Six ‘fast & light’ experts reveal the steps they take to keep their packweight down
Liz Thomas (pictured), holder of the record for the fastest women’s unsupported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
Top tip: “My general rule of thumb for packing light is to never have any of the Big Three of Big Four items (that’s my backpack, sleeping bag, shelter, and/or sleeping mat) weigh more than 1kg.”
Steve Birkinshaw, fastest person to complete a continuous round of the Wainwrights. He took in 214 mountains, covering 320-miles in six days and 13 hours.
Top tip: “Think what kit you need to stay safe and not what you would like to have. Secondly, water is very heavy to carry and if there are flowing streams on the route then fill up from them (and use a filter or purifier if unsure whether the water is safe for drinking).”
David Lintern, crossed Scotland this year by foot and packraft, taking in seven Munros along the way.
Top tip: “Carry only two sets of clothes: a sleep set and a day set. Also, use a light, well-fitting rucksack with fair capacity. We really are spoilt for choice now, there’s no need to buy a 2kg+ pack. The ‘recommended by the D of E’ list needs a little updating in my view.”
Steven Fallon, holder of the record for the most rounds of the Munros (15!)
Top tip: “Go as light as your budget will allow. There does seem to be an inverse relationship between cost and weight: the lighter the product, the more the cost. Probably the most extravagant thing I’ve ever bought was a Terra Nova Laser Ultra tent for a mountain marathon, it cost £800 and weighed under 700g, but we did do very well in the event. Some people talk about cutting your toothbrush in half to shed weight – I’d say, just don’t take one!”
Alan Hinkes, the first Briton to climb the world’s 14 mountains over 8000m.
Top tip: “Take only essential kit with you. When deciding what to pack, make sure you’re aware of your limitations and always assess the risks and what kit is necessary to cope with them.”
Will Renwick, TGO’s Staff Writer and the youngest person to walk around the 1034-mile perimeter of Wales.
Top tip: “Avoid having things on the outside of your bag. If you need to clip things on or stuff things into the straps then it’s likely you’re carrying too much. I feel a lot more agile when everything is stored nicely inside. I also put a bit of thought into the food I take, mainly existing on food such as couscous and dried noodles.”
Lead image by Grant Sible