It's the 3rd edition of The Cache! This bi-weekly roundup is a smorgasbord of all things Ultralight. New gear, new brands, interesting events, curious conversations, sales, giveaways, and just about anything and everything that we find remotely relevant. This week we look at: the new Centurion by Enlightened Equipment, Cameron Schaefer and his FKT (Fastest Known Time) on the SHT (Superior Hiking Trail), Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear, and a conversation around Guthook!
Tomorrow (July 15th), Enlightened Equipment releases its brand new Centurion. No, it's not a hammock, it's a stand-alone bug net designed to fit around your hammock and underquilt! It pulls out away from your hammock to give you the space you need to be comfortable (and not claustrophobic), weighs just 6oz, appears easy to set up and straightforward to enter/exit, and the fabric bottom protects your underquilt, shields you from the wind, and traps some of our own heat in the process. We're excited!
With our HQ in Saint Paul Minnesota, we've been following along as dozens of hopefuls attempt to set the FKT (fastest known time) for the SHT (Superior Hiking Trail). Stretching from just south of Duluth Minnesota to the Canadian border, this 310-mile thru-hike is a crown jewel of Midwestern hiking! On July 10th, Minnesota native Cam Schaefer finished the SHT and toppled the previous supported record by almost a day. He completed the whole 310 miles in just 6 days 18 hours and 45 minutes. Congrats Cam!
With a name like Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear (and a wide range of fun colors and customizable features), we were pretty excited to stumble into this fledgling cottage brand. Started in early 2019, CTUG makes 40L and 50L packs primarily from VX21. While it might be a little bit late in the season, they are offering a sweet discount on their packs to anyone who is planning on hiking more than 1000 miles on a long trail this summer (price gets reduced from $285 to $200)!
Curious about the name? We were too. While tramping is the term for hiking in New Zealand, according to founders Austin and Nathan, "the chicken just sort of made its way into the name on its own."
Not familiar with Guthook Guides? It's a phone app that provides hikers with easy to use guides for anything from day hikes to thru-hikes. While exceptionally helpful in getting you from point A to point B, since its inception in 2010, Guthook Guides has been an interesting topic of conversation. Is it a helpful tool that makes the outdoors more accessible and safe? Or is it a sterilizing menace that turns hiking into a mindless zombie crawl? Rather than laying out the whole conversation ourselves... do the following:
- Read this article on Outside Magazine. It'll give you all the background you need on the "controversy"
- Head over to /r/Ultralight and read lots of interesting opinions and conversations from very experienced hikers.
If nothing else, it's an interesting dive into the relationship between technology and the outdoors.
The Lighter Side: Ultralight Jerk
Not familiar with Lighterpack? It's the easiest tool for calculating the weight of everything you plan to bring on a hike. It's also an easy way to allow others to "shakedown" and give you feedback (or endless judgment) on your gear choices.
Not familiar with ULJerk? It's (mostly) wonderful.