Add money, that's the secret. But all this stuff can be snagged on sale, or online, and it seems pretty cheap compared to RV accessories. The next time I go out for some intrepid 2-mile expedition with my kid, I'll have a 3-pound Osprey Atmos 50-liter pack ($90 online, a killer one-time deal from steepandcheap.com
), a downfilled air mattress worth one pound and 2/5 inches thick ($60, same source), a Tarptent Double Rainbow (2.5 lbs and 2.5 hundred dollars, sold factory direct only- sounds familiar?), and my old 2-lb down bag. That adds up to a base weight
of nine pounds. The carbon fiber hiking poles (REI garage sale, $30 each) will help carry that crushing burden. Then I start packing cameras & food, and I'll top out about double that. Twenty pounds on your back ain't bad...
I read that the numbers of active backpackers in the US has dropped severely in the past decade, with half as many folks walking the AT as before. (But look at the busy forums on the sport and you'd barely know it.) I certainly never plan to carry a 40-pound pack again. It would be a smaller proportion of my body weight
now, but that hardly makes it easier! I'm in my 50s, and I need all the aid and encouragement I can afford. Anyway, I'm about to sell two or three of my surplus tents, each under 5 lbs. Let me know if you want details. If, like me, you haven't shopped this gear in a great long while, there are some happy surprises in store.