Lightweight Backpacking : Guide for Lightening Your Pack

guide for lightening your pack

Loading your backpack means more weight to carry and feeling less comfortable on the trail. You can easily injure your back and shoulders or hurt your muscles.

What if we told you that you can lighten your pack on the trail while having everything you need?

Let me explain:

You hear about the state “The less is more.”, well, it also applies to a backpacking guide. First, you choose your own ideal amount of weight to carry, for example between 15 to 22 pounds.

In order to do that you just need to replace, weight, and pack only the necessary things. When hiking it is crucial to stay healthy, comfortable and safe. But, that doesn’t mean you have to carry all the stuff that comes to your mind.

If you want to know more about ultralight backpacking guide all you have to do is read on.

Replace and Weigh Your Gear

When you replace an old gear and purchase a new one, pay attention to the weight of each item you will carry. The total amount should not be over 10 pounds. Because, when you add your consumables, that weight can double.

So, use a luggage scale to measure your gear. Leave out the water and food.  Make a checklist and select only the items that are crucial for the conditions you will face.

You can replace some of the items. For example, instead of a knife, you can use a razor blade which is much lighter and equally effective in most situations.

Shelter and Sleeping Bag

If you prefer a tent, go with a full-mesh one to keep the insects out. The ultralight tent weighs about one pound or two pounds. Depends on the gear you choose.

You can also use an ultralight tarp to create a shelter. Bivy sack which weighs about two pounds and lightweight hammocks are becoming more popular these days.

As for the sleeping bag, the best choice is the down one which weighs about one or two pounds. They are comfortable, more compressible, lighter and water-resistant. To lower your load, choose the one that is not to warm, because of the extra weight.

Instead of buying a sleeping bag with a hood, you could wear a hat. Or you could use a short model and put your empty backpack under your feet while sleeping. The last solution is to use a down trekking quilt.

Choose the Right Close

You don’t want to layer up with all that extra clothing. For safe and cozy hiking choose clothes based on the forecast. For summer, fall or spring pack one synthetic T-shirt, long sleeve top, lightweight pants and shorts, two pairs of underwear and socks, lightweight jacket and two hats.

If it’s going to be a rainy day, pack your rain pants and light gloves.

Water and Food

When going hiking make sure that you drink enough liquid before you leave the camp. Try not to bring a large amount of water. Do the research of the area where you’re going to hike and find out where lakes and streams are, so you can refill your bottle.

If it is possible, you should carry 2.2 pounds of liquid before you reach the next water source. Always have backup purification tablets (choose the one that goes with the plastic bag) or mini filter. Choose collapsible water bottles instead of plastic one because they are lighter by 80 percent.

As for the food, get the one that will bring you enough calories per day. Depending on how many miles you want to cross in one day and how fast, you need to consume about 3000 to 4000 calories, which is about 2 pounds of food.

Try with the instant food. For example, oatmeal and coffee are very efficient for a good start of the day. You can also add a protein bar for an extra energy. For lunch, it will be best to bring some fat-rich and high-calorie food like chocolate, nuts, powder supplements, protein bars, seeds, or dried fruit.

It will keep your energy level high which is very important when hiking. Always remember to dehydrate food at home, that will save you time, packaging and money. Store the food properly.

protein bar

Safety Tips:

  • One of the most important thing when hiking is safety. In order to do so, always bring a compass, GPS watch or a map. They are maybe heavier, but you don’t have to worry about being lost and you can always send a message to your family or summon help.
  • Bring a hat and a sunscreen lotion in a small bottle to protect yourself from the sun. It is also good choice to pack the lip balm. Of course, sunglasses are a must for eye protection.
  • For a dangerous situation bring a safety whistle. The international call for help is three blasts. Always wear it around your neck.
  • Wear trail-running shoes or light hikers. These are used by most light hikers. Sometimes it is even better to wear a non-waterproof one because they will dry quickly.
  • The crucial thing for your health and safety is to bring repair and a first-aid kit. The most important items are bandages, gauze pads, blister pads, pain-relief pills, razor blade, duct tape (just a few inches), gear repair tape and antibiotic ointment in small packets.
  • Good hygiene is very important to stay healthy. Pack your tooth brush, travel-size toothpaste, a small bottle of soap, toilet paper, dab rag for women and backpacking trowel.

“Become familiar with and practice Leave No Trace principles. Not only will it help you with good hygiene in the wild, it will help you become a better outdoor steward. Disposing of your waste properly is a good principle to start with, because it’s paramount to good hygiene in the wild.” says Rosielani Enos, co-owner of an outdoor leadership and lightweight backpacking guide company called Roam the Woods for a Women’s Adventure Magazine.


This guide will help you with lightening your pack while having everything you need. Not being loaded means more comfort on the trail and a better experience. Follow these easy tips to stay safe and healthy while hiking.

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