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Brandon Currin

Lightweight Essentials for Backpacking

Lightweight Essentials for Backpacking

Are you a traveler but not a backpacker necessarily? Still, when it’s about to get out into the backcountry for an overnight trip, considering lightweight backpacking is beneficial. However, when buying gear for lightweight backpacking, you must remember that it’s an evolution. You generally learn this evolution through experimentation, education, and experiences.

Over time, we have discovered what works best when it’s about lightweight essentials for backpacking. So, here you can also learn about an optimized checklist for lightweight backpacking.

So, here we go:

Introduction to lightweight backpacking

Experienced backpackers always understand that weight matters. Lightweight backpacking refers to hiking with lightweight tools or essentials. In ultra-lightweight or lightweight backpacking, the key focus is only to pack the necessary equipment. This practice will ultimately help you to reduce the weight you need to carry wherever possible.

The idea of lightweight backpacking was to ensure faster hiking while carrying minimalistic gear. Over time, the idea began to spread among conventional backpackers as well. At present numerous backpackers are on the lightweight backpacking community pages.

The boom of lightweight backpacking is still continuous. Therefore, the phenomenon is now pretty visible in the offerings of backpacking essentials or gears stores.

Lightweight essentials for backpacking

When it’s too lightweight essentials for backpacking, the key idea here is more than just reducing your ounces. Instead, it is about freeing yourself to hike more comfortably and farther. Consequently, you can also cover a wider terrain and experience more of your surroundings.

Staying light will make you faster and help you put more things within reach. Due to all these reasons, it is worth learning about lightweight essentials for backpacking.

Therefore, we have enlisted some of the most important gears to consider here. 

So, here we go:

1. Decide on the lightweight backpack you want to carry

First, invest in the high-quality, waterproof, but lightweight backpack you'll use to carry your essentials. If your chosen items are compact and lighter, you can choose a less structured and smaller backpack.

Lightweight backpacks are also made of thinner material. Therefore, these need more care. In addition, you also need to consider various other things while choosing a suitable backpack. For instance,

  • What backpack size and capacity do you need?
  • The support you need.
  • The must-have features that you want in your backpack.

Consider all these aspects to make the right choice accordingly.

2. Decide on your lightweight shelter.

When choosing a lightweight shelter, determine your shelter needs first. For instance, if you are going on a solo trip, choose a shelter option that weighs less than 2 pounds. You can have various choices for lightweight shelter selection. You can review these options such as:

  • Tent
  • Trap shelter
  • Hammocks
  • Bivy sacks

Learn about the pros and cons of each option and then determine the best solution per your personal preferences.

3. Choose the best lightweight sleeping bags.

The next important thing is finding a lightweight sleeping pad or sleeping bag. You can consider different factors such as your condition, personal comfort level, and budget.

If a good night’s sleep is important to you, you can add a few ounces here.

Sleeping quilts are also a popular alternative for minimalists to sleeping bags. Quilts generally weigh a lot less than sleeping bags. Wearing your clothes to bed can help you boost warmth if you use a quilt.

4. Invest in an adequate cooking system.

People prefer pre-cooked meals to stay light or simply plan to boil water for dehydrated food. This practice keeps them preparing meals from scratch. In addition, this practice can also help you save weight on both fuel and food.

You can also be the minimalist who ditches the hot meals and stove. Cold soaks can be a good alternative to consider here.

Still, if you want to pack a cooking system, choose a small stove to save space. You can choose a tablet fuel stove, Canister stove, or alcohol stove, as per your preferences.

5. Limit your wardrobe

Pro backpackers always no that worrying about your body odor isn't worth considering. It happens, as simple as that. So, you must skip carrying many clothing items when it’s about lightweight backpacking. Consider the items you won’t need on your trip, and leave them at home to reduce weight.

6. Plan ahead for your water carrying.

Carrying plenty of water on your every backpacking trip is unnecessary. Considering some important factors will let you understand the adequate water quantity you must carry. For instance, consider the following:

  • Are you heading to a place with an abundance of streams?
  • Is there any reliable spring on your way?
  • Does your hiking spot have any water source?

A little research about the area you are heading to can help you here. In case of water source availability, it is smart to carry a water filter instead of dozens of water bottles. This practice will certainly make a difference.

7. Pack adequate food items.

People usually carry a surplus of food when backpacking. Estimate the number of days you will stay outdoors. Then consider the food needs of you and your partner. This practice will certainly help you estimate the food you need during your days and nights on the trail.

*Important Tip*

Food weight is always variable. Planning out your snacks and meals in advance can help you better manage your food weight. You can also consider eating heavy food items first to diminish weight on the go.

Additional lightweight essentials you can consider

Here we have some additional lightweight essentials that you can consider carrying:

  • Electronics and technology essentials, such as mobile phones, power bank, USB cables, etc.
  • Miscellaneous, for example, flashlights with extra batteries, sunscreen, safety whistles, sunglasses, lip balm, and more.
  • Hygiene or Toiletries System including hand sanitizer, sanitation trowel, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc.
  • Repair Kit containing duct tape, small knife or razor blade, sewing needle, and thread.

All these items are essential for lightweight backpacking. However, you can also consider skipping or adding to these lightweight essentials for backpacking as needed.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

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