Laurent Barikosky — Accompanying Movement
A Papersky Japan Story
Outdoors & Design 08
Moving purposefully in nature as it moves within us.
I didn’t need a new backpack, I expect I already have more than enough, but I knew someone who did. For the last few years I’ve been hiking behind a friend whose backpack was more duct-tape than backpack. It was deservedly time to replace their seasoned travelling companion (the backpack not I). The question is, with so many manufacturers out there —big ＆ small— which one to choose?
This is my journey back to the foothills of Yatsugatake to visit KS Ultralight Gear and ask Laurent Barikosky to custom make a new pack for my friend.
What makes a good backpack?
The answer to this question has changed throughout my life. As a young adventurer, it was my brother's hand-me-down Cobmaster external frame backpack. As a teenager; the lasted futuristic 80’s Karrimor design. In my twenties as I headed out for days hiking the Italian Alps around Chamonix & Monterosa. Two pairs of socks on daily washing rotation, as I walked from rifugio to rifugio carrying a Karrimor Ridge 30. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was pretty ultralight. It must’ve been ten or more years later, now living in Japan, when I truly discovered the ultralight hiking scene. I got a kick out of carrying only the essentials, to be light, fast and free as you moved through wild places. And it seems like I wasn’t the only one.
KS Ultralight Gear is a small independent manufacturer of uniquely designed, functional, and customisable ultralight backpacks. Scrolling through the selection of packs on a website which looks like it was made in the 90’s (in an unassumingly good way) I could instantly tell Laurent knew his stuff. With a choice of materials and some surprising design details I’d never seen before. The type of details which make you say out loud “of course, why didn’t I think of that?”. Right there and then my mind was made up, I had to visit Laurent to learn more about his ultralight gear and his outdoor lifestyle.
A path that can be traced is not the eternal path, the Tao.
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching.
The story continues at Papersky Japan Stories
OUTDOORS & DESIGN
James Gibson, an outdoor enthusiast and designer - bring his two passions ‘OUTDOORS & DESIGN’ together to shed sunshine on Japanese: projects, art, creative endeavours and brands that are enlightening our natural world.
Subscribe to support the good work.