Is the “lightweight backpacking” label dead, along with its UL, SUL, and XUL derivatives? I hope so.

Recent posts by Martin Rye, Dave Chenault, Mike Clelland, and Jaakko Heikka on the state and future of  “lightweight” and “ultralight” backpacking have given me the motivation — and a good opportunity — to dust off two related posts that I first drafted six months ago but that never went live. This is the first.

When I wrote the text for The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide in Spring/Summer 2011, I very intentionally refrained from describing it as a “lightweight backpacking” book and describing myself as a “lightweight backpacker.” I wiped these labels — along with their “ultralight” (UL), “super ultralight” (SUL) and “extreme-ultralight” (XUL) variations — from my guided trips and slideshows & clinics as well.

Why? Quite simply, they are ineffective and off-putting labels, due to their semantics and history:

1. I’m defined by why I “go,” not by my “lite” pack.

The LW/UL/SUL/XUL labels exclusively reference gear and supplies, as if they are the only things that matter. This focus is misguided: gear and supplies are means, not ends. As Ray Jardine wrote in Beyond Backpacking, “More important is our presence in the wilds: how we carry ourselves, how softly we move upon the landscape, how aware we are of the patterns of life around us and how we interact with them. I and many others both present and past refer to it as the Connection.”

I first realized the value of a lightweight load — and the liability of a heavy one — as I was plodding towards the summit of Georgia’s Springer Mountain to begin my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2002. My motivation to shed ballast was completely unrelated to the arbitrary 15-, 10-, 5-, and 3-pound thresholds that have come to define LW, UL, SUL, and XUL. Rather, I was motivated to experience the Connection that this hiking-inspired undertaking would afford.

Gear and supplies are means to an end, like reaching the remote south summit of Whorl Mountain in Yosemite National Park.

2. My success is more dependent on what I carry between my ears than what I carry on my back.

Again, the LW/UL/SUL/XUL labels give undue attention to gear and supplies, since in practice my skills are much more critical to my success or failure. This is especially true when carrying a stripped-down kit, which leaves me little room for human error.

Some skills are general, e.g. how to navigate, how to care for feet, how to plan a food menu, etc. Other skills relate to specific products: how to pitch a tarp,  how to cook with an alcohol stove, how to purify water, etc. Without these and other skills, I couldn’t even safely depart from the trailhead, even with the perfect LW/UL/SUL/XUL kit. So why are we using labels that patronize a relatively unimportant component in backpacking mastery?

3. If the goal is to be “lightweight,” isn’t UL, SUL, or XUL even better?

Sometimes, perhaps, but usually not, which is a counter-intuitive lesson for backpackers who get caught up in weight-driven pissing matches, online and/or on the trail. As I and many others have discovered, there is such thing as “stupid light,” whereby one’s safety, comfort, and trip objectives can be compromised by:

  1. Not carrying gear and supplies that are necessary given the conditions, and/or
  2. Carrying gear and supplies that are too light, i.e. insufficient functionality, durability, reliability, ease of use, versatility, or time efficiency.

4. “Lightweight” versus “heavy” is a false choice.

Backpackers should not be categorized by their pack weight, but by their objectives. Some backpackers are hiking-inspired (e.g. thru-hikers) and others are camping-inspired (e.g. NOLS groups); most backpackers are in between these two extremes. Every backpacker should have gear, supplies, and skills that are appropriate for their objectives, as well as for the conditions they will likely encounter. Loads should not be based on arbitrary base-weight thresholds and/or gear lists that do not account for local conditions.

Hiking-inspired backpackers must pack light (up to the boundary of “stupid light”) and travel efficiently, period, assuming they actually hope to enjoy their trip. Camping-inspired backpackers are free to carry the proverbial kitchen sink without consequence — they have no intention of hiking far with it, or of necessarily enjoying the hiking they do. Hiking-inspired backpackers cannot expect good results with camping-centric kits, and vice-versa — the tradeoffs of these differing styles is irrefutable.

I was in the midst of my hiking-inspired Great Western Loop trip when I met these two camping-inspired backpackers in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. Each group had the gear, supplies and skills that were appropriate for their trip objective — and we were both having fun.

