The popularity of adventure sports and activities has led to a rise in ultralight gear. Ultralight tents and tarps, bivvys and sleeping bags, ultralight airmats, clothing and related equipment are becoming more common. The gear may be changing but the safety rules when hiking and tramping remain the same.
Weight alone is not a determining factor in how ‘good’ a tent is. In many cases ultralight tents are better than their older counterparts. They are constructed using lighter fabrics and materials like silnylon and carbon fibre, which is lighter and stronger than polyester and fibreglass. Designs may prioritise lower weight and give up some ‘comforts’ of heavier tents like size and space but performance is still the ultimate goal.
We were recently asked about the rise of ultralight hiking for an article LandSAR team warns ultralight hikers to prepare carefully this summer reminding people about safety outdoors.
Ultralight camping and hiking is about being more mobile, carrying less weight and being smarter in how you interact with the environment. A key part of being smart is safety ... making proper plans and preparations, taking the right gear for your trip, expecting the unexpected.
Of course not everyone is off to conquer the highest peaks and roughest terrain but no matter where you’re headed to, proper planning and safety is key to having a great trip.
Make sure you follow simple rules laid out in the adventuresmart outdoors safety code …
- Plan – know where you’re going, expected times and what gear is required
- Tell others – let people know where you’re going and expected times
- Be aware of the weather – check forecasts and expect changes. The weather and can be amazing one minute but also potentially fatal the next.
- Know your limits – know your physical limits and experience and what you can realistically achieve
- Take sufficient supplies – make sure you have sufficient and suitable food, clothing and gear, communication and emergency rations.
The ultralight trend is about packing light and packing safe no matter what activity you're into. Love the experience outdoors, but above all, be safe and come home to tell everyone about it.