to time their meals for the day as the temperatures go up. Have a hearty meal, then go on about the day, hiking through dinner, snacking, and then finally locating a rest stop for the night.
Berkshires in Massachusetts, New England draw millions of nature lovers each fall when the scenic allure of the area reaches its peak. With the fall foliage of hardwood forests turning amber and gold, Berkshires has long been an indisputable destination for meditative walks. Now, a new route across the region’s spine is going to transform this into a hiking trail, like an American spin on the popular European-style walking holiday. Named the High Road, this hiking trail is going to connect travelers to the leafy towns of Massachusetts for nature therapy, with stops at cozy inns full of creature comforts.
The High Road Project
Once completed, the High Road hiking trail will offer travelers direct access to conservation lands and wildlife preserves. This New England town-to-trails pathway will also include charming mountain towns like Lenox and Great Barrington. Unlike traditional hikes, which usually require putting up tents and carrying heavy backpacks, the travelers on this trail would be able to refuel at local eateries and enjoy cozy comforts at night in local inns and B&Bs.
According to Deanna Oliveri, the project manager with BNRC, or Berkshires Natural Resources Council, this High Road project possesses two main ideas – showcasing nature like the European interconnected walking tours, and more access to the pristine conservation lands of the region. Oliveri explained that this New England trail focuses on rekindling the ancient tradition of pilgrimage routes, adding a more modern goal of improving public access to the outdoors.
The Lenox-Pittsfield Trail
The new route of High Road will contain seven or eight 10-mile pathway segments, running from north to south through the mountains and their resident communities. Currently, only one segment is open for travelers with two trailheads. One of them is at the Kripalu Yoga Center campus in Lenox and the other is at the Bousquet Mountain Ski Resort in Pittsfield. The central attraction of this section is the Yokun Ridge, a hulking foundation of conjoined mountain peaks, thick with a scenic and diverse array of boreal and deciduous forests.
Along the route, Lenox Mountain is the highest point, offering panoramic views of idyllic farms, natural ponds, and the neighboring Taconic Range of New York. The Mahanna Cobble viewpoint overlooks the Bousquet Mountain trailhead revealing pristine expansive woodlands. Mount Greylock, the tallest mountain in this New England region, offers a stunning view of the region’s iconic fall colors. At both ends of the route, Lenox and Pittsfield towns welcome hikers with cozy comfort and decadent delicacies in their Queen Ann cottages and flowering patios.