We’ve seen some serious hikers survive off of lightweight packs that keep them flying fast. We have a few suggestions for you on how to shave off extra pounds from your pack without sacrificing safety.
Do without. There may be a lot of hype around luxurious hiking and camping gear, but it can add a lot of weight so be sure to ask yourself if it’s really a necessity. We think you’ll survive without that ultra-plush sleeping pad and three-room tent you just bought. Leave those items for the next car camping trip and lighten up your load.
Make modifications. A hiking pack comes with all kinds of compartments and pockets. You don’t have to fill every pouch. If you don’t have crampons, you probably don’t need the crampon protection on your pack. The bells and whistles are always great but make note of the weight they add.
Downgrade. Reconsider the gear you intend to bring. Are you absolutely certain you need a full tent, or can you hack it with just a bivy sack?
Sharing is caring. If you are hiking with a gang, scratch each other’s backs when it comes to packing. You both don’t need to pack first aid kits so try to avoid duplicating items. One of you should pack a water filter, and the other can carry the kit.
Compromise. Sometimes gear can compensate for other items that didn’t make the cut. For example, if you are worried about warmth, pack extra clothes and choose a lightweight sleeping bag and wear them in conjunction.
Choose your pack wisely. A weekend hike is not an expedition, so it doesn’t require the same pack. A smaller pack for a shorter trip can save you the extra unnecessary weight.
Pack the right food. Food tends to be the heaviest item. Try to pack a smarter menu for your trip. A little extra food is good, but the key is to not have too much food left over. Freeze dry food is best when it comes to saving weight and now with meals like pasta primavera you wont feel like you’re missing out. You may even save enough weight to pack the freeze dried apple cobbler.
Weigh everything. Once you have your gear together, double check the weight of your items with your own scale. Sometimes there is a difference between the advertised weight and the actual weight. Just make sure you are carrying the weight you think you are carrying.
When it comes to ultralight hiking, it’s about bare necessities and essentials. We’re curious to know how you put your pack on a diet to make it more lightweight—share your secrets about keeping it simple below.