What is Ultralight Hiking?

Ultraight hiking light and fast - foto instagram bsmxx__

In the world of mountaineering, there are now two groups known, namely conventional climbers who are loyal to large dwarfs above 50L and also UL (Ultralight) climbers who always carry bags and climbing equipment that are all light and concise.

Talking about ultralight climbers, we must first understand some of the principles that must be applied in becoming an ultralight climber. Because ultralight climbing is not only about climbing gear that is light and compact and multifunctional. It is true, but it turns out that this ultralight or ultralight hike has broader concepts and principles and is not just about equipment or gear.

So for that, we will discuss the concepts and principles of ultralight climbing or ultralight hiking. In order not to misunderstand that ultralight climbing must have ultralight gear that is light and comfortable to use and multifunctional, which costs an exorbitant amount of money.

History and Concept of Ultralight Hiking

Before discussing the principles and concepts of ultralight hiking, let's first investigate. to the past where the trend of the concept of ultralight hiking began to be applied in the world of climbing. It all started with some of the world's mountain climbers who began to popularize the concept of climbing which they called climbing " light and fast"   or light and fast in the 1880-1990s range.

Apa itu ultralight hiking - Foto instagram ibam_muh
Ultralight hiking pendaki gunung - Foto instagram ibam_muh

This climbing concept was carried out by several world climbers, namely Voytek Kurtyka and Jerzy Kukuczka who were climbers from Poland. As well as Alex Mac Intyre and John Porter, climbers from England.

As the name implies, light and fast they apply mountain climbing by bringing a little climbing equipment and a small number of members of the climbing team. This concept does have the main essence, namely effectiveness, and does not rely on the equipment or the number of members of the climbing team.

From this light and fast climbing concept, it developed and became known as the Alpine Style climb. Increasingly modern, finally various innovations from the Light and fast concept resulted in the production of ultralight hiking equipment that is currently popular.

Ray Jardine bapak ultralight hiking dunia - foto pinterest
Ray Jardine bapak ultralight hiking dunia - foto pinterest

At its peak in 1999, Ray Jardine, an adventurer, and rock climber wrote a book entitled Beyond Backpacking which contains his backpacking journey on the PTC (Pacific Crest Trail) which is a hiking route with time. traveled for months. In the book, Jardine mentions that he only needs 4.5 kg of equipment to pass the Pacific Crest Trail hiking route.

Because of the book, Ray Jardine is finally named the father of ultralight hiking in the world. Because his travel story has inspired many adventure equipment vendors to innovate and release products to support ultralight backpacking / ultralight hiking.

So until here we already know how the history of ultralight hiking happened and how the initial concept was light and fast. So ultralight hiking has a concept that emphasizes that weight is everything.

10 Principles or Steps in Implementing Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking

Because the concept of ultralight hiking or backpacking emphasizes both weight and weight. So some of the main principles of ultralight hiking have finally emerged about luggage. And these principles are very important and become a major factor in applying the concept of ultralight climbing or ultralight hiking. And here are 10 basic principles that should be applied by ultralight climbers.

Pendaki ultrlight dan perlengkapannya - foto instagram radheett
Pendaki ultrlight dan perlengkapannya - foto instagram radheett

1. Weigh All Equipment for Climbing

Because ultralight hiking emphasizes weight, the first step that must be applied is to weigh all the equipment that will be used for climbing. In addition to weighing climbing equipment, we also have to record the weight of each of our climbing equipment without exception.

This is very important because the purpose of this first principle is to identify and find out which equipment can be reduced the most based on its weight.

2. Reduce the Weight of Each Equipment

After weighing the equipment, the next step is to reduce the weight of each piece of equipment that we will carry. Reducing here is not just about reducing the number, yes, but can also mean replacing heavy climbing gear or gear with lighter climbing gear that has the same function.

We can also replace a gear that has a complete feature level (takes up a lot of space) with more minimalist gear. In this principle, it is emphasized to pay attention to safety for climbing so that some important climbing gear such as first aid kits and survival equipment cannot be abandoned even though the weight is quite heavy.

3. Manage Detailed Logistic Needs or Rations

For this one, we have to be able to consider carefully and in detail the onions that are disposable during the climb. These disposable items include food logistics, cooking fuel, toiletries, and so on.

In the principle of ultralight hiking on this one, we must take into account our needs every day. So it must be noted in detail what is needed every day, be it food, fuel to disposable equipment that will be used during that day. Of course, this is very useful and emphasized if going on a long trip from several days to months.

4. Use Shared Equipment

So of course, in this ultralight hiking principle, we are required to know what equipment can be used together with our climbing partners (group equipment). These include tents, flysheets, stoves and nesting, and other equipment that can be used together.

