September 9, 2021

How to Pack Light for Backpacking

If you plan to hike for several days, you need to plan yourself well and know how to make the load that you will carry as light as possible. 

One of the greatest tricks you can learn to make your hike less burdening is how to pack light for backpacking to make your load light. 

When you make your backpack lighter, you will hike better and for a long period without injuring either your back or your knees. 

In addition, the overall venture will be better when you learn how to lighten your load. The following are practical tricks to help you make your backpack lighter.

1. How to Pack Light for Backpacking

Pack Light for Backpacking
You don’t need to use the biggest backpack when going on a backpacking trip.

One of the best ways to pack light is by using a smaller backpack to leave most of the large items at home. Also, it is important to choose a backpack that does not have exaggerated features like large frames and belts. 

Although you may think that those packs are better because they hold better and help balance the weight, it is also important to consider that some of those items add to the pack’s overall weight. Cutting off excess features will reduce the bag weight, and you will be able to carry more items.

2. Analyze Your Gear

Try and analyze every piece of your hiking gear to know how efficient each is. Then, find out if some require some improvements or repair or replacement.

Then, try as much as possible to replace the heavy gear with lighter ones to make it easy to carry them. It is important to carry the lightest gear possible. 

Although some of the lighter gears are more expensive, they are also the most convenient ones. Therefore, you can begin preparing for your hike early so that you have everything you need ready before the day and according to your budget.

Also, make sure you carry just what you need but not what you think can be useful. You, therefore, have to write down the must-have items before you begin your packing. 

Using a checklist for your packing will help you ensure you do not leave the must-have things and leave everything else you can do without during your hike.

Think about the activities you will do before packing to carry what you need for each activity. If your hike involves mountain climbing and bouldering or even indoor climbing, it is important to prepare well for each activity. 

Carry the right kind of climbing shoes and the right gear to make bouldering more enjoyable. Ensure you have the right shoes for bouldering and cool climbing pants.

Determine How Much Food and Water You Need for Backpacking
Often, the clothes we pack tend to be the biggest burden when backpacking.

3. Only Pack Clothes for Seven Days

One of the best ways of light packing for your hike is learning how to pack clothes for backpacking.

Despite the number of days you want to spend on your outdoor venture, the best practice to reduce the load on your back is only to pack clothes for seven days.

It is easier to find laundry and wash your clothes once a week than carrying ten entire wardrobes with you. Also, you should make sure you carry only delicate items.

4. Think of Sharing With a Friend

If you are traveling with your friend, there are certain things you can plan to share to lighten the burden. 

For instance, although carrying a map is important, you do not have to carry a map if you are hiking together. 

You also find out the possibility of sharing a tent and plan so that each of you benefits from the reduced weight.

Share Backpackinbg gear with Your Travel Buddy
If you are backpacking with friends, share some of the gear you will need.

5. Determine How Much Food and Water You Need

Plan your hike well and determine how much food and water you need between checkpoints. Carrying water for e days can occupy a very large space in your backpack. 

However, if you have some refilling stations along your route, it will be best to carry a container that will be enough to carry water that will fit you in between the checkpoints. Here is our guide on how much water to carry while backpacking.

It is also advisable to carry dry foods as most of the dry food will need a smaller space and be lighter compared to fresh foods. Determine how much of the dry food, like the granola or peanut butter and anything else, you need to survive for the number of days you want to spend. 

When you are climbing to the mountain tops, you need as little weight as possible. Therefore you should plan well to leave everything that seems to add weight and make climbing more challenging.

6. Learn the Best Packing Tricks

How to Pack Clothes for Backpacking
Place your clothes into the backpack vertically to save space.

One of the best ways to pack for your outdoor adventure is by learning how to place all your clothes into the bag vertically. 

Placing your clothes vertically makes it easy to retrieve the ones you need fast because you can see all the clothes without lifting them one by one. In addition, it will be easy for you to locate the kind of outfit you need without having to remove everything from the bag.

Using rubber bands when you are packing is prudent as you will be able to fit more in your small backpack. It may not make the load lighter, but they help keep the clothes in your bag neat and well organized. 

You do not have to buy a bigger bag when you can use rubber bands to help you pack more clothing in your small backpack. A bigger back may also have other features like pockets and belts that increase the overall weight.

7. Learn the Art of Matching Your Clothing

If you master the art of matching your clothing, you can carry your three weeks’ clothing in a small backpack. All you need is to master the art of layering your clothes, choose a color combination for your attire, and pack pieces of clothing that match. 

You can mix and match and layer your outfit to create a different look on different days. When you know how to match your clothes well, you can use a few pieces of clothing to serve you for several days. 

Organizing yourself well will help you carry fewer sets of clothing but still maintain your great look. Packing light backpacking may look like something so hard, but when you master the art, it will be easy for you to pack for your trip. 

You will carry everything you need without worrying about the heavy weight on your back. Moreover, since you will have fun, you should not spoil your experience with injuries for carrying too much. If you are a wannabe backpacker, read our guide on how to get into backpacking. Enjoy it!

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About the author 


Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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