Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take.


The Blissful Hiker does it: packed weight under 15 pounds!

Her packed weight (weight minus water, food and fuel which is called variable weight) for five months on the Te Araroa is under 15 pounds and she’s still taking professional audio gear. Praise the ultralight gods, and all my engineering pals at Minnesota Public Radio.

I want to give a big thank you to Granite Gear, La Sportiva, Tarptent, Leki, Balega, SawyerWestern Mountaineering and Midwest Mountaineering for supporting me. I’m grateful to advocate for these fabulous companies while I give their gear a major league workout on the trail.

And also a huge thank you to John Reamer and Associates for supporting the making of my audio narratives.


  1. Terrible Ted

    I think that the list great – really nicely laid out and very informative….I actually love such a list as it has everything needed under one roof and the equipment is easy to find by clicking the link (have already started doing so!). A weight column might be good for your international readers.

    And what a great choice of gear – it can’t get better or lighter?

    Great job!!

    • alison young

      That’s a fantastic idea! We’ll get weight in grams up later today. Stay tuned and thanks for following! Super excited to have pulled it all together leaving me plenty of room to carry more food! 🙂

    • alison young

      Weights in grams is live now at the gear list Hope it helps! Let me know what you put on your back!

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