Trap tent ultralight - foto instagram bsmxx__
Trap tent ultralight - foto instagram bsmxx__

Of course, this should be a consideration if we are climbing with 3 people, we don't need to bring 3 tents and 3 stoves and nesting. But we only need to bring 1 tent with a capacity of 3 or 4 people as well as 1 stove and nesting for cooking. Of course, this selection will make our luggage more efficient and we don't need to carry a lot of stuff, especially for shared equipment.

5. Use Light Footwear

As is well known, the ultralight hiking concept is a development of the light and fast concept. Therefore, for footwear as much as possible use light footwear to make it easier for us to move faster during the climb.

Hiking shoes are highly recommended because they are lighter weight than hiking boats. Moreover, the shoes have ultralight features that use lightweight but sturdy materials. Certainly, our footwork will not get tired and light, so that the journey will be faster.

6. Use Multifunctional Equipment

This multifunctional tool is very closely related to ultralight hiking. Because it can save more weight and space during the climb because it can replace the function of several items at once.

For example, a poncho raincoat can replace a flysheet or can be used as a tarp tent. Of course, this is very useful and can save loads and places where you no longer need to carry a flysheet or tent anymore and just bring the raincoat. Then there is the trekking pole which has a double function as a sheltered pole or trap tent. A multifunctional scope that can be used as a saw and ax hoe as well as other tools or gear that have a multifunctional function during climbing.

7. Sharpen Skills (Skills) to Change Equipment

Now for this one, we have to upgrade ourselves with knowledge of survival. Where our survival skills or skills will be very useful and can replace some of the equipment that must be carried during the ultralight climb.

Suppose we have to be able to get water by condensing and other means. This has the aim of conserving carrying water supplies during the climb. Or if there is a spring, you can bring water purifying straw so that it can be drunk or by flowing water with a tissue between the two containers.

8. Increase Endurance and Physical Strength

For climbers who want to apply ultralight hiking, it is recommended to increase endurance and physical strength by regularly exercising. This is very important but sometimes doesn't get much attention from climbers who want to implement ultralight climbing.

We know that this ultralight climb only carries less equipment when going up the mountain compared to conventional climbing. Therefore, the comfort in mountain climbing is certainly different. As is usually the case for conventional climbers who bring a large keril for luggage, they can bring a tent that has a high level of comfort and is sturdy. But for ultralight hiking, you can just sleep in a bivvy shelter with open walls or a trap tent from a multi-functional poncho raincoat that doesn't cover everything.

In this condition, excellent endurance and physical strength are needed. Because without a good immune system, you will have difficulty and could end up with AMS or deadly hypothermia.

Therefore it is highly recommended to keep exercising regularly even though in this ultralight hike you only bring equipment that is lighter than conventional climbers.

9. Bring Less Climbing Equipment

Bringing less climbing equipment is indeed an effective and efficient step in reducing luggage weight. With this step you can carry items as needed and only essential items for climbing. Of course, besides making the carry-on weight lighter, your trip will also be faster, as the initial concept of ultralight hiking, namely light and fast.

Gear pendakian untuk ultralight hiking - foto instagram ilusafri
Gear pendakian untuk ultralight hiking - foto instagram ilusafri

However, this choice will affect the comfort during your mountain climbing. Because with the less equipment you carry, you are prone to bad risks due to the weather during the climb if your physical condition is not very strong.

But everything can be overcome by increasing physical strength with frequent exercise and increasing survival skills such as how to get water in the mountains and other things.

10. Replace All Climbing Gear with Ultralight Backpacking Gear

And in the end, if you want to apply ultralight hiking then you should be ready to replace all your conventional climbing gear with ultralight gear. So what is this ultralight gear like? Of course, you already know that the ultralight climbing gear has a function that is multifunctional, lightweight, and also sturdy, and has a high level of comfort and detail.

Therefore, it's no wonder that climbing gear with the ultralight label has a higher price than the conventional climbing gear. Because this ultralight climbing gear has quality, function, and special materials that can support the comfort of ultralight climbers. In addition, some of this equipment must be imported from abroad because in Indonesia there are still few manufacturers that produce the best quality ultralight hiking gear.

Some of these ultralight hiking gear includes a canister stove that fits into a pocket. Of course, compared to a box stove or a flower stove, the size is very different. But even though it is small, this canister stove has a higher price than a box stove.

And much other equipment such as the ultralight tent which has a much lighter weight, the ultralight dwarf which even though its capacity is 30-45 liters can fit a lot, ultralight sleeping bag with a high level of comfort even though impressed thin, ultralight shoes that are light but sturdy, ultralight clothing that is comfortable, to other climbing equipment that has a light and small weight but does not lose its function. And of course, the price is far from the conventional climbing equipment.

So that's a brief history of ultralight hiking and backpacking as well as 10 basic principles that must be applied if you want to try climbing with this ultralight hiking concept. How are you interested in moving your climbing style from conventional climbers to ultralight climbing?

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Kami mengulas berbagai hal menarik tentang petualangan, pendakian gunung dan traveling serta perlengkapan outdoor untuk menunjang aktifitas alam bebas.

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