13 comments on “The Ultralight Cheapo Lifestyle

  1. Ryan, you come up with some of the most unique and extremely interesting topics for your Blog!

    How I envy your frugal lifestyle! If I weren’t a family-man, my lifestyle would be “enormously frugal” (is that an oxymoron?).

    You stated that you are “one of those crazy people who thinks other people generally own too much stuff”. Well, you can include me as another one of those “crazy people”!

    Good stuff you’re putting out there in your Blog! Keep it coming!


  2. Thanks, John. Sometimes I have trouble coming up with anything relevant to the blog, since it’s usually about hiking and lightweight gear– I don’t go hiking as often as you, and I don’t get new gear very often or use it enough to review it.

    As for the frugal lifestyle… it’s usually out of necessity, but sometimes it does feel good just to not have new things.

  3. Dave, I’ve heard other ultralight backpackers say this before, too. Isn’t it funny how some of us go for lighter and lighter pack loads, while accumulating more and more gear at home? At one point I had four or five backpacks, but happily I’ve whittled that number down πŸ™‚

  4. Personally, I enjoy hiking light. I gloat over my little pack when compared with the elephantine loads of my friends. But since I actually GO backpacking once every 2-3 years, I live backpacking life through my Heavy Load storage closet that has enough stuff for me and several others. Sad. I really like your goal to lighten up even what you own.

  5. Sarah- I’m also curious to see how I do in the next year or so. I’m still just starting to sell stuff, but I guess I’m not in a hurry. The only thing that will seriously derail my efforts to not spend money is if I happen to land a job that requires new gear (I’m applying for a NOLS instructor course, so we’ll see).

    Steve- Having the extra gear can be useful, especially if, like you say, you could outfit other people πŸ™‚ It’s always good to give others a taste of UL if you can get them to borrow some of your gear for a trip.

    Thank you both for your comments. I was not expecting to get so much traffic here from that Gossamer Gear newsletter πŸ™‚ Thanks GG!

  6. Well, Ryan – I am starting to accumulate stuff, too, as I pare down the weights and volumes in my pack and find items that can do multiple jobs for me. (I am in the process of designing my perfect pillowcase so I never have to leave my pillow behind just because I don’t have room. UGH that was a bad choice!) So – where do we find the gear you have for sale?

  7. Ryan,

    I have too much stuff. Seriously. But I distinctly remember buying a 20-degree down mummy bag on closeout from EMS for $80 almost twenty years ago. In addition to regular trips, I used it for two summers of field research during graduate school. I got well over 250 nights of use out of that bag before retiring to “loaner” status, then eventually selling it to one of my students for $40. Let’s see: $40 net cost divided by 250 nights makes … 16 cents per night. Probably the best purchase of my life.

    (Here from the GG newsletter)

  8. Heather- I don’t actually have that much gear to sell, but when I do I tend to put it on ebay. If it’s something by a cottage manufacturer like MLD or GG, the forums at Backpackinglight.com are great for selling, but I can almost always get a better price and (sad to say) more respectful buyers at ebay.

    Mark- I’d say that was a good investment! That does give me some hope that I can get rid of my North Face Beeline sleeping bag, which is in good shape but has been used for two through-hikes. I think I paid $250 originally for it, and will probably sell it for less than a fifth or that, but it was still worth it for sure.

  9. Gut, I’ve been enjoying your blog. Where did you get the Class of 2007 AT decal? I want me one! While we’re at it let’s get a 2010 PCT one.

  10. Isn’t that sticker great? My buddy Kentucky Blue found them at trail days in 2008, but it was a very limited run if I remember correctly. I’m going to need a new one sooner or later, too, so maybe we should design a new run of them along with a PCT 2010. I’d be in.

    Glad you’re enjoying it, my friend. Keep it real.

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