One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is through backpacking. There’s really nothing quite more satisfying than getting camp set up, looking around, and not seeing another soul because of how far out you hiked! But those miles can get overwhelming when your pack is heavier than it needs to be. Heavy packs can lead to sore feet, knees, and backs which can collectively ruin a backpacking trip if you don’t take care of them right away!
If you’ve got a heavy pack, don’t fret. There are so many ways to add on the miles and the smiles when backpacking. In this post, we’ll discuss the first 5 things you ought to do in order to reduce your pack weight. Let’s get started!
Take an Inventory
The very first thing you need to do is figure out what you’re bringing with you each time you step on the trail. Often times, we end up bringing more gear than we really need or ever use while backpacking for the “just in case” scenarios. While it’s good to be prepared, it’s best to leave behind items that you rarely use to help reduce your backpacking weight.
Reduce the Packaging from Food
After you’ve taken out some items that rarely get used from your backpack, you can further reduce your pack weight by eliminating packaging from your food as much as you can. Reducing the packaging may not seem like you’re shedding a ton of weight, but for each excess piece of packaging you remove from your pack, you eliminate ounces which add up more than you realize!
Carry Gear that Does Double Duty
One of the best things you can do to reduce your backpacking weight is to carry items that do more than one thing. Consider getting a tent that uses trekking poles to give it structure instead of separate tent poles. Use your pot that you use for boiling water as your bowl and camp cup. Having gear that serves several purposes will eliminate the need to carry extra stuff, which will ultimately reduce your pack weight.
Bring the Right Clothes
Many beginners make the mistake of bringing extra clothing when they backpack. Their head is in the right place, because having dry, clean clothes is a great way to stay comfortable when on the trail. However, if you bring clothing made out of moisture wicking fabrics like merino wool and polyester, you’ll eliminate the need to carry extra clothes, as these fabrics keep your body cool while also preventing body odor causing bacteria from accumulating on the fabric.
Get a Lightweight Pack
Easily the best way to reduce your pack weight is by getting a lightweight pack. A great style for lightweight packs is the rolltop, as it can expand and compress to accommodate the volume of gear you have as you hike. The amount of stuff you carry may fluctuate throughout your trip, so having a lightweight, rolltop pack can help you adjust to the changing conditions.
As you can see, reducing your pack weight doesn’t have to be a grueling endeavor. By doing each of these things, you‘ll see a significant reduction in the amount of weight you carry with you, which in turn will allow you to enjoy your backpacking experience much more thoroughly.