5. To a first-time or beginner backpacker, or even to an intermediate, “lightweight” is intimidating.

Backpackers pack their fears. If they fear being hungry or thirsty, they pack extra food and water. If they fear being cold, they pack extra clothes and an overkill sleeping bag. If they fear being stuck at 14,000 feet in a blizzard, they pack a 4-season shelter, even if they are backpacking in Florida in July.

First-time and beginner backpackers, and even many intermediate backpackers, lack the personal experience to dismiss unfounded “what if” and “just in case” scenarios such as these. And therefore advice to adopt a “lightweight” approach is typically greeted with a resounding, “No way.” The LW/UL/SUL/XUL labels are too easily interpreted as: “not enough,” “not safe,” “not comfortable,” and “not fun.” It’s time for a re-brand.

6. Really? The marketing department thinks that [pack, sleeping bag, rain jacket, etc.] is “lightweight”?

Every backpacking product nowadays seems to be “lightweight” or lighter. The looseness with which these labels are applied reminds me of “breathability,” another term that was bastardized by marketing departments that didn’t know any better, or that didn’t care. In both cases, consumers lose: manufacturers and retailers fail to properly educate them on the optimal applications and important limitations of their gear and supplies. In the long term, that’s bad for the industry and for backpacking.

Screenshot from REI.com’s product page for the Osprey Aether 85 backpack. Describing a 5-lb 1-oz backpack (when it’s empty) as “lightweight” seems very generous to me. I hope that consumers know what they are actually buying.

29 Responses to Is the “lightweight backpacking” label dead, along with its UL, SUL, and XUL derivatives? I hope so.

  1. Basti October 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Interesting read considering the actual discussion about the term “ultralight” and “ultralight is death”. I agree, that calling something “ultralight” is mostly a marketing trick. When Ray Jardine wrote his books he neither called himself an ultralight hiker nor a minimalist. He called his style the “RayWay”.
    I don’t know who first came up with the term ultralight and invented weight related categories. (backpackinglight.com ? Or one from the cottage industry? Who knows…)
    One thing people use to forget is that when Ray presented his baseweight in his books he was referring to a single 3-season trip (PCT) and that his kit selection was focused on his needs. (That’s why he’s called it the RayWay and not StevesWay, AndrewsWay, BastisWay or EveryonesWay)
    Cosidering this it should be clear that other trips (e.g. four seasons mountaineering) need different gear (and probaply won’t fit into the sub 10oz zone). But the thinking behind the selection of the gear can be the same. (Focusing on ‘needs’ not on ‘wants’).
    I personally don’t have anything against the term ‘ultralight’ as for me it’s referring to a weight consious hiker who takes kit selection (in relation to a planned trip with requiremts due to environment, lenght, etc.) seriously. Thinking this way makes it similar to your ‘ultimate hiker’.
    Reffering to ‘ultralight’ as a max. 10oz baseweight always seemed a little bit strange to me. (In the beginning the 10oz referred just to a quite easy 3-season-trip with no requiremts for special gear!)
    Guess this is all arguing about a specific term or another. Ultralight is probaply not perfec (as it just focuses on the weight and not the trip), nor is ‘ultimate hiker’ (as history tells us there is no ‘ultimate’ as people will always find ways of getting better in what they do and ultimate just means that there will never be something better), nor is ‘RayWay’.
    I wonder if anyone will ever find a term that could 100% accurately describe what we do? Probaply Martin Rye is right when he states “we’re all backpackers in the end”.
    But then there are people who like categories and names to describe what differs them from others…

    • Korpijaakko October 24, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      “But the thinking behind the selection of the gear can be the same. (Focusing on ‘needs’ not on ‘wants’).”

      I’ve said that there is something bugging me in the UL ideaology/scene/what-ever. I don’t still know what it really is but the “needs vs. wants” is probably one thing.

      In reality it’s almost always about wants. Even for the most UL/SUL/XUL backpackers. We want to be comfortable, we want to feel self-confident, we want to go light. We want many things, and try to gear up accordingly. But in reality we need very little. One should be able to do a general weekend trip without any food, real shelter,cook kit or too much extra insulation. One can do even a week-long hike executing uncomfortable or hard tasks on the way without much kit and of course without any food. This is well proven on many survival courses. And if you practise you become betetr in it. Just like for example traveling with a tarp.

