NYC: Michelle Nacouzi and Ultralight Backpacking

This past October, we gathered at NoHo’s CC Filson Store for a Mappy Hour dedicated to hiking and backpacking. The night began with the classic Mappy Hour nametag, chatting adventure and sipping brews by Sierra Nevada.

CC Filson

Tonight’s talk was all about backpacking, featuring  Michelle Nacouzi or “Corporate”, a triple crown lasher as she showed us what  she packs (and what she leaves at home) when she’s backpacking the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.


Michelle came fully prepared with her actual backpack that she uses for thru-hiking. Along with sharing her tips for packing ultralight, she also passed around her gear so that we could all see exactly what she uses and for some items, the modifications she made to keep it extra light.

Full video of Michelle’s talk:


A few quick tips from Michelle:

  • You don’t need all the bells and whistles (straps and buckles) on a backpack
  • Don’t carry water unless it’s in your water bottle (so bring dry food you can rehydrate)
  • You don’t need heavy socks especially considering how long they take to dry
  • Bring a down hat – it’s super light and keeps you warm
  • Choose telescoping hiking poles, they’re easier to travel with
  • Head to Walgreens for a $1 folding toothbrush, break. Then break off the end… now it’s lighter.
  • If you decide not to bring a tent, be prepared to race other hikers to the lean-tos on the AT.

Thank you to all who joined! And for Filson for hosting and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. for the beer and for helping us create the Inside Mappy Hour Speaker Series.

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