February 5, 2011
We're in the woods this weekend.
It's our annual trip to a cabin on a small mountain along the Maine coast, where we carry-in everything we need on our backs (minus shelter) for a cosy two night stay. Our inaugural trip, three years ago, was our family's first experience with backpacking and we have not looked back since. This past summer we did mostly backpack camping (vs. car camping) because our family has been seriously bitten by the adventure bug.
Although it's the middle of winter this particular trip to the cabin is one of our easy trips because it's only 2.5 relatively flat miles in and we stay at a (rustic) cabin which means we don't need shelter. But carrying everything on our backs doesn't daunt us either (not Damien at least) because over the years we have lightened our load. In fact, lightening our load is the only way possible to do this with our family of five.
my parents come each year
Lightening our load is a complete life philosophy for us but I will leave that discussion for another time. What I can say is that learning to lighten our load has enabled our family to have adventures that many families only dream of doing. And we only intend to do more.
How have we been able to do this?
Lots of research and judicious gear purchases.
I give Damien all the credit in this regard (I do at least carry my pack) because he's the one who really leads our family on these adventures.
One resource that Damien has found invaluable to help our family in this regard has been a subscription to Backpacking Light. What's Backpacking Light?
In Damien's words:
Backpacking Light is an online magazine dedicated to backcountry travel in a light-weight style. It is one of the few online publications I have found that has more content than ads (they currently don't do any third-party advertising on their site). I have found the articles to be very thorough and informative, many of which I would consider foundational to anyone spending time in the outdoors (lightweight or not). Every time I have a backpacking question, it is the first place I will go - even before trying Google. If I can't find the answer in an already published article, a quick post to the forums usually always results in a helpful response from multiple community members.
As an interesting aside Damien has been writing articles for Backpacking Light which feature my photography. So, you could say BPL is one of the places my photography has been published (smile).
This may not be your cup of tea. That's fine. But I know there are readers who have asked me in the past how to get their families into the woods. Who have asked what we pack for our trips etc. Well, here's one way I'm helping to answer those questions - directing you to the people you know their stuff and are far better qualified to answer the nitty gritty questions about what gear to buy and how to lighten your packs.
ADVENTUREinPROGRESS, our family's adventure blog, is partnering with Backpacking Light to offer an exclusive discount to a Backpacking Light subscription: 40% off a one year subscription or 10% off a lifetime membership. By purchasing a subscription you will be helping to support our family at ADVENTUREinPROGRESS, as we will get a little in return for the referral.
To take advantage of this great offer (or to just check it out a bit more) head over to ADVENTUREinPROGRESS where you can get the coupon code or at the very least check out Laurent's cute drawing of light vs. heavy backpacks.
Hope you are all having a good weekend. You can be sure we are enjoying our weekend in woods!
You can subscribe to comments on this article using this form.
If you have already commented on this article, you do not need to do this, as you were automatically subscribed.