Despite that, there are several deals floating around this week which can help lighten your load and put a few dollars back in your pocket.
Litesmith is a go-to for ultralight hikers picking up accessories for their next trip. They offer some of the lightest essentials available, with the added benefit of being able to purchase small quantities (who needs 500ft of shock cord or two dozen dropper bottles?). I have personally purchased about half of what Litesmith sells and have been satisfied with every item – especially the Nitecore NU25 headlamp. Below are a few of my favorites which are worth adding to your kit:
- Nitecore NU25 Headlamp with UL headband
- Tenacious Tape
- Toothpaste tablets
- Lightload towels
- Nylofume pack liner
I recently did a review on The Cutaway and stand by the conclusion that it’s my favorite pack to date for a multitude of reasons. With endless pockets, a useful and intuitive design, and an almost impossibly low weight, this the ideal piece of kit for all of your upcoming hikes. Don’t take it from me — Josh Perry recently set a new FKT on The Arizona Trail with this pack!
These have been flying off the shelves since inception, but Gusha and Bedhead (the owners) have been working hard to get a stock ready to launch on Black Friday. This is an excellent opportunity to snag one of the most sought-after gear items of the year.
On a quest to find the perfect pair of shorts this fall, I came across PATH Projects and fell in love with their products. They offer some of the highest-quality clothing items for a great price and have really put a lot of thought into their designs. Although my review of their Graves PX 7″ short was through the lens of running use, I would not hesitate to wear these for a thru-hike as well. They are linerless, meaning you can use your favorite pair of underwear for an ideal fit (might I suggest you give the Saxx Kinetic a try?), and have two front hand pockets that are perfect for holding a phone or some trash. Their other clothing options appear to be of equal quality but a bit heavy for UL backpacking, so I recommend sticking with their shorts.
As the photo shows, the discount being offered is tiered. You’ll save 10% on orders of $100+ and 15% on orders of $200 or more, plus free shipping above $80.
REI famously does not participate in Black Friday shenanigans, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t currently offering some great items on sale! Altra recently released the new version of their Lone Peak trailrunning shoe, a fan favorite among hikers and ultrarunners alike. As such they have discounted last years’ model (Lone Peak 4) by 30%, making it a great time to stock up on a few pairs if you don’t require the latest-and-greatest.
Personally, I always buy the previous model of shoes in situations like this as it allows me to squeeze in at least one extra pair (and more miles!) per year for the same price.
They have also discounted the Garmin inReach Mini by 21% down to an all-time low $274.99:
These devices are wonderful for staying safe and in contact with loved ones or emergency personnel in the remote wilderness. I used an older version by Delorme during my 2018 Appalachian Trail thru-hike and very much valued having it (as did my wife!).
While ultralight backpacking gear rarely goes on sale, there are sometimes opportunities to pick up choice items at a slight discount. I highly recommend considering some of the above-mentioned items to shave some ounces off your next-season kit.
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Brandon Chase is a writer, endurance athlete, and guide based in Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand and South Africa. He also regularly competes in ultramarathons at the 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances. He is a Lead Guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures and the New England Outdoor Center.