When he came out with Beyond Backpacking in , I snatched it up and again devoured his tips. This time though, I resisted. What more could he have to say? And lets face it, he is a little off the deep end on some subjects.

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Thanks for watching! Visit Website In typical Jardine fashion, The Ray Way was developed through intense personal experience, starting with his first long-distance hike, a PCT trek, in It had been a rewarding journey, but a physically rigorous one. He went on to do the other two legs of the Triple Crown of American trails—the Appalachian and Continental Divide—and along the way watched far too many hikers suffer, often becoming exhausted, discouraged, and eventually quitting.

There had to be a way to make long hikes more than grim ordeals. In Ray and Jenny hiked the PCT a third time, covering the 2, miles in only three months and four days—almost 45 days quicker than the first time. And thus was born The Ray Way, a blend of philosophy and innovative techniques culled from the hard lessons learned while hiking more than 12, total miles.

At the heart of the system lies an unstinting reduction in packweight. On his third hike, it was less than 9 pounds. To get such a light load Jardine makes his own gear he calls it the gateway to the "inner sanctum" , which few of us would bother to do. Even so, his results are hard to argue with. His self-made sleeping bag—a quilt, actually—sleeps two, weighs 1. The important thing is to go. She wore Keds, used a shower curtain for a shelter, and carried all her gear in a stuff sack-like bag she made and slung over her shoulder.

The real and honest fact is, Grandma Gatewood could have hiked the Gore-Tex off most of us. Jardine says we should shift the focus from "back here" the gear or the weight of it to out there—to the environment, the wilderness, which is the reason for going in the first place.

Is The Ray Way for everyone? Probably not, because elements of The Ray Way can be risky without the skills to use them. We had one snowstorm at 13, feet on the Continental Divide Trail. But down low, our simple, well-ventilated tarp shelter kept us drier than a lot of tents would have.

The system will work, if you work with it. Good nutrition, safety, and an understanding of the psychological factors that come into play on a long hike are also part of the package. The key, Jardine stresses, is to choose what suits you. Even though each component fits into an overall system, people can take what they want from my ideas, and integrate that into their own style.

Put what you want in your shopping basket, and leave the rest. From more traditional backpackers came an angry backlash that frankly surprised him. Jardine recognized the landscape, though, because being in the crossfire of controversy was familiar ground. In some ways it was inevitable that he would end up there. In Jardine sent a shock wave through the climbing world by putting up the hardest climbing route ever done to that point in time. It was the culmination of nearly a decade spent in the Yosemite Valley climbing progressively harder routes, pushing the limits of what was technically possible.

Those were years, remembered fondly now, spent in the company of a close circle of climbing buddies. It sure beat going to work. He took one look at the piles of computer print-outs and realized the life he wanted was to be found elsewhere. To the enduring shock of his employer and family, he got up, followed his heart, and walked away from a secure and lucrative career.

One route in particular caught his eye, a line above Cascade Falls no one had climbed. Jardine made dozens of attempts on the seemingly impossible crack and in finally succeeded. During the Yosemite years, Jardine had experimented with various devices to protect a climber from falling, particularly out of cracks.

Existing protection, such as pitons, bongs, and hexcentrics, had a nasty way of working free, leaving the climber dangerously exposed. After tedious trial-and-error he eventually perfected a spring-loaded cam design that could fit cracks of varying widths yet still withstand the force generated by a falling climber. He called the devices "friends. Jim Bridwell, undisputed dean of Yosemite climbers and the man who just barely beat out Jardine for the first one-day ascent of The Nose on El Capitan, said friends were the "greatest advance in climbing since nylon ropes.

Royal Robbins, grand master of the climbing world, wrote that the new cams made climbing "too easy. Everybody started using friends. Using proceeds from the licensing of friends, Jardine bought a foot sailboat suffering from a lot of what he called "deferred maintenance. For more than three years they sailed through a "world without boundaries," stopping for months at a time in South Africa, in the Caribbean, and in other ports of call that struck their fancy. At that moment, utterly alone on the vast ocean, Jardine was surprised to find himself calm, almost relieved.

Jenny and I were confident we could take care of ourselves, even under those circumstances. We had come a long way, and we had learned to work together. So we decided to head for California, sell the boat, and hike the full length of the Pacific Crest Trail. They took frequent short cuts and "long cuts," detours off the main trail for the sake of scenery or even whim. In , they hiked the trail a second time, this time sticking strictly to the PCT itself. The following summer, the pair hiked the Continental Divide Trail, a cobbled-together network of existing trails that runs from Mexico to Canada mostly along the crest of the Rocky Mountains.

