The best way to ruin your first backpacking trip? Too heavy luggage.
Backpacking is fun, but the weight of your backpack can affect your hike. A balance needs to be struck between comfort and weight.
What happens when you pack too much? You will have a lot of weight on your back, which will quickly become uncomfortable.
However, reducing the weight of your backpack does not mean that you have to sacrifice comfort. With these tips, you can reduce the weight of your backpack.
Make sure your gear is versatile
When you’re backpacking, it’s important to make sure your gear is versatile.
Do you really need to take more than two pairs of underwear with you? (The answer is no.)
This way you can cover many situations without additional equipment.
For example, if you own a tent that can be used as both a one-person and a two-person tent, it is better for two of you to take one tent with you rather than each taking their own tent.
It’s important to be prepared, but it’s even more important to pack gear that serves multiple purposes.
For example, a cooking pot can also serve as a bowl, a scarf can be used as sun protection and trekking poles can be used for your tent or tarp.
Also, put up with the inevitable smell of sweat by re-wearing clothes to save space in your backpack.
Make a chart of the weight of all the gear you own.
Each time you get new gear, weigh it and add it to the chart so you can easily do the math when packing for your next trip.
Keep this table handy to save you time later.
Don’t forget to weigh your water and supplies like groceries.
If spreadsheets aren’t your thing, use a luggage scale to weigh your entire backpack before you leave.
Do you exceed the 20 percent limit?
Then pack away some unimportant things until you get to the 20 percent mark (20 to 25 percent of your body weight).
Don’t forget to pack the 10 essential pieces of gear that outdoor experts always recommend for safety reasons.
Plan your hydration
At around 1 kilogram per litre, water can make up a significant part of the weight of a backpack.
If you are able to filter the water regularly during your trip with a good water filter (e.g. the Katadyn Vario) you’re wasting weight if you’re carrying water all day.
It is therefore better to plan for water stops and filter the water during the trek.
Take some collapsible water bottles with you to save extra space and weight in your backpack compared to the bulky solid water bottles.
Take your partner with you
The best part about backpacking with a partner? Splitting the weight between two backpacks.
Talk to your hiking buddy to make sure you don’t take duplicate gear and split shared gear evenly.
For example, if you are using a two-person tent, one person can carry the poles and pegs and the second person can carry the structure and flysheet.
Or one person carries the stove and one carries the fuel. This way you can save extra weight and carry something you enjoy camping with, e.g. B. a book or a deck of cards.
Quick ways to shave a bit of weight:
- If you’re setting up camp in a rocky and tree-dense area, you should leave your pegs at home and use rocks or stumps instead. You can also carve pegs out of sticks.
- Pack no cotton clothes or jeans; they soak up moisture, are slow to dry, and drain your body heat all the time. Instead, wear an alternative suitable for outdoor use, e.g. B. wool, boiled wool or a synthetic blend.
- Don’t bring a full pillow. Fill a stuff sack with clothing or opt for a compact inflatable pillow.
- Vaseline can be used as an anti-chafing agent Blow as a fire starter and as a barrier to protect open wounds from infection.
- tarps are much lighter than tents – but if you’re a beginner, be careful and study the construction of tarps. This way you have an emergency shelter or a simple retreat if you need it.
- Instead of a tent, you can also use a hammock or bivouac.
- Carry fewer foods with you that contain water — instead, invest in light foods like dehydrated meals or snacks like granola bars or nuts.
- You can make your own backpacking food or buy dried food from online retailers. This reduces the weight of your rations and the number of items you need to carry.
- Use a compression sack to save space.