Backpacking the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico

I started backpacking in high school with an external frame pack, a 4-pound sleeping bag thrown on top of a heavy foam pad, a tent that would drip condensation on my face nearly every night, and a wardrobe that oftentimes included a cotton shirt tucked into my denim jeans. The Eagle badge on my Boy Scout uniform is living proof that you don’t have to be perfectly equipped with the latest and most expensive ultralight gear in order to “be prepared” and enjoy your trip! But flash forward three decades and my aging body certainly appreciates the innovations that modern chemistry has done for my current backpacking gear.