Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva
Balance and simplicity is what I seek in life and I find this lifestyle, in no other way, by walking in wild and faraway places. I want quality and durable gear to simplify and reinforce my hiking style as I typically choose challenging adventures. After many years of long distance running I found the urge to explore more. I wanted to fine tune my wilderness skills and I really craved long periods of time outside—I wanted more than just running back to my vehicle; I wanted to walk with the flowing world with nothing but my simple possessions on my back. I hiked the PCT in ’11, the CDT ’12, and then I created the Vagabond Loop, a 3000m loop around the Four Corners region. Since then, the PCT two more times, the CDT another, and a couple of brand new routes like the Sky Islands Traverse and the Great Basin Traverse. This year (2017) I will be embarking on another brand new Mexico to Canada route called the Open Sky Trail, an estimated 2700m route from Arizona to Montana. Within this route I will also be establishing the Mogollon Rim Trail. Please follow along on my website and Instagram as I celebrate the land that I love.
Why I like my Katabatic Gear: The care for detail and craftsmanship that carries over into a wilderness ethic and an ultralight philosophy is what sets Katabatic Gear apart from other companies. Most importantly, the quilts, in particular my favorite— the Sawatch 15°F — enable me to feel supremely comfortable and confident while out on trail like no other piece of gear does.
Best tip for reducing pack weight: I have gone away from just picking the lightest options. Materials matter, craftsmanship matters, as well as sensibility. If I ‘want’ something I always ask myself if I ‘need’ it. Keep things ‘needfully’ simple rather than over-simplifying.