take less. do more.

Glen Van Peski

The Godfather of ultralight backpacking



Glen’s new book translates his numerous and varied adventure stories into day-to-day wisdom, offering incredible insight amid heart-thumping expedition tales, and providing practical tips and advice, not just for those wanting to lower their pack weight for their wilderness or overseas adventures, but also for those wanting to move more lightly through life.


Hello, I’m Glen Van Peski, and I’m glad you landed here. I’ve worked hard over the last forty years to move towards humility, generosity, service and gratitude, a little bit every week. Along the way, I’ve had a varied career in civil engineering and ended up accidentally founding a backpacking gear company, Gossamer Gear. As an engineer, I’m always looking for better ways to do things. I’ve figured out a few things over the years, in ultralight backpacking, and life in general, that people have found helpful. I’m a lifelong learner and eternally curious, so I invite you to hike alongside for a while and chat about what matters.

Glens gear list

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  • Multi Day Hikes
  • Day Hikes
  • Solo Adventurer

In Their Words

In Their Words

  • Francis Tapon

    World explorer Francis Tapon interviews Glen on his WanderLearn podcast, while hiking. Among other interesting facts, you can learn some metric conversion tricks.

  • Liberty Through Wealth

    A conversation walking along a dusty road in Tuscany gives renowned investment advisor Alexander Green a different way to think about retirement.

  • Mountainsmith

    It had always been a dream of Glen’s to head into the backcountry for a 3-day trip with only a lumbar pack. A chance meeting at Outdoor Retailer in the Mountainsmith booth put the wheels in motion for just such a trip.

Entrepreneur/engineer, Author/Speaker, Philanthropist/Dishwasher

Glen Van Peski

“Work hard and be nice.”–Michael Frant

I am a husband to my smokin’ hot wife of 40+ years, Francie, and father to two amazing men Brian and Grant, our middle son Derek having been born severely handicapped and died before he reached 20. We live in Bend, Oregon, which is pretty much outdoor wonderland, when we’re not exploring the United States and abroad. I am an engineer, though retired from doing much actual civil engineering since 2017. An entrepreneur since an early age, I am an inveterate tinkerer and maker. I am an outside adventurer–not to the extent of my many more accomplished friends, but I’ve done some serious trips. We have been blessed with more than we need, and being generous is important to us, in both traditional and non-traditional ways.

I’m intrigued by leadership, business and personal growth. I’m curious about homelessness, addiction and obesity. I’m pretty serious about roasting coffee and baking sourdough. I’m very serious about backpacking with the lightest pack I can figure out.

I’m a husband, father, Christian and tinkerer.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint Exupéry

take less. do more…




Here’s where you can catch Glen, in person or online, and hear some great stories, and get some tips for lightening your load!

  • August 23, 2023

    Women Who Explore

    In “How to Go Lighter”, Glen Van Peski, Founder/Managing Director of Gossamer Gear, will build on the (un)critically acclaimed “Lighten Up! DVD (watch before the seminar here) Packed with thrills and drama, this professionally-produced DVD chronicles an ultralight makeover that reduces an experienced backpacker’s base weight by 75% before your very eyes. 

    Building on the 33-minute film, Glen will give a short review of the main concepts of lightening your load, review potential weight savings in “The Big Three”, discuss weights of food and water and demonstrate his personal gear as questions come up. 

    At the end of the presentation, attendees will be given a link to website resources mentioned in the talk (so you don’t have to try and write them down) and a copy of Glen’s personal gear list (base pack weight of under 5 lbs). 

    The session will end with a question and answer period and raffle of cool ultralight door prizes. To get in on the action, sign up here.


  • March 25, 2023

    Cascade Ruck 2023

    Join us for the 2023 Cascade Ruck – an event ideal for hikers of all skill levels: aspiring long-distance hikers and long-time enthusiasts.

    ALDHA-West Cascade Ruck 2023
    Price: $38.00
    Get your ticket:


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