If you’re backpacking, going ultralight can be the way forward. It is a skill which needs to be developed over time but once mastered, your backpacking trips will become cheaper, more comfortable, and a lot easier on the body.
If you’ve never tried to pack ultralight before, then you’ll find that it’s a lot to do with trial and error. The first few times you make take it too much one way and forget some vital pieces of gear. Another time, you might just not take it far enough and still be pretty heavy.
The truth is that much of the gear you take with you is unnecessary weight and you’ll learn how to identify these pieces over time and with practice. By cutting the weight of your backpack, you’ll be able to move faster and further with ease.
Here are seven out of hundreds of ideas to work towards ultralight backpacking.
Buy A Scale
If you really want to take things to the next level, then you should invest in a decent digital scale. They’re not all that expensive and it’ll help you to really get a feel for what is weighing down your backpack. The weight of some items will surprise you, so it may even be worth taking the scales to the shop before you buy the items on your packing list.
Swap Boots for Trail Runners
Boots are heavy and clumpy, whereas trail runners are light and efficient. These days many people are opting for trail runners anyway due to the comfort they provide, as well as offering a lighter step.
Pack in Advance
Try to avoid last minute packing as much as you can. Ultralight backpacking is something which takes some time to get right and deserves a good amount of preparation and attention. Rushed packing will lead to cramming objects in and not totally weighing up your options.
Say Goodbye to Tech
Do you really need it? I mean, we could do alright without it before it was invented, so why not now? This means leaving the GPS device, cell phone, chargers, and iPads at home. Plus, there is something totally liberating about going gadget-free.
Swap Tent for Tarp
Even lightweight tents are heavier than a single piece of tarp. If you’re at all concerned about the bugs which could attack you in the night, use a mosquito net to cover your face.
Use a Down Sleeping Bag
You can’t beat down when it comes to weight. These days, high quality down sleeping bags can hold their shape well and are fairly water repellent, so you shouldn’t have any issues on that front. Do try to keep the bag as dry as possible, to stop it from weighing you down.
Ditch the Stove
Yep, that’s right, just don’t bring it with you. Cold food isn’t so bad, especially if it’s only for a couple of nights. Alternatively, you can opt for an ultralight stove made out of titanium and can weigh as little as 2.5 ounces.