44 Ultralight Backpacking Guidelines Via-Hikers Can In truth Use

44 Ultralight Backpacking Guidelines Via-Hikers Can In truth Use

Going ultralight is the holy grail of recent backpacking. But such a lot of ultralight backpacking pointers I learn on the net are downright foolish, or a minimum of unrealistic for thru-hikers. For example, I’m no longer going to schlep my spices round in a tic tac container, lovely as that appears, as a result of I don’t elevate spices within the first position. Likewise, the theory of me having the forethought to pre-order sufficient dehydrated enamel powder to offer my dental hygiene wishes for 6 months is ludicrous.

So I’ve compiled an inventory of commonsense ultralight backpacking tricks to cut back your base weight in ways in which in fact make sense for thru-hikers. Even using only a handful can lighten your load considerably. As an advantage, many of those hacks are budget-friendly.

READ NEXT – Ultralight for Underneath $1,000

44 Not unusual-Sense Techniques to Decrease Your Base Weight

Lighten Up Your Large Tools

44 Ultralight Backpacking Guidelines Via-Hikers Can In truth Use

Ultralight backpacking pointers: Loosen up giant equipment.

These things make up the majority of your base weight and feature probably the most doable for big weight discounts.

1. Duvet As a substitute of Drowsing Bag

Quilts have grown wildly in recognition lately—remaining yr, greater than half of of the contributors in our annual Appalachian Path Via-Hiker Survey most popular quilts over conventional mummy luggage. Now not best are they considerably lighter, however quilts are some distance much less constricting, and lots of hikers to find them extra at ease.

2. Tarp or Trekking Pole Tent As a substitute of Freestanding

Swapping devoted tent poles for trekking poles, which you’re almost certainly already sporting, is a simple method to save weight. Unmarried-wall types are naturally the lightest choice. If insects and privateness aren’t a significant worry, you’ll move even lighter (and less expensive) with a easy tarp.

Ultralight tent materials like DCF would be the lightest choices, however minimalist silnylon tents and tarps are nonetheless light-weight at a fragment of the associated fee.

3. Minimalist Pack

Search for a pack made with sturdy, ultralight fabrics and a straightforward design: most often a big roll-top primary compartment, a mesh again panel, minimalist padding, and water bottle sleeves (there would possibly or is probably not hip belt wallet concerned). Ultralight backpacks can weigh not up to two kilos. Frameless packs are even lighter however no longer as beginner-friendly.

READ NEXT – Easiest Backpacks for Via-Mountain climbing

4. 3/4-Period Drowsing Pad

One of the best ways to scale back your drowsing pad weight via 25{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d} is to get a shorter pad. For brief other folks, a three/4-length choice is mainly full-length anyway. And for taller other people whose legs hold off the tip, merely position some folded-up garments or your partially-emptied backpack beneath them.

Inflatable pads will value greater than foam pads however have a better insulation-to-weight ratio. If you wish to have probably the most ultralight sleep device conceivable, move inflatable.

Decrease Luxurious Pieces

Ultralight backpacking tips

Ultralight backpacking pointers: Get rid of luxurious pieces. Picture courtesy of Emran Kassim.

5. Get rid of camp footwear or simply carry flip-flops.

A couple of Crocs weighs greater than a pound, and also you best put on them for a few hours in keeping with day at maximum—is it actually price it? Hikers who stroll in path runners steadily to find them breathable sufficient that they don’t want a exchange of brogues in spite of everything.

Or simply pack affordable Walmart flip-flops, which best weigh a couple of oz. (Although I’d advise towards strolling round on steep or tough terrain in flip-flops.)

6. Get rid of widespread heavy, low-calorie backpacking meals.

One of the vital hottest thru-hiking meals are in fact no longer that calorie-dense. It’s onerous to get rid of all of those low-calorie staples, however the extra you’ll dilute them with extra energy-dense (>125 energy/ounce) meals, the simpler.

Not unusual offenders:

  • Tuna packets (30-40 cal/ounces)
  • Flour tortillas (85 cal/ounces)
  • Cheese (100-120 ounces)

Extra energy-dense possible choices:

  • Nuts and nut butters (170-210 cal/ounces)
  • Olive oil (250 cal/ounces)
  • Protein bar (130-150 cal/ounces)

7. Get rid of battery financial institution for brief journeys / short-duration resupplies (like AT).

My battery financial institution weighs nearly half of a pound. Whilst I really like having the ability to use my telephone worry-free, I steadily go away the financial institution in the back of on trails with common the town stops.

By means of leaving my telephone off or in plane mode more often than not, a unmarried fee simply lasts me 4 or 5 days (and my telephone is not any spring rooster). The usage of guidebook pages to lend a hand in navigation will prolong your battery existence considerably.

8. No books, no digital camera. Use your telephone for that.

In direct counterpoint to the above, in case you are very connected to leisure media and/or pictures, it may well be well worth the seven-ounce battery financial institution to stay your telephone powered on, as it is going to prevent the considerably heavier weight of a e-book or digital camera apparatus.

