ArticlesPersonal EssaysThe Lightweight Philosophy

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Adding a ritual to the beginning of a paddling trip helps create a break from our normal life, which helps to enrich both our experience of the trip and our “real” lives after. After months of planning, organizing, packing and traveling, the start of a paddling trip is a relief. The instant of push-off removes […]

ArticlesTent BoundThe Lightweight Philosophy

A kayak and an expanse of Lake Superior at sunset.

A trend in ultralight-speak is defining “simplicity” and its meaning within the context of personal relationships with wilderness travel. A couple of examples: Ryan Jordan writes on his blog about Wilderness Simplicity, Flexibility, and Power: I love Brent Simmon’s recent post about flexibility and power in the context of iOS Apps, and especially, his brilliant […]

The Lightweight Philosophy

Skin-on-frame kayak and kayaker ready to hunt.

In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold argues cultural values make and feed a healthy culture. For outdoor sports, he outlines three types of experiential values that provide nutrition to the sporting culture. These values apply to the modern lightweight movement as well as they do to the hook-and-bullet sports he writes about. Awareness and […]

The Lightweight Philosophy

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Back in 2004, I wrote an article called Nessmuking: A Return to Simple. In it I argued about the need to emphasize skills over equipment in the lightweight movement, because if you have the skills to survive in the wilderness, you can carry less and travel more simply. The argument continued that enjoyment is increased […]

ArticlesTechniqueThe Lightweight Philosophy

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Most paddlers would sit up and listen when told they could actually travel the same distance without working any harder in less time. They’d lean in much closer when told that there was a secret that could allow them to travel an additional 24 miles in a ten day trip without any additional hours on the water, and most would be surprised to learn the secret is actually simple. Learn the secret in this article.