As we prepare to welcome in 2024, we’re taking time to look back at where we’ve traveled. Specifically, we’re looking at where the world-renowned Light Feet blog has taken us over these last 12 months. 

Our goal is to make Light Feet our community’s go-to destination for inspiring interviews with outdoor enthusiasts, useful tips and tricks for the trail, adventuresome tales from the backcountry, helpful gear highlights, and all things lightweight backpacking. Thanks to guest contributors, expert interviews, and our top-shelf, in-house creative brainstorming team, we’ve published some pretty fun content this year, if we do say so ourselves.

To determine the best Light Feet blogs from 2023, we used a highly scientific process that involved looking at the number of views each of our articles got this year and combining that with an overall vibe check. Following this thorough review, we’re excited to present you with the top 15 Light Feet blog posts from 2023!

1. Learn the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace

We kicked off the year with an educational piece on the seven principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). Interest in the outdoors has continued to increase each year, and we wanted to provide some accessible information on how we can all reduce our impacts on the environment while we explore. Check out the article for a history of LNT principles, who should use them, where to use them, and details on each.

2. What Is Fastpacking? Everything to Know to Get Started.

This year, we were excited to launch our Fast Kumo 36 backpack, a pack made for trail running, fastpacking, and record-setting. To celebrate the newest member of our line, we also kicked off a blog series all about fastpacking, including this introductory blog about the sport.

3. 7 Fastpacking Tips for Beginners

Our fastpacking blog series also included three guest posts from record-setting fastpacker Jeff Garmire. He offered stories about his background with fastpacking, tips for beginners, and other thoughts on how to make fastpacking work for you based on your own personal goals.

4. Announcing Helium-Filled Backpacks for Extreme Lightweight Hiking

The Gossamer Gear team starts getting excited about our April Fool’s Day blog months in advance each year. After a long list of questionable ideas, this year we settled on helium-filled backpacks. Because why take less when helium can allow you to take more?

5. A Mother’s Insights From Hiking 1,000+ Miles With Kids

For Mother’s Day, we shared a guest submission from Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart, who has hiked 1,000+ miles with her two kiddos, now 8 and 10. The blog was as adorable as it was informative. Jennifer detailed the “ten essentials for kids” while on trail and reflected on some of her favorite memories from their time together in the outdoors.

6. The Father–Daughter Design Duo Behind Gossamer Gear

We introduced you to our phenomenal design team this year in an interview with Greg and Carrie Fritsch. We’re proud of our small, family-oriented approach to each Gossamer Gear product. You can also learn more about this father–daughter design duo in a short film we released about them earlier this year.

7. 8 Ways to Manage Spring and Summer Rain When Hiking

Depending on where you live, you might encounter more rain during the spring and summer months. Rainy hikes during warmer weather require special planning, so we shared some tips to help keep our community adventuring throughout popup rainstorms in the spring and summer months.

8. Brave Trails Leverages Backpacking to Support LGBTQ+ Youth

Brave Trails is a nonprofit working to reduce barriers that LGBTQ+ youth face to getting outside. Through a variety of outdoor-focused leadership activities, they help LGBTQ+ youth build community and benefit from the positive effects of time spent in nature. We interviewed Thursday Sadler, who developed and coordinates the organization’s backpacking program, to learn more about their work.

9. Cook Your Backpacking Dinner in Your Pants With Help From the “Crotch Pot”

Our blog editor’s (me!) thorough, personal review of the Crotch Pot drove roughly one million sales of the treasured backcountry kitchen item. I mean, more or less that many, ya know? We did receive one Instagram comment about it that said it was the first review this person had read that actually made them want to try it. Our blog editor will hold onto that compliment for the rest of her life, so thank you @johnpriddle. Also, it created many confused questions from her family members and close friends.

10. Blazing Trails: How to Hike, Camp, and Survive the Summer Swelter

It was real hot in Texas this summer, y’all. Ky Harkey, the chief adventurer at, who has spent time as a NOLS backpacking leader, Wilderness First Aid instructor, and director of interpretation for Texas State Parks, wrote a guest post for Light Feet on how to keep adventuring in the heat safely. We’re grateful for the break in the heat and know we’ll turn to this blog for good reminders come next summer.

11. Glen’s Whisper: An Ultralight Shelter’s Journey From Ideation to Execution

We were excited to launch the DCF Whisper ultralight shelter this year. This spacious, storm- and bug-proof shelter weighs just 9.8 ounces and is our founder’s go-to set-up. Glen wrote a guest blog for Light Feet sharing how he developed this design over time. There are only 100 of these limited edition shelters available.

12. 21 Uses for Gossamer Gear Lightweight Tarps (Beyond a Shelter!)

Our lightweight tarp shelters, the Solo Tarp and the Twinn Tarp, are great for backcountry sleeping, but we wanted to highlight some of their other uses this year too. So, our team gathered together to list 21 very practical uses for the tarps that our community of lightweight, multi-use enthusiasts can explore. We also decided to launch the #GGTarpChallenge. If you can prove to us that you’ve used the Solo Tarp or Twinn Tarp for all 21 of these uses, reach out to our team for a special prize package!

13. Los Padres Forest Association Shows How to Give Back to the Places We Love

This year, we got to interview Bryan Conant, the executive director of Los Padres Forest Association (LPFA), and Paul Cronshaw, one of our wonderful brand ambassadors and an LPFA volunteer, about the organization’s work. Their thoughts inspired all of us to find more ways in the new year to lend a hand to our public lands. You can also learn more about their annual used gear fundraising sale, which offers lots of Gossamer Gear products at great prices!

14. This Marine Veteran Has Adventured 24,000+ Miles to Support Veterans’ Mental Health

We also got to interview Gabe Vasquez, a Marine Corps veteran and long distance hiker, about his work to support veterans’ mental health. Through a variety of outdoor adventures, Gabe has raised more than $40,000 for Semper Fi & America’s Fund (SFF), a nonprofit that cares for the nation’s critically wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, and military families.

15. How to Choose the Best Daypack for You: A Lightweight Guide

This year, we launched a new daypack, the Loris 25. We also updated our popular Vagabond Jet to recycled fabric and released the Minimalist 19 in our fan-favorite colorwave, tropical mist. Having the right daypack along for your adventures can make a big difference. We put this blog together to highlight the features to look for in a daypack and compare five daypack options we offer at Gossamer Gear.

Thank You and Happy New Year!

From all of us at Gossamer Gear, we want to express how much we appreciate you being a part of our community. You made the journey a great one this year and we’re excited to get to keep hiking with you into the grand vistas of the future. As we close out the year, we wish you all the happiest of trails in 2024!

Make sure to share your adventures with us by tagging tagging Gossamer Gear on social media (@gossamergear) and using the hashtag #takelessdomore. And if you have an idea for a guest blog, feel free to reach out to!

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December 05, 2023 — Korrin Bishop