Backpacking Trip Ahead? Here Are 7 Ways to Lighten Your Backpacking Load

Backpacking Trip Ahead Here Are 7 Ways to Lighten Your Backpacking Load

There is nothing quite like the thrill of prepping for a backpacking trip. Looking at the map, planning your route, and packing up all your gear create a sense of excitement. When you arrive at the trailhead, the sense of adventure is thick in the air.

Ways to Lighten Your Backpacking Load for The Upcoming Trip

However, once you put on your backpack, that excitement disappears in a flash as you wonder who put rocks and bricks in your bag. Carrying a heavy pack can completely ruin an otherwise excellent backpacking trip.

If your supplies are too heavy to handle, don’t cancel your next trip just yet. Here are seven ways to lighten your backpacking load.

1. Opt for multipurpose gear

Backpacking gear that can fill multiple roles is a great way of cutting down on the weight of your backpack. Items like duct tape, trekking poles, phones, bandanas, and stainless steel cups are great examples of multipurpose gear.

For instance, a stainless steel cup that can be used as a drinking cup, measuring cup, and disinfection cup all in one is an easy and affordable way to cut down on weight.

2. Limit your clothing

It can be tempting to pack extra clothing. You might be worried about getting wet or smelling bad, but who are you trying to impress? Everyone on the trail is going to be dirty and a bit smelly. Extra clothing is not only heavy but can take up a lot of space in a bag that could otherwise go-to essentials.

3. Reconsider a tent

Backpacking Trip Ahead Here Are 7 Ways to Lighten Your Backpacking LoadWhen packing for a backpacking trip, many people automatically pack a tent. However, a tent is often the single heaviest item in your pack, and there are many different situations where it is unneeded.

If the weather is going to be clear and warm, consider using a tarp instead of a tent. Alternatively, you could also go without any shelter if you are confident in the weather.

4. Avoid books

There are many different types of camping, and some of them afford you the luxury of free time and space to bring whatever you want. Backpacking is not one of these. At the end of a long day of backpacking, you likely won’t have the energy to read the book you packed.

Leave the book at home or opt for a lightweight solution like a library app on your phone or a tablet.

5. Optimize your sleeping system

Not all sleeping bags are equal. Down sleeping bags are significantly heavier than their lightweight counterparts. Leave the thick sleeping bag at home and opt for something lighter if you will be in warm weather.

6. Repack food

Repacking your food is one of the easiest ways to shave a few pounds off your pack. Leave the cardboard boxes and wrappers in the trash and pack just the food. Your feet and back will thank you.

7. Ration your water

Water is essential on the trail. It is also heavy. Instead of filling up your entire water supply from the jump, check and see if there are any locations to refill along the route.

8. Avoid gear fear

Backpackers will often pack for the worst-case scenario, which can cause overpacking and a back-breaking load. Try to be as rational as possible when packing and leaving that extra raincoat at home.


These seven tips will help you lighten your load and make your next backpacking trip more enjoyable. Remember, you are a backpacker, not a pack mule.

Photo by Pawan Yadav from Pexels
Photo by Bianca Gasparoto from Pexels

Backpacking Trip Ahead? Here Are 7 Ways to Lighten Your Backpacking Load

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