* Written by a former contributing editor for Backpacker Magazine* How to pick and choose light hiking strategies to fit your needs and hiking style* Lightweight hiking is one of the biggest trends in backpacking today Lightweight hiking strategies apply to everyone, says master hiker Karen Berger: the less weight you have on your back, the more comfortable you'll be on the trail whether you're hiking five miles or five hundred. She's not talking about extreme strategies (such as cutting the handle off your toothbrush to save a few ounces). It's all about evaluating and analyzing what you carry, whether you truly need it and really use it. Employing technology and new designs (i.e. titanium cooking pots), choosing lighter options (a tarp instead of a tent), making do with substitutes (using socks as gloves in emergencies), using items that serve multiple purposes (telescoping hiking poles as tarp supports), and making your own gear: these are the strategies to select from. Berger helps you strike a balance between comfort on the trail (packing less stuff) versus comfort in camp (packing more stuff). Always, the emphasis is on hiking wisely and safely.

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