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Recreation | Oregon Field Guide Summer Series

Ultralight Hikers Do More With Less


Fourteen-thousand miles on the trail. Up mountains and over rivers. For weeks at a time. And all of it out of a backpack that weighs less than a gallon of milk.  

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That’s right, Clint “Lint” Bunting is an ultralight backpacker whose entire life on the trail fits into a pack that weighs just 8 pounds — about one-fifth the size of your typical backpack. With his small, light pack, Lint has done most of the big American thru-hikes: the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Ice Age Trail and the Continental Divide Trail; some of them twice. 

“I hate to use the word minimalist because it makes people think they’re doing without,” Bunting says of his backpacking style. “But you can be comfortable with less.”  

Bunting sleeps at night on a thin tarp, brushes his teeth with a handle-less toothbrush, and eschews heavy hiking boots for six-ounce trail shoes. Some hikers would miss the relative comforts of a larger pack, but he doesn’t feel that way. For Bunting, ultralight backpacking means he can enjoy the best parts of the journey. 

“I love hiking, that’s why I come out into the woods,” he says. “So I want to make sure that part of my trip is the most comfortable part.” 

Want to experience Lint Bunting’s lightweight lifestyle? You can read all about it on his website.

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