An Intro to Lightweight Backpacking

Pacific Crest Trail veteran Luke Kantola offers an initial guide to cutting the weight of your pack. Lightweight backpacking has completely changed the way I interact with wilderness. In 2013, on the Pacific Crest Trail my pack weight plummeted to a mere 9 pounds without food and water. I can go further, and faster now which allows me to access wilderness that the general public simply cannot get to. The frontier of adventure has expanded exponentially with my ability to cover more distance.

Read More
Modified: Fly Creek UL 2

As you can see: my Fly Creek UL 2 from Big Agnes has no floor and is lighter than ever because of it. This modification brings the weight of a Fly Creek UL 2, one of the most revered backpacking tents of all time, down to an astonishing 1 lb. 3 oz.

Read More
GearLukeComment
"Getting There" A Pacific Crest Trail Poem

On September 6th I completed a 2668 mile thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. All I have now are fleeting glimpses of the beauty, joy and adversity of the “getting there”. I touch the tall-corrugated metal fence of the U.S. side of the Mexican border, turn and step northward without an idea of what is aheadbeaten by relentless desert sun, learn to value shade as dearly as food and water, sleep under a bridge, pass the next day curled up under the shade of a sage bush; become nocturnal and walk on silver sand reflecting the full midnight moon; cowboy camp under the diamond stars.

Read More
A Week Without Vision

In September 2014 I spent a week without any light perception.A week felt like a long time, but the project was originally slated to be a full year. My early research was comprised of emails to neurologists and a visit to an optometrist. Across the board I was told that my visual cortex, left without the stimulation of images, would irreversibly rewire itself to benefit my hearing at the expense of my vision. I was told that even after a few days I should expect "extreme" visual hallucinations. Admittedly, I have had my fair share of hallucinatory experiences. Multiple psychedelic drug experiences, a vision fast, and severe sleep deprivation have all shown me my brains ability to produce images. This was much different.

Read More