Backpacking is an amazing experience trekking from location to location and seeing the things that most people will never get to see! Carrying extra weight in your pack can be frustrating and really wears you out faster throughout the day. Check out this brief article for 5 ways to shed some weight from your backpack for your next adventure!
Ditch the tent stakes and chairs. You want to look for and use items that can serve multiple purposes. I was able to leave the tent stakes at home when I started sharing my tent with a friend and we’d combine our 4 trekking poles to stake each corner of the tent. We would use large rocks or trees with some paracord to anchor out the rainfly. Another item that can easily serve a dual purpose is your bear can! Leave the chair at home and use your bear can as a seat!
2. Look at your food packaging. Look at every food item you are bringing. Is there some excess packaging that you can cut off or repackage with something else? Not only will this free up space, but you’ll carry around a whole lot less trash over the course of your adventure. All of those freeze dried meals have a top you can tear off and then ziplock close. They will be fine so long as you consume them within a few weeks. Does your dried fruit really need to be in 4 separate bags? Probably not. Condense that trash before you leave home.
3. You don’t need an entire bottle of soap. When it comes to liquids and or hygiene type items, I make sure to always have some extra small containers for my backpacking treks. I pour a small amount of soap into the small container and leave the bigger bottle at home. The same goes for things like wipes. I don’t need a pack of 50, so I leave most of them at home. Use travel size deodorant, sunscreen, and toothpaste for more weight and space savings. Every ounce adds up.
4. Check in with your crew and divide items up. Before you hit the trail, talk to your backpacking group about who has what. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone backpacking as a group of 4 and between us 4, there are 4 stoves, 3 water filters, and 3 tents! If you communicate with your group you all can figure out who is bringing the stove and fuel, who will bring a water filter, and who (if any) are sharing tents. There is no need for each person to have their own stove. You can also divide up large items with your group. Someone can carry the poles for the tent, another the tent body, and a third the tent rainfly.
Generally when we guide our backpacking adventures we go through the packs of our adventurers before we hit the trail. On average, we find about 4 pounds worth of items that would’ve been unnecessary. Those 4 pounds over the course of 4 days and 35 miles would really add up.
Before your next trek, consider some of the above tips for a more enjoyable backpacking experience without sacrificing safety or luxury!
- Chris Duarte