WHAT ARE THE “BIG THREE” FOR BACKPACKERS?

Venturing off deep in the backcountry with nothing other than what you are carrying on your back can be an intimidating, sometimes nerve-wracking feeling–especially if you're new to backpacking. 

You may find yourself asking, "What do I need to bring?" "What should I leave behind?" "How much stuff is too much stuff?" Where to begin? Our recommendation is to start with the 'Big Three.” 

In building a reliable, efficient, and comfortable ultralight backpacking kit, "The Big Three" are the core components of your ticket into and out of great experiences in the backcountry–your backpack, your shelter, and your sleep system (sleeping bag/quilt and sleeping pad).With so many options out there, it may feel a bit overwhelming to decide which direction to go when purchasing some of your "big three" items. Here's a tip: purchase your tent and sleeping bag first to get an idea of how much volume your last item–the pack–needs to have to accommodate them while also giving you an idea of how much volume will be left for other gear and food, water, etc. Roll-top packs like the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Windrider, Southwest, or Junction offer more flexibility in terms of how much volume you can play with for shorter or longer trips, too.The 'Big Three' have drastically changed over time. Modern ultralight internal frame packs, single wall trekking pole shelters, and small, compact quilts have burst onto the scene to save weight and space.  Hyperlite Mountain Gear has got you covered, so no need to fret. HMG features several options for the "big three," designed by long-distance thru-hikers and adventure junkies who simply know what works in the backcountry and what doesn't. An example of a Hyperlite Mountain Gear "big three" setup that's designed to work together entails an Unbound 40, an Unbound 2P, and a 20-degree Quilt. Add a Thermarest Xterm sleeping pad, and you're all set with (almost) everything you need for an enjoyable backcountry experience, and one that will have you daydreaming about your next adventure.