      But then we, as backpackers, say that that is wilderness survival, not backpacking and it’s a completely different thing! Well, I don’t really think so.

      To be honest with ourselves we should admit that it’s almot always about the wants. We want to do stuff and we choose kit accordingly, be it light or heavy.

  2. Justin Mc October 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Thanks for reminding us all what matters most Andrew, setting objectives, enjoying nature, and packing accordingly!

  3. Hikin' Jim October 24, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Hi, Andrew,

    I like the way that you put weight into perspective. This may sound odd, but the reason I bought your recent book is because I saw you used a liquid fueled stove for your Alaska – Yukon trip. I said to myself, now there’s a man who’s a pragmatist not a zealot. I therefore felt I could trust your judgement more and purchased your book.

    Alas, I fear that if we do away with labels like UL, SUL, etc, people will get into pissing contests about other things. But in the mean time, I continue to enjoy your more balanced approach to weight.

    HJ

    P.S. If you want a real hoot, I’ll send you a photo of me with an enormous pack from a weekend backpack in 2007 and a photo of me with my pack from this past weekend. I’ve shed about 15 pounds of gear. Weight, properly considered, isn’t an end unto itself, but it is still really important.

  4. Derek Hansen October 24, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    Andrew,

    Very salient and intriguing points. I must say that I feel a weight has been lifted that needed to be. Why does all this focus on lightweight for lightweight’s sake matter?

    I suppose that “going lightweight” could be termed a reason too. Surely, there are folks who aren’t really “hiking” or “camping” minded, but are gear junkies who enjoy the pissing match as the end goal. Suffering through a miserable trip has become the badge or proof of their success in being “stupid light.”

    But I shouldn’t be judgmental. I think that is one point you’re trying to make: to each his/her own. Hike your own hike!

    I’ve come to appreciate your very balanced and refreshing point of view. Like HJ, I continue to follow you because you strike a balance.

  5. Jorgen Johansson October 24, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    Completerly agree. I have always felt that grouping people according to the number of pounds they carry is both unnecessary and in fact counter-productive. It simply establishes a foundation for ‘us’ and ‘them’ among people who are fond of those kinds of divisions. Something the world could do with a lot less of.

    Of course what should guide your choice of gear is the purpose of your trip and the demands that the country you intend travelling puts on this. However, the main problem for many hikers IMHO is that they are hiker centric but carry camper centric equipment. This is not because of stupidity but because of lack of knowledge. So an important mission for lightpackers that are so inclined is simply to show that lightpacking works. Without pointing your finger and grinning in an ‘us-and-them’ manner of course ;-)

  6. Zach T October 24, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    I think you nailed it. “…not be categorized by their pack weight, but by their objectives.” Its all about the adventure, not what you carry on your back. What you carry with you should be whatever makes you safe and comfortable and successful for your trip. More often than not, less works best. Ironically, it works the same in life.

    so whats the next big trip going to be? (and no, im not really expecting you to let the cat out of the bag just yet)

  7. Allison Nadler October 24, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    As I gain experience, I find I have a need to upgrade some of my gear to help me reach my goals. When you begin with day hikes, but then start spending a night or two on the trail or winter hiking, lighter gear is essential, but it first must be able to do what you need in order for you to be successful.

    I have found your advice regarding “stupid light” gear really helpful and your packing lists have helped to steer me into the right direction when looking for quality items. Many retail stores use certain terms as a means to sell their product, but when you need to be comfortable on the trail, it ends up taking a lot of research to find gear that is the most useful. Thanks a lot for all your advice and dedication to this field!

  8. Michael French October 24, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    When I started reading your Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide, I thought it could be considered a book about “lightweight” hiking, but your approach is so balanced and reasonable that it made sense not to pigeon-hole it that way. What you are doing is shift the conversation, and that is good. I totally agree with with what you say in this post about “lightweight” being intimidating to new hikers and also its relative meaninglessness now that it has been co-opted by marketers. Hikers should have what they need, feel comfortable and prepared for what they can reasonably expect on the trail, that’s it. No more, no less. That’s a bit more nuanced and harder to attach a label to, but keep up the fight.

