My backpacking style and gear has evolved over the years.
- While in the Boy Scouts at age 16, I saved for rugged but heavy Gregory Massif. I used it backpacking in KY, TN, and NC, and trailbuilding a summer in Arkansas
- On the Appalachian Trail, I carried the Gregory Massif I used since age 16 and gradually shed weight.
- After the AT, I shed more weight and became a GoLite devotee. The classic GoLite Jam became my standard pack for backpacking & mountaineering
With the aging of my Jam and the demise of GoLite, I needed a new lightweight alternative. I purchased a GossamerGear (www.gossamergear.com) Mariposa after reading online reviews, following the GossamerGear blog, and hearing Gossamer TrailAmbassadors talk about the product.
I packed the Mariposa with gear from my upcoming father/son backpacking trip and hiked a portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail in my local Santa Cruz Mountains (Purisima Openspace Preserve).
My first thought was why did I not make the switch sooner. The pack was light and spacious. The hip belt was luxurious, and the stability was welcome. It all provided a welcome contrast the the minimal hipbelt of the Jam. I am now a convert.
Here are a few pictures from my test hike.