Chasing Ten With Samuel Martin
How long have you been going light?
What’s the base weight of your pack before adding consumables like food and fuel?
Beyond the “The Ten” items, what other kinds of gear do you make room for, and why?
As a commercial photographer, I always make room for a camera body and one or two lenses. Going light on other pieces of gear lets me take this weight penalty without issue.
Are you currently forgoing any of the ten pieces? Why?
I often will not carry a stove on trips, opting to go for cold dinners and easy to eat foods. This fits my style of hiking well and changes things up. When I do carry a stove, it's generally a simple MSR Pocket Rocket with a Snow Peak 450 ml cup. I also rarely carry a knife on my backpacking trips. I've found little need for one, so I leave it at home more often than not.
What has achieving this low base weight done for your trips outdoors? How has it impacted the way you travel?
When I was introduced to backpacking, I carried a 50 lb pack into the wilderness on my first trip. I loved everything about it except for my pack weight and knew there had to be a better way. The journey to lowering my pack weight forced me to consider every item I placed in my pack and put a premium on comfort on trail. There is beauty in simplicity, and by lowering my base weight, I find that I enjoy my days on trail more and have far less concern for the climbs and descent when I am able to focus on enjoying the landscapes.