  9. Philip Werner October 24, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    I dropped lightweight backpacking from my blog title about a year ago because I became a lot more interested in the skills required to become a good hiker or backpacker rather than counting ounces or grams of gear weight. I’ve also been doing a *lot* of trips over the past 2 years that don’t fit into the AT/PCT mold where you can get by with lightweight kit. Bushwhacking, peakbagging, and winter mountaineering trips can benefit from lighter gear, but what matters most are the skills, judgement, and physical conditioning you need to develop to pull them off.

    Labels come and go. What matters is the hike and having fun. Let’s all focus on that and use trips as the context in which we talk about our skills, judgements, and gear choices. As Martin Rye has so clearly stated – most of the people who blab incessantly about UL or Lightweight Backpacking never go hiking or backpacking or very rarely.

    It starts with hiking trips – day hikes or overnights – lets bring that back as our main focus – and the rest follows as a discussion about why we brought what we did, based on the goals and conditions or our journeys. I know I’m preaching to the choir.

  10. Tommy October 24, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    This is your best blog post to date. Couldn’t agree more.

  11. Ryan October 24, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I’ve always kind of been a little put off by the UL-term (even from before I started going lighter), even though my backpacking group uses UL in it’s title and I also characterize myself as an UL backpacker. I think the term serves a purpose though, in the case of our backpacking group it is to distinguish us as “Ultimate Hikers” rather than “Ultimate Campers”, and that being conscious of weight, gear, and maximizing our time spent hiking as at least one of the primary focuses of our trips. You needn’t be an UL hiker or even lightweight hiker to join… Frequently I am not UL on the trail by the accepted weight-limit definition, which is fine by me, but I still concern myself with trying to keep my pack as light as I can for the trip, weather, etc that is expected.

    One thing I don’t frequently hear about within the community (not that I’m that attuned), is the law of diminishing returns with respect to pack load. I mean, going from a baseweight of 30lbs for a weekend trip to 15lbs is absolutely huge, and is easily achievable with some thought and without being a zealot. However, going from 15lbs to 10lbs probably isn’t going to make a significant difference in your performance/mileage/comfort on the trail, and is most likely negligible going from 10lbs to 8lbs. In the beginning the principles of lightweight and UL backpacking are game changers (IMO), but in the end, chasing weight for weight’s sake is really pretty pointless.

  12. Stephen October 24, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Doesn’t it all just boil down to being “efficient” for your situation…..

    Take Care Everyone

  13. terry tiedeman October 25, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I’ve been backpacking since I was 5 and now I’m 36. For the majority of that time I carried lots of heavy stuff and never even noticed the weight. I was just having tons of fun enjoying nature. About when I hit 30 I started having less fun because the weight was straining me. I looked into mainstream gear to try to help myself but it was very challenging trying to figure out what my options were for carrying less weight. I needed a tutorial. Slowly I talked with people and looked at websites and read books and it helped me so much. I am happy to have the term lightweight or ultralight because when I saw those words it was a signal that I had found some information about how to carry less weight. Now I’m back to having tons of fun again and I am much less likely to injure myself because my body is under much less strain. Thanks, Andrew and all the others who share their advise.

  14. Mike Clelland October 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I absolutely get what you are saying. That said, I have a book with ULTRALIGHT in all capital letters on the cover.

    I personally enjoy the nerdy aspects of ounce counting. That said, I feel that I also connect with the natural world in a very real way. I think it can be fun.

    I also have a lot of NOLS work under my belt, and I have carried a huge pack just because “that’s how it’s always done”

    Having done the two extremes, Lightweight camping is more wonderful and allows me to really and truly drink in nature. I am trying to redefine “traditional” camping.

    For instance, one of the most valuable things I have done with students (and other NOLS instructors) is to have them weigh each and every item they plan on taking into the mountains, and then put those numbers on a chart. This simple act can change a LOT in their mindset. It’s important to be able to look at those numbers.

    You are doing your trip prepping in an instinctual way. And I know you well enough o know you are focused on the numbers. You have enough experience that this happens unconsciously.

    When I say *It’s important to be able to look at those numbers* I mean to be aware, not to stress over them.

    peace from Driggs,
    Mike C!

