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Why Pack Ultralight

I really agonized over the purchase of my latest jacket. For about fifty dollars more, I could get a jacket that was .8 ounces lighter than the other one. It sounds crazy just writing that. In the end I found a deal to get that jacket for the same price, so I was spared the agony of having to make decision.

Managing every ounce in a backpack sounds ridiculous. I get it. It seems like obsession gone awry, excess for its own sake.

But a couple weeks ago, walking through Budapest, I decided to take my backpack with me for the day. I wasn't sure if I'd find some time to sit and do some work, and we were thinking of going to baths, where I'd prefer to have my own soaps. But, as it was our first day in a new city, there would be a lot of walking.

We barely took public transport, instead walking miles up and down streets, across bridges, and up a huge hill for the view. And, for maybe the first time, I realized that I didn't notice the weight of my bag at all. At nine pounds or so, it was so light that it didn't encumber me in any way.

Constantly Improve Your Environment

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

It's a rule I have. Every place I spend time should be better because I was there.

Everywhere. A table at Starbucks? I'll wipe it off with a napkin when I sit down, and pick up my mess when I leave.

Be friendly to staff everywhere. Tip great service well. Point out terrible service politely to a manager, because terrible service is bad for everyone (the server, manager, business, and customers are all worse off if terrible service is happening).

Lightly clean any room you go to.

Don't trash a room just because other people are going to clean it.

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