Lightweight Backpacking Tips – Drastically Reduce Loadweight

Reducing load weight is not rocket science. Sometimes it just takes a bit of creativity. Through the ages of time man has evolved to become more enlightened on how they live their lives. Many people of old never had the opportunity to be as enlightened as we presently are. It is, for this reason, this post on lightweight backpacking tips was created.

It is been practiced more of present than it ever was due to the advancements that have occurred over time.

I have perused the internet and I have seen a lot of lightweight backpacking tips. I read through quite a number of the articles I found and I have come to discover one thing.

Most people have their own unique way on how they handle this subject. Although I did find some similarities, one’s in a while you would find that person that just writes exactly what you are looking to see.A lady wearing a fedora hat with a backpack hiking

One thing I would tell you though before I move on is this. You should pack exactly what you feel you would be comfortable with. Some information you find were written at a particular time of the year and probably did not consider the other part of the year.

For example, some lightweight backing tips that would be ideal for summer periods would probably not be ideal for winter periods. Before you make your decision on what is ideal for you make sure you do proper research because once your trip begins there is no going back.

Why Bother Packing Light

For your own safety

The post the proper way to wear a backpack shows some harmful effects a backpack can have on your health. You don’t want to start your journey healthy and finish unhealthy that’s just not wise.

Everyone obviously is different. What would be ideal for me might not be for you. You should go with what you really feel your body can take.

Reduce your chances of getting injured

We can really reduce the chances of getting injured when we carry less load than opposed to carrying heavier loads.

Enjoy your trip

Have you ever walked with a light backpack and also a heavy one? I would guess that it was much easier to walk with the light one.

The idea of the journey you are to embark on is to have some fun or at least a level of satisfaction. These two objectives would be defeated if you are busy worrying about how heavy the load on your back is.

See more sites

Been able to see more sites makes the experience more worth a while. We would be able to go farther than probably originally planned.

Be able to rest better

Experiencing less heavy loads during the day would make you sleep better at the end of the day. This is very important because it can set the tune for the next day’s journey.

These are some reasons why it is important for you to pack light during your backpacking journey.

Essential Tips on Packing Light

Weigh your items

This is very important because in preparation you want to know exactly what all of your items weigh so you can know exactly how much weight needs to go. Make sure you weigh every single item you plan on taking with you.

Go for experience

Don’t underestimate the power of experience. This can be valuable because it gives you a better idea on what to do and what not to do.

Having some experience would make you know exactly what you would need and what you won’t make use of. For those that don’t have a lot of experience, you can be on the lookout for previous backpackers because they can give you some vital information on items you would need for your journey.

Some individuals might have already embarked on the journey you are about to take. You should get information from these people and also do your own research.

Old vs New Gears

Most old items weigh heavier than new ones. Though this might not be cost-efficient it is important that some gears you require for your journey are replaced with new ones.

To the extent you know you can afford to, try replacing some of your old items to new ones.

Multipurpose Items

There are several items that serve more than one purpose. This falls under been creative and it is a very good way in which you can use to reduce your load.

For example, you really don’t need to pack a pillow. You can always improvise. You can stuff clothing into your backpack and make use of that or you can make use of stuff sacks that should be empty after setting up camp.Image of a lot of bandannas

A bandana can serve several purposes. For starters, it can be used to grip the handle of a hot pot, can serve as shade for your face against sun rays by placing it on the front of your cap. A wet bandana can help cool you down by placing it on your body.

An item that also has a multipurpose function is your cooking pot. Instead of carrying a cooking pot and a bowl why don’t you just make use of the pot also like a bowl instead of going with both of them.

Don’t Carry More Than You Need

There is no reason in carrying more than you need. This is especially true for the amount of water you would be carrying. Water is pretty much one of the heaviest things you would be carrying so there is no need in carrying an excess of it.

You should get recent reports on the trails you plan on traveling through so you know the distance of the locations you can get water. You do this so you can know the amount of water you can take that would just be enough till you get to the source of water.

The Big 3

All backpackers should have heard of the term the big 3. They are your backpack, sleeping bag, and your shelter. They are called the big 3 because they are the biggest things you would take with you.

When trying to reduce weight you should always start with these because they can greatly affect the weight of the load you carry.

When deciding the type of shelter you are going for always consider the weather. What is the weather going to be like in the place you would be camping. By asking yourself this question you would be able to make your decision.Image of a man wearing a backpack ready for hiking

One thing you need to know is that there is no perfect backpacking shelter that fits all conditions. There are always disadvantages. When choosing a shelter for your camping your selections should be made from tarps, tents or the bivouac sack.