9. One set of mountaineering garments. One set of camp garments. that’s it.

Clothes is almost certainly the heaviest chew of base weight you elevate but even so your Large 3. Don’t make it worse via sporting an additional exchange of mountaineering garments. The exception is an additional pair of dry mountaineering socks (key for blister prevention and basic foot well being).

Stay your camp garments protected and dry on your pack so you have got one thing heat to transform on the finish of a chilly, wet day.

10. Depart the child wipes at house.

Any person else really feel like child wipes go away a unusual residue on their pores and skin? And/or that they’re simply smearing the dust round with out in fact making improvements to anything else hygiene-wise? I say embody your inevitable funk and go away the wipes in the back of. Should you should have them, check out drying them out forward of time after which including water to rehydrate them at the path. Pack them out.

11. Chilly soak to get rid of range + gas weight.

Sporting bloodless meals that don’t require rehydration almost certainly gained’t prevent any weight since many of those meals are moderately heavy (tortillas, tuna packets, and many others.). If you wish to actually maximize the burden financial savings of going stoveless, your very best wager is to hold dehydrated meals and cold-soak it.

READ NEXT – 6 Simple Chilly Soak Recipes for Your Subsequent Via-Hike

12. Blow up your pad along with your breath; go away the pump sack at house.

Maximum inflatable drowsing pads include an enormous pump sack you’ll use to inflate your drowsing pad extra simply. I in fact suppose they’re a bit of of a ache to make use of, and extra to the purpose, they’re unnecessary additional weight.

Select Tools that Does Double Accountability

Ultralight backpacking pointers: make a selection equipment that does double-duty. (Get rid of one pot from this photograph and also you’re excellent to move.) Picture via Sage Friedman on Unsplash.

13. Snow stake as an alternative of trowel.

Why pay $20 for a titanium pooper scooper when you’ll want to get a $6 snow stake for simply 0.4 oz extra? Plus, the stake can function a part of your tent setup (minorly inconvenient if you want a cathole whilst your tent is pitched however I’m positive it’s not anything you’ll’t maintain).

14. Consume and drink from your pot.

Little need for an additional mug and/or bowl.

15. Wind pants double as rain pants.

Except you’re in a actually bloodless position, wind pants will stay you adequately heat rather than rain pants whilst weighing a fragment of what rain pants weigh. I just like the two-ounce Montbell Tachyon pants.

16. Floss doubles as thread.

Along with serving its unique dental hygiene goal, you’ll use floss as a part of your emergency restore equipment as it’s a lot more potent than thread for repairing rips and tears.

17. Fritos as fireplace starter. Bonus: additional snacks for emergencies!

So scrumptious, so flammable. Maximum thru-hikers don’t mild many fires, however it’s excellent so that you could get started one in an emergency. Quite than schlepping a devoted firestarter, simply come with a pack of Fritos in each resupply.

18. Spare garments within stuff sack as an alternative of pillow.

I in most cases simply pack no matter clothes I’m no longer dressed in to mattress within my drowsing bag stuff sack and use that as a pillow. I used to make use of a pack with a removable mind compartment, and I’d stuff my puffy jacket throughout the mind for without equal relaxed pillow. Sigh. I leave out the ones days.

Select Lighter On a regular basis Possible choices

19. Crystal Mild container for shades.

Weighs subsequent to not anything and prices so much not up to a real shades case.

20. Wendy’s spoon as an alternative of steel spoon. Only one.

You don’t want a complete cutlery set, only one spoon—you’re going to be the use of it to consume peanut butter and rehydrated mush, no longer salad and angel hair pasta. Tines are useless.

21. Ziplocks and trash luggage as an alternative of dry luggage.

Sturdy dry luggage are thick and heavy, whilst ultralight dry luggage are very dear and puncture extremely simply. I choose to pack all however my most useful equipment (electronics, down drowsing bag) in ziplocks and peak all of it off with a trash compactor bag lining the entire inside my pack.

22. Polycro Groundsheet

Now not best are usual footprints dear, however they’re additionally heavy. Take a look at choosing an ultralight polycro groundsheet as an alternative.

Polycro is a transparent, skinny, plasticky subject matter that feels extra apt for protecting a bowl of leftover salad than protective my tent ground, however it’s nonetheless unusually sturdy. Simply don’t let it blow away within the wind ahead of you weigh it down.

23. Smartwater Bottles As a substitute of Nalgene or Bladder

Nalgenes are heavy. Bladders are heavy and dear and inconvenient. Simply get two one-liter Smartwaters, and also you’ll be excellent to move. Bonus: the mouth is the proper length to mate with a Sawyer Squeeze.

24. Frogg Toggs As a substitute of Fancy Rain Tools

A Frogg Toggs rain jacket prices about $25 and weighs round six oz. That places it on par with the highest-end ultralight rain jackets available on the market weight-wise at a fragment of the price of any of the ones competition. They’re no longer probably the most sturdy clothes in the world, however I put over 1000 miles on my ‘Toggs ahead of making use of my first duct tape patch.

