Will “Willi Wabbit” Rietveld

Will R

Will is a life-long backpacking enthusiast. Since retiring in 1997 and moving to southwest Colorado, he has gotten deeply involved in the ultralight backpacking movement. Early on, he and his wife made their own lightweight gear. Will joined the staff of Backpacking Light Magazine in 2003, and has published nearly 300 articles on lightweight gear and techniques.

Will has a strong commitment to preserving public lands. He volunteers as a Wilderness Information Specialist with the USDA Forest Service, where he chats with backpackers on wilderness trails to provide helpful information and encourage adoption of Leave No Trace principles. Will has logged over 3500 hours in the backcountry as a WIS volunteer. For the past 10 years he has presented annual lightweight backpacking and lightweight cooking workshops in his local area. He is a frequent participant in Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado trail projects. Will also does a lot of trail, backcountry, and roadside litter cleanup.

During the winter he enjoys backcountry skiing in the local mountains, ski-in hut trips, and camping and hiking in the southern Utah backcountry. Will likes to build a hidden igloo in the mountains each winter to enjoy snow camping in relative comfort.

Home: Durango, Colorado

Ages: 70

WebsitesUltralight Insights | Southwest Ultralight Backpacking | Chicago Basin Trip Planning Guide

Outdoor Organization Involvement: Wilderness Information Specialist, Volunteer, and Board of Directors Member at San Juan Mountains Association | Volunteer at Outdoor Colorado | Senior Editor at Backpacking Light Magazine

Favorite Training Grounds: Weminuche Wilderness in southwest Colorado, southern Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico deserts.

Current Plans: Continue backpacking, writing, traveling, and enjoying retirement as long as I possibly can.