For the lightest and most spacious the tarp comes out on top. Though very light and also spacious, it does have the disadvantage of the least protected against bugs. Your best option when going for this is to have some nets to cover up the opened side.

Due to the fact that it is exposed, you would have less privacy. You should learn how to pitch your tarp before you start your trip because it’s a bit tricky and it is not a skill you want to learn when on the road.

Tents are more geared towards comfort, privacy, and protection. The downside to this is that they weigh more than your tarps. Depending on conditions such as the weather you can either go for a single wall tent or a double wall tent.Image of a tent inside a forest

The single wall tent is cheaper and also lighter than the double wall tent but has a disadvantage of not being suitable for very cold weathers.

The bivouac sack is also lightweight and can be used in more locations than the other options above. They do have the disadvantage of being less spacious you won’t even be able to put your backpack inside but they can increase the warmth of your environment when you plan on sleeping.

Pick The Right Clothing

Try to go for clothes that have multipurpose functions like having a rain jacket that can also be used as a wind shirt. Choose the right clothes depending on the season and also consider how much they weigh.

Go With The Right Food Choice

You obviously would not be able to eat as you do at home when you are backpacking. It is vital that you take food items that are not going to be extra weight but would be OK for you.Image of two ladies having a meal in their camping trip

You should consider food items that require only water to create. Dehydrated meals are also lightweight and very easy to make.

Your Comfort is Important

With all the lightweight backpacking tips it is important that whatever you do should be what you are going to be comfortable with. Never skip on what is going to be for your safety just because you are trying to pack light.

You should go with the essentials for your safety and your health. A map and a compass are important. You should make sure they are with you. Make sure there is a way for you to be able to contact your loved ones so they know you are OK.

You should have with you your med kit in case of emergencies.

These are some lightweight backpacking tips that can help you reduce that weight. Backpacking is a fun activity and to get the most out of the experience you need to pack light.

If you have any suggestions or tips on how to pack light during a backpacking trip please do leave your comments in the comment section below.

13 comments on “Lightweight Backpacking Tips – Drastically Reduce Loadweight

  1. Whenever I’m planning to travel, I always like to travel with less weight. I hate the burden of carrying a heavy backpack especially when I have to walk for some distance. I think I can add one tip of my own, always make sure you don’t travel with items you can afford to buy on the journey. I think you missed out on that one.

    1. I feel the same way, Louis. If I’m walking a distance with a heavy load, there’s no way my shoulders will hold up. And yes, I second your notion. If I can afford them while traveling, I’m definitely taking that route. Again, just to keep the load to a minimum.

    2. I agree with you Louis that is what I have been doing recently when I do my long trips and it has made me pack very light.

      This happens more with lotion

  2. Hi Manuel,

    Thank u for this article.Backpacking is something that brings lots of frustration for me.

    I always always always take way too much with me to camping and i maybe use only half but more often less then half of what i take. I always ask for tips and advice from friends and they have the same problem as well.

    They also take way too much but they never go for long walks. They have their camper with them and they take short walks.I am someone who only takes his car with him and does take long walks in the forest and spend the night in the forest.

    I have taken notes from your website on what to do.The part i love most is the multipurpose items like the pillow.

    Dragging a pillow with u is a big big big headache.I wil never do that again but wil take some towels instead. Thank u for that.

    Your advice about new gear that are lighter is also a good one i wil look for that. Do u maybe have suggestions which products are the best option for me ?

    I have to share this article with all my friends.

    Again, thank u very much for this article.It is going to help me a lot.

    Have a nice weekend,


    1. Thanks Dahay for your comment. The type of gears you go for depends entirely on your needs and unless I know what your needs are I would not be able to advise you on what gears to go for.

  3. Hi Manuel,

    This is a great explanation with all related helpful information about lightweight backpacking. Actually we do not find out real strategy or idea when we need it. All of those tips including multi purpose items will really help us for any type of light weight packing. I am going to share it with my friends and family members and I believe they will love it. Finally, I would bookmark this for my future needs. Thanks.

    1. I’d be stocking up on the multi-purpose items. The less I have to carry the better for me, especially since my shoulders aren’t akin to holding a heavy load for a prolonged period of time.

  4. Page bookmarked. I’ll be returning to your post the day I start packing for real. I think you’ve covered everything I have to know.

    Do you have any favorite backpack brands to recommend?

    Thanks for sharing these great and comprehensive tips. Ivan

  5. You have some great tips about lightweight backpacking over here. I have your site bookmarked. I’ll be coming back to it when I’m about to pack to refresh my memory.

    Do you have any favorite brand to recommend maybe?


    1. There are several amazing brands out there Ivan but If I am to go for a favorite then I would pick Osprey. Also, Kelty does have some very durable backpacking backpacks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *