The last couple of months I’ve been trying to get my base weight down and it is going allright. I’m reading a lot online about lightweight and ultra lightweight backpacking. Most of the information is from someone that lives in the United States. This is kind of logical because there are a number of famous trails and more people are going on a thru hike. The disadvantage of it is that the lighweight gear they are talking about is hard to get here in Europe. For example, ultra lightweight backpacks. None of the shops are selling them here. The lightest one you can find is the Osprey Exos.
When you step into a shop, the people that work there doesn’t really understand what you are trying to do, to cut as much weight as possible. Most of them think that a Nalgene bottle is a good lightweight option. In my opinion, 180 grams for an empty bottle is too much! You can have about 6 platypus bags for that. Also the size of the pack they recommend is a thing. Because you’re going out for a long time, they think you need a big pack for all your gear. The truth is the other way around. I’ll probably take more gear with me on a weekend trip then a thru hike. For a weekend trip you can take more comfort items with you. You’re not punishing yourself too much for taking a cold beer with you 🙂
Ultralight and lightweight backpacking isn’t hot in any way, shape or form in The Netherlands where I live. When I go out I meet more bushcrafters then hikers. It’s great to have bushcrafters around because they can build a fire like a god! When you take a quick look at their gear it’s easy to see that it’s heavy and that’s allright. The goal of the trip is different and so is the gear. Shops are a bit more fitted to campers and bushcrafters and less for hikers.