    • Andrew Skurka October 26, 2012 at 8:28 am #

      Mike – We’re in more agreement than you think:

      1- NOLS groups are crossover backpackers, with a slant towards camping-inspired. They do quite a bit of hiking on their trips, and I suspect that their instructors and students would like to enjoy it. Unlike camping-inspired backpackers, who have a license to pack the kitchen sink and to completely disregard efficiency, crossover backpackers must still pack light and travel efficiently.

      2. NOLS groups are classic campers-by-default. There is very little institutional know-how about packing light or traveling efficiently. Hiking is therefore less enjoyable and more difficult than it needs to be, and their groups camp more than they might aspire to in order to avoid a suffer-fest. If I didn’t get so much business from NOLS (i.e. clients on my guided trips and readers of my book who were turned off by the NOLS way), I’d be more infuriated by their outdated and inferior instruction — it is an injustice to their students and the outdoor community.

  15. Martin Rye October 26, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    When I read some tips in Mikes book on BPL I dialled out of any interest in it. But then I watched his videos and warmed to his approach and how he was not putting others down but as I saw it just sharing his way. I warmed to that and got his book. I told people on twitter recently it’s a good book (he is an easy to read author and its enjoyable). Some tips wont appeal to me but its helpful. That is what we don’t want to lose in this discussion. The “UL” message might be unhelpful to many and me, but it has lead to some helpful insights into backpacking skill and I acknowledge that.

    I liked Mikes comment, I liked your post Andrew. I will admit my tone has been more harsh about the UL identity and aims at what I see as a dividing and not helping view now. Your point that all labels don’t help is even more to the point. I do like the discussion on camp focus kit selection and walking focus. Its very thought provoking and has me reflecting on it.

    I wrote about lighting up pack weight recently. Not about kit to get, nor weight limits. I also mentioned the very sensible approach by Jorgen in his excellent book (still reading yours btw) and there is a good focus happening for me on skills, fitness, self assessment of what we are seeking in the outdoors going on from here. Hopefully this will help people to develop: skills, fitness, and select kit they need for the aims of their trips to come and not go down the route of chasing a false outcome of a defined by someone else pack weight limit.

  16. David LaRue October 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Andrew,

    I have been putting together a presentation for our Boy Scout troop I am giving this coming Monday to a group which traditionally has been a heavyweight-backpacking group. When I started backpacking in the 80’s I carried a rucksack, a one-person pup tent with no floor, and was able to hike very comfortably. I too went though the gadget phase, and my pack weight went up, and my comfort went down. With the help of folks like you and Mike, and BPL, I now have what I refer in my presentation as “appropriate backpack weight.” I have spent a lot of time creating spreadsheets, weighing gear, agonizing over what should be in the most optimized gear list. While I don’t have the experience you have, I think we are coming to similar conclusions, especially when you are considering Scout safety, comfort and the hopefully favorable experience of getting outside on a trail to explore and enjoy nature (verses playing a video game for example). With Scouts we have the additional variable of the age, size, weight, and physical ability and maturity. When I put together the spreadsheets with Scout weight, shared crew gear, food, water, plus Philmont specific requirements, etc., against the industry definitions you speak of, they do not work. In addition, I need to factor in economics, safety, comfort, animal safe (from mini-bears & smellables), plus be durable, it is quiet a task. After taking in to account all of these factors on spreadsheets, I came to the conclusion that I was trying to solve the equation from the wrong direction. Rather than trying to solve for certain weight, I needed a checklist of the items a Scout has to have (varies by season and destination) with recommended target weights for each item, plus an overall maximum target weight regardless of the hiker’s weight. Then you go to a spreadsheet with a graduated table that compares Scout weight and total carry weight in percentages from
    10% to 23% (Philmont recommends a maximum of about 25-30%). The table is color coded with four colors: green – total target weight, blue is acceptable, yellow – caution, and red. The target is not a straight percentage, it is reduced for Scouts under 100 pounds. In addition, I created a shared trek spreadsheet that distributes this weight to larger more capable Scouts so that younger smaller Scouts are not disproportionally carrying a higher body weight percentage, or would have to purchase high-tech lightweight gear to compensate for the shared trek gear weight. This analysis really shows how the Troops have to be dedicated to weighing every shared crew item, and to invest in lightweight stoves, and especially lightweight tents. We just weighed my son’s pack for the upcoming backpacking trip, and it is 10 lbs, plus shared troop, and food, it will be about 15 lbs. which is about 18% and just in the green zone for his weight. Going a step further, I plan on teaching our Scouts LNT, and outdoor skills, which in turn they will be teaching to each other. I believe, in the end, regardless of the approach one takes, the final goal is to get to the “appropriate backpack weight” that is both safe and fun. Wish me luck with the presentation.

