What You Need to Know Before Going Ultra-Light Backpacking

A woman standing on rocks in front of a mountain while hiking

Ultra-light backpacking is tough. Packing light is a revered skill, which develops with practice, time, and patience. Everyone isn't cut out for the ultra-light life. You have to pack next to nothing and hike long distances. On the flip side, though, you get to spend more time in nature and enjoy the scenery and less time worrying about aches and pains.

Whether it's your first time going ultra-light backpacking or your fifth, here are some tips you'll greatly benefit from.

Get Rid of Non-Essentials

Before heading out, make sure you're only carrying the essentials. Ultra-light backing literally means packing light. We understand that packing for your ultralight trip can be overwhelming, so start with the basics. Focus on the "Big 3"— shelter, sleeping bag, and backpack. That's your base weight. Then, create a list of all the items you need. Narrow the list down and see if you can eliminate at least two to three items.

Weigh Your Bag

Your base weight should be between 10-20lbs and should include the Big 3, along with some other basic items. Toiletries, first aid kit, food, water, fuel sunscreen come under your pack weight. The longer your trip, the heavier your pack weight. Weigh your total gear after you're done packing, and if it's too heavy, you'll need to remove a few things. Remember, if you're hiking a larger distance, the weight will add stress to your shoulders and back and may even lead to an injury. Nobody wants that.

A scene with a lake and mountains

Get Organized

Plan, plan, plan. Plan everything out. Plan your water intake, and plan your food strategically. Before you head out, plan your menu for the entire trip. Take nonperishable items that weigh less and last longer. Research some lightweight backpacking food options that are high in calories and nutrients, giving you enough energy to hike all day long. You can find dehydrated backpacker meals online or in the superstore since they take up less space in your bag and are super light and convenient. Search online for helpful articles about lightweight backpacking trips.

Get the Right Gear

The quickest and most effective way to shave off some serious weight is to replace your Big 3. Choose lightweight, sturdy and dependable hiking gear that's no more than 3lbs. Create an ultralight backpacking checklist to track and determine what's a necessity and what's extra. Look for items that can serve various purposes. For example, a bandana can be used as a potholder, a sun shield and a washcloth.

Want to go ultra-light? At Light Hiking Gear, you can buy comfortable lightweight and ultralight backpacks online. We're a science-driven, environmentally-friendly company with the best hiking gear for all your backpacking needs.

Contact us at 801-971-0007 or email us Service@LightHikingGear.com to find out more.


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