By then a long-distance veteran, Jardine had begun not just formulating his system for long hikes, but implementing it. When they set off from Georgia on June 7, , Ray and Jenny were putting his go-light system to its first real test. Each of their packs weighed less than 15 pounds, including food, a feat achieved in part by starting late in the season to avoid carrying heavy winter clothing and gear.

Our lightweight gear left us open to outright scorn. And the relatively short distance between resupply stations in the densely populated East made it possible for them to travel even lighter. Jardine cut the hipbelts off their packs because their light loads made them unnecessary. They hiked in running shoes, taking most of the weight off their feet, where it really counted. Both had umbrellas, modified by Jardine, which enabled them to hike in light rain or drizzle, and do so in perfect comfort.

They did, however, make one bold decision they would soon regret. They decided to hike the entire AT without a stove. It was a good lesson. That in turn enabled them to enjoy the experience more. The thing is, we never passed anyone on the trail.

We move too slowly for that. We passed them while they were resting, or sleeping, or taking layover days because they were all so tired from lugging those huge packs. He was pleased to see that as more and more hikers tried his ideas, the response to the book was shifting from outright ridicule to deep gratitude.

After reading your book it just amuses the heck out of me that I was pretty much the idiot. Given his history, it was predictable that he would drift away from long-distance hiking. With the noise and clamor of the hiking community sounding a lot like the sound and fury in Yosemite after his "friends" appeared, his already waning interest in hiking was further diminished.

Today he lives with Jenny, his partner in adventure, in a quiet, sparsely populated corner of the Northwest. His modest house and cavernous workshop stand on a few acres of lodgepole pine, not far from the mountains and forests he loves.

He seems content at home, absolutely focused on the details of his next wilderness adventure, which will take him and Jenny through some of the most remote and unforgiving land in the world. Shortly after leaving behind the backpacking world, Jardine turned the considerable wattage of his full attention to a new outdoor enthusiasm: Arctic kayaking. This fall he and Jenny returned from their third year in the Arctic, having paddled from Washington State, through Alaska, to the Mackenzie Delta.

Each day in the Arctic, Ray and Jenny would don survival suits and paddle through what is literally ice water. Their only company might be beluga whales or grizzlies on shore. Before each voyage Jardine heads to his workshop to build a new, improved kayak, but only after redrafting it with a computer program he wrote in his previous life as an aerospace engineer. Describing the tedious task of designing his kayak, his eyes burn with the same enthusiasm they show when he remembers the process of developing "friends" climbing protection or recalls figuring out how to get by on a long hike with less in his pack or on his feet than others of us can possibly imagine.

When he left Yosemite, he had done the hardest climb in the world and invented a device that would change the sport forever. He never again could do anything truly new in climbing, only repeat what he already had done. And after hiking the longest trails in America, some of them three times, he had reduced packweight to less than most people thought was possible. He had developed a system of interlocking techniques that virtually guaranteed not just success, but success with pleasure.

No one else can live my life for me, or for you. He lives in Seattle, Washington.


Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking. Ray Jardine

Thanks for watching! Visit Website In typical Jardine fashion, The Ray Way was developed through intense personal experience, starting with his first long-distance hike, a PCT trek, in It had been a rewarding journey, but a physically rigorous one. He went on to do the other two legs of the Triple Crown of American trails—the Appalachian and Continental Divide—and along the way watched far too many hikers suffer, often becoming exhausted, discouraged, and eventually quitting.


Ultralight: The Ray Jardine Way

In , at the age of 19, Jardine took a summer job in Yellowstone National Park , and enrolled in his first rock climbing class with instructor Barry Corbet member of the Mount Everest expedition , in Grand Teton National Park. During the three years of his formal education at Northrop, Jardine worked evenings as a draftsman at North American Aviation in Los Angeles, California. In the spring of Jardine graduated from Northrop University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Professional life[ edit ] Immediately following his graduation from Northrop University in , Jardine was hired by Martin Marietta as a specialist in computer-simulated space-flight mechanics, shaping trajectories for earth satellite and interplanetary missions. Colorado rock climbing[ edit ] He began his climbing career in in the Tetons and climbed in Eldorado Canyon State Park near Boulder, Colorado during the s. Yosemite rock climbing[ edit ] Jardine became active in Yosemite around


Ray Jardine




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