    • Liz Fallin December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi David,
      Are these spreadsheets available to share? I’m taking our Venturing Crew to Philmont in August, and we have a few first-timers (including one adult). Thanks!

  17. matthew November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    i am sixty five and have spent more time under the stars than some of these silly kids have been alive. chauvinist comment over. the bio lite stove is very good. quit whinning and use one… you might like it…darn good rig. matt

  18. Dave November 21, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Great article. Shed the labels and do what feels safe and right for yourself.

  19. Joshua Stacy December 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Andrew,

    Thank you for pointing out some of the absurdity and unfounded elitism that occurs as a result of these categories. This discussion is very reminiscent of an article I read by the famous ornithologist Kenn Kaufman. In this essay, Kaufman describes his developing relationship with “listing.” He went through stages of competition and a total obsession with the number of birds he saw. This obsession was later realized to be a stage in his growth. It was important piece of inspiration that drove him to intense study and to embark on great adventures. Later on, Kaufman realized that the number of species observed was not the end goal and began to look deeper into the behavior of these amazing creatures as well as his own quality of experience. I see great parallels to our current backpacking labeling system.

    When a beginning backpacker realizes that people can carry far less weight and have an even better quality of experience, that can be a huge inspiration. And having benchmarks can instill a sense of accomplishment. But of course, as the hiker gains more experience, they will better be able to assess the weight/quality of experience quotient with greater accuracy. With further maturity and experience, the value of the categories will be lost.

    Like you, I enjoy the challenge of seeing how far and fast I can travel, I love seeing how little I can live with and I believe that through these practices I can achieve a greater connection to myself, to others and to the land. I like to run experiments (in safe environments of course) to see how little I actually need to have a “good” experience. I have to admit that I have been inspired by SUL folk. They have made me curious to see what that experience is like. We could do away with the labels totally, but it would seem to make for more complicated discourse.

    I totally understand your discontent with the current system. I share much of your perspective. At your level of experience and proficiency I agree, there is no need for these categories. I also agree that the categories should be taken with a huge grain of salt. However, there does still seem to be some value in their use; as goals and as vague tools for comparison. Not competitive comparison but inspirational and thought-provoking comparison.

    Thank you for starting this discussion and I hope that it continues.

    -Joshua “Bobcat” Stacy

  20. Dan Kesterson July 23, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I like to be lightweight but I don’t consider myself extreme. When I did my first backpacking trip 3 years ago, my pack was 35 lbs. Now, I take mostly the same gear and it’s much closer to 20 lbs fully loaded. I appreciate a lighter load being easier on my back and shoulders. It gives me more time and energy to enjoy hiking outside.

    My latest “trick” is the GoLite Jam 35, which is big enough for an overnight trip but small enough to use on summit day as well. Without skurka, I’d probably still be using my old system.

    • Jeff August 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      What’s in a name? Ultralight, Extreme, Ultimate etc etc ad nauseum. So much of this is common sense and is not only trip specific but should be left entirely up to the individual what they want to subscribe to. I’m older so I carry lighter gear. Is lighter gear the end all-be all? No, of course not. It’s the journey! Both on the trail and everything you did to get there in whatever manner you choose. IMHO there’s validity in EVERY post w/o being judgmental. Just my thoughts for whatever they’re worth. Hope everyone’s journey is satisfying and enlightening. Thanks

  21. Jake Hutchins January 15, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    I recently saw this video and thought of your blog post. The video may be flagged, but its definitely not inappropriate. As a backpacker, I know you’ll get a kick out of it. Enjoy!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAtzN_ScKXY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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