Company History: Fastbackpacker.com was founded in 2009 as a website resource devoted to culminating the innumerable aspects of ultralight backpacking into an applied framework for direct use. The fast paradigm combines cutting-edge, commercially available equipment with innovative technique to formulate an effective and incredibally lightweight solution, to meet individuals' varied needs for nomadic travel of any kind. fast is primarily targeted for trip durations from 2 days to 2 weeks, though longer durations can also be implimented.
Ultralight Defined: While traditional ultralight backpacking leverages carrying an very light load, there are two fundamental challenges involved with this scenario. First, the range in ultralight weight and gear functionality, as referenced in both consumer and commercial markets, spans a spectrum of: “lightweight” as effective in functionality via a somewhat conserved abundance of gear; “ultralight” as effective in functionality by way of a quite conserved gear set; and a “hyperlight” as marginal-to-effective in functionality, sometimes leaning toward a survivalist’s modus operandi. Secondly, while generalized definitions of “light,” “ultralight,” and “hyperlight” have been attempted in the backpacking community, it is difficult to differentiate these echelons for individual pieces of gear, and total pack weight. This is due to variables such as effectiveness and need for modification of equipment; individuals’ varying need for comfort; lack of a standard for weight verses trip duration in defining an ultralight paradigm; what amount of gear is off-loaded from the pack and carried externally (e.g., in clothing pockets, belt pouch, or shoulder strap pouch); and seasonal conditions that can affect gear choices and hence weight (i.e., “ultralight” winter weight verses a summer counterpart).
Another prominent challenge for light backpackers, particularly those newer to an ultralight paradigm, is the industry’s vast array of "ultralight" gearThe problem might be synonymous with having a person who had never driven an automobile to go out and find one best suited to his/her need. Add to that the wealth of driving rules specified by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the overall task becomes somewhat overwhelming. Similarly, today’s backpackers are confronted with an equal challenge; 3.5+ million people turn 55 each year in the US, with a predicted 100 million reaching 55+ by 2012. For these folks having to wade through dozens of web pages from gear manufacturers, educational articles, equipment reviews, homemade solutions, video portals, books, and magazines, it can leave them befuddled and apprehensive.
fast Framework: fast narrows down an immense amount of ultralight backpacking equipment. It specifies quality and high-performance gear for sleeping, hiking attire, shelter, camping necessities, personal items and navigational implements. It also suggests alternative gear pieces depending on an individual’s preference. fast generally does not make use of self-made adjuncts, or require modification to gear as is relied on by some ultralight solutions. This is not to intentionally downgrade such measures, but it does require the user to be versed, and it could sacrifice equipment effectiveness or longevity. fast does recognize simple and widely practiced modifications to select gear to trim weight if desired, but this is infrequent and optional. Its equipment selections are turnkey and of substantial utility.
fast channels the ultralight backpacking task to a focused and flexible framework of premiere equipment and technique. It is flexible by enabling select pieces of gear to optionally be used for more than one purpose. It also prescribes gear options depending on a backpacker’s specific need for comfort or utility. fast is adaptive to varying hiking and climate conditions. It also enables greater hiking enjoyment at a sub-light weight over short to long trekking distancse. Thus is comprised the name: "flexible, adaptive, speed trekking." fast has narrowed down hundreds of selections of ultralight gear into its flexible "plug and play" framework. It educates the user on selecting the right gear, incding possible multiple uses.
fast Performance: The truly ultralight total pack weight carried with fast enables backpackers to hike between 10 and 20+ miles per day, with exceedingly more comfort and less stress than traditional backpacking, and in comparison to many ultralight solutions. Further, one’s total pack weight reduces to 7–12 pounds over a 2–4 day trip duration.
In addition to utilizing select gear for dual purposes if desired, fast off-loads select items to clothing pockets or a hip-belt pouch. This reduces the pack's downward pressure on the shoulders, spine and hips, deemed as areas of the body most affected by carrying weight. Every pound sheered off these critical areas over distance helps in minimizing stress, injury and discomfort. Since such items are frequently used, this also makes it convenient to carry them externally. Examples include lip balm, camera, conservative amount of water, insect repellant, whistle, bandana, gloves, map, glasses, and trail snacks. Some ultralight paradigms do not emphasize distributing packed items in this way to help minimize a pack's load.
Another key aspect to fast is adaptation of the same set of gear to different weather scenarios. Instead of purchasing more baseline equipment for different seasons. One set of main gear is employed for any of three seasons: early spring through late fall. This establishes a cost savings, plus maximum utilization of gear.
fast promotes safety in its implementation, since extra gear, radical off-trail trekking, and lots of extra food are not part of the framework. Topics include trail safety, wildlife management, adverse weather, foot attire, injury prevention, first aid, packing savvy, and emergency preparadness.
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