*First let me get the same old disclaimer I've been giving over and over again this past decade out of the way: I am not sponsored. Never have been. I get no free gear, and never have. There are no ads on this blog, i.e. this blog is not monetized. I am not a Youtube partner, i.e. no ads on my channel and I make/made literally no money off of it.
Introduction and Reflections
The beginning of the 2010's saw me discover and then quickly transition into ultralight backpacking. It was a pretty fast transition because I saw and felt the benefits of UL for myself in practice right away, and I was soon a die-hard UL convert. The problem was that at the same time I went back to university and was a struggling student again, so I didn't have much spare cash to put into my rediscovered hobby. But that didn't stop me, of course. I had been backpacking well before that, and had used a lot of old army gear and traditional and heavy K-Mart camping gear--both of which are pretty cheap. I was determined to go UL.
By 2011 I designed and had my wife help me make my first key piece of UL gear, a MYOG backpack that only weighed 445g/15.7oz. And while of course it had its shortcomings and was pretty minimalist or even a bit crude, it actually worked--and I put it to good use as well. And it only cost around 10 bucks. That same year, and for a few years to come, I rocked a cheap but decent MYOG tarp, and my instructions on how to make this tarp still remain one of the most popular posts on my blog. And I was happy with my makeshift but fully functional UL gear, and went on plenty of great overnighters and section hikes.