When you’re hiking and camping, one of the best ways to maximize your enjoyment of the outdoors is to minimize the weight that you’re carrying.
Consider The Big Three
The three heaviest pieces of equipment that you’ll be carrying will probably be your tent, your backpack and your sleeping bag. Consider lightening your load by choosing lightweight options. Maybe a tarp, a bivy sack or a hammock tent will suffice.
Weigh, Measure And Itemize Everything
Keep a running list of every piece of kit and equipment, along with its weight. While this might seem like overkill, it will help you to honestly consider whether or not you actually need them. Don’t forget to count items used to organize your kit, like stuff sacks and dry sacks.
Take Less Stuff
Take only what you need, and leave the rest at home.
Take Lighter Stuff
As technology improves, gear gets lighter and lighter. You can get a good three-season sleeping bag that weighs under two pounds, for instance.
Think About What’s On Your Feet
Depending on the terrain, the climate and your body, you might find that lighter trail shoes are a better fit than heavy leather boots. No matter what footwear you choose, make sure that your shoes or boots are well broken in before you go out on a long hike.
Give Yourself Enough Time To Plan
If you know where you’re going and what you’re going to need, then it becomes easier to figure out what you can leave behind.
Choose Things That Can Multi-Task
Look for ways that your gear can do double-duty to help you reduce your load.
Get Rid Of The Unnecessary
Get rid of any extra packaging that you don’t need. While each little bit that you remove might not weigh much on its own, those ounces can add up.
No matter how light your bag is, if you’re not used to walking long distances it’s going to be hard work at first. Build up to your hike by carrying your pack over shorter distances, slowly increasing the weight until you can carry it comfortably.
Don’t Forget Food And Water
Do some research to figure out which would be most practical: carrying extra water, carrying a filter, or carrying purification tablets. Food will also add weight to your pack. The weight of food and water make it even more important to lighten the rest of your load.
Lightening your backpack can be a very time-consuming task. It takes a certain dedication to weigh, measure, compare and think carefully about every single thing that you slip into your bag. However, it will be well worth the effort when you feel like you’re flying along that path!