Not everyone who goes backpacking is (or should be) an ultralight packer, but even those of us who aren’t outrageously steadfast about weight reduction can benefit from shaving some pounds off our load. Here are 5 easy steps to help keep you backpack weigh manageable.
5.) Put food into pre-measured plastic bags. Forget about bringing boxes and cans of food. The packaging and larger-than-necessary serving sizes are going to sink your pack like the Hindenburg (except with a lot less fire and death). Plus, there’s less leftover stuff to hike out with when you’re done.
4.) Consolidate Items Why bring a set of silverware when you can just bring an all-in-one spork knife? This applies to all kinds of things: zip-off pants that can be converted to shorts, a soap/shampoo stick, etc. Get creative! Or you can share certain items with others in your group. Not everyone need to carry the same items. SHARE.
3.) Re-Use Clothing Think about the type of terrain you’ll be traversing and pack your clothing accordingly. If you’re unlikely to get your feet wet, you can probably get away with using your socks or pants for more than one day. It’s not the cleanest option, but then again, no one really goes backpacking for its hygienic appeal.
2.) Pick the Right Pack for the Job Buying a super light backpack might seem like the most obvious solution here (and is often a good idea), but there can be tradeoffs to doing so, including less support. If you’re only going to be out for a few days, you can save a lot of weight simply by taking along a smaller backpack.
1.) Light Weight Tent and Sleeping Bag Most of your weight when backpacking comes from your sleeping bag and tent. These items can be bulky and heavy. It pays to invest in a light weight tent. You can also lighten up your tent by using titanium stakes instead of steel. Also look for a tent that has aluminum poles instead of fiberglass. Find a quality sleeping bag that compresses to save space. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a sleeping bag unless you want to. They are off-brand name companies that make great sleeping bags that are lighter and smaller than a standard roll up bag. Ship around or consider used. Many people really take care of their equipment plus you can always wash it. Enjoy the outdoors.