I went ultralight a bit over a year ago, and the transition has taken over my life. In this time, I have dropped my pack weight down to around 4.5 to 8 pounds depending on the trip and the season.
The most important step I took in dropping weight was to begin making my own gear. As a college student, I have more time than I do money, and creating gear is a satisfying way to spend that time. The ability to make exactly the piece of gear that I need and nothing more fits in perfectly with ultralight techniques. Plus, the feeling of walking into the woods with a backpack full of gear that I nearly exclusively made is so fulfilling.
Over the last few years at college, I have also grown fond of the idea of open source software. Being able to see how something works and tinker with it myself gives me more ability to learn than any class could ever do. And so, I am passing along how I do things to others. I’m hoping that by sharing what I have learned, more people will be able to take on ultralight backpacking.