READ NEXT – Why $20 Frogg Toggs Are the Supreme Via-Mountain climbing Rain Tools

Set up Your Consumables

ultralight backpacking tips

Ultralight backpacking pointers: Set up consumables.

25. Bidet As a substitute of TP

Not anything might be extra refreshing than spritzing your undercarriage with a wholesome blast of ice-cold mountain water on a sit back morning. The CuloClean bidet weighs simply half of an oz, prices $10, and in addition saves you the burden of packing out extra TP.

Some diehard ultralighters suggest wiping with “herbal fabrics” akin to easy rocks, leaves, and snowballs. This can be the purest type of ultralight pooping, however I actually can’t believe wiping my ass with a snowball. I’ll persist with my bidet, thank you.

READ NEXT – Poop Out of doors Responsibly with a Backcountry Bidet

26. Lift simply the volume of meals you want between resupplies.

Not like water, people can continue to exist rather some time with out meals. Should you’re on a well-trafficked path with a number of transparent go out issues for resupply, don’t oversupply—your meals bag weighs sufficient as it’s with out you hauling an afternoon and a half of of additional rations for no reason why.

There are some severe caveats right here. Should you’re on a troublesome, far flung path or mountaineering in wintry stipulations, you may be a lot more secure packing an additional day of meals. And naturally, no longer everybody can forego meals with out incident because of scientific stipulations. Let widespread sense take the lead right here.

27. Extra miles in keeping with day = much less meals weight in keeping with resupply. Get in form ahead of you move!

A hiker who can duvet 15 miles in keeping with day gets to resupply 50{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d} sooner than a hiker who can best arrange 10. Their meals bag will correspondingly be 50{ed4a5fd24114d7ae6500c97fa7652b3915c7d898a0860a9d70161be4f9c5b00d} lighter. They’re going to additionally get from one water supply to the following extra temporarily and simply as properly, lowering the volume of water weight they should elevate at any given time.

28. Drink up at water resources and elevate much less.

Water is HEAVY, guys. Be strategic.

I all the time chug a liter at the spot after I prevent for water. On a rainy path, I would possibly best want to elevate a half-liter or much less between water resources if I you should definitely prevent and drink at every one, saving severe weight. On a dry path, I’ll almost certainly nonetheless haul as a lot water as I will be able to elevate, however I’ll nonetheless be thankful for the additional water I drank on the supply because the day wears on.

Mountain climbing at night time or within the cool morning and night time hours may even lend a hand cut back the volume of water you want to get via a given segment.

29. Retailer simply the correct quantity of duct tape/leukotape via wrapping it to your trekking pole.

Don’t elevate a whole large roll of tape.

30. Streamline your first support equipment.

Even the premade “backpacking” first support kits offered at clothing stores are overkill.  If it doesn’t all are compatible within a snack-size ziplock, it’s almost certainly an excessive amount of.

Cut back your worn weight too.

Ultralight backpacking pointers: Cut back worn weight.

31. Path runners as an alternative of trainers.

Path runners weigh about half of up to boots. It’s steadily mentioned that one pound of weight to your ft is price 5 to your again because of the volume of calories it takes to transport weight carried at the ft in comparison to the torso.

Path runners additionally dry sooner than boots, making your ultralight dream of no longer sporting camp footwear that a lot more possible.

32. Put on lighter clothes.

For example, tights or shorts as an alternative of heavy mountaineering pants. It’ll be cooler and extra breathable, too, so that you optimistically gained’t finally end up weighed down via 1000 kilos of rainwater and sweat.

33. Cross commando.

Simply sayin’.

34. Lose frame weight ahead of beginning a go back and forth.

It is a sensitive topic since many hikers in fact attempt to fortify a bit of ahead of beginning a protracted thru-hike to offer themselves some buffer towards on-trail weight reduction.

This recommendation is extra aimed toward people who find themselves sporting additional weight to start with. Quite than looking ahead to the path to take it off for you, you’ll cut back your possibility of harm and make the beginning of your hike more straightforward via running it off prematurely. (I say this realizing it’s some distance more straightforward mentioned than carried out for many people.)

Manipulate your stipulations to spice up heat with no heavy sleep device.

ultralight backpacking tips

Ultralight backpacking pointers: Manipulate your stipulations to spice up sleep device heat.

It’s vital for your protection to have a heat sufficient sleep device, however that doesn’t all the time imply choosing the beefiest bag round.

35. Select a safe campsite.

Drowsing above treeline or on a windswept promontory is beautiful cool, however on a chilly night time, you may well be at an advantage at a decrease elevation surrounded via great wind-blocking bushes and boulders.

One caveat to the decrease elevation factor: needless to say bloodless air is dense and has a tendency to pool on the backside of slim valleys, so you’ll be at an advantage staying upper up on an aspect slope than on the valley backside if that’s the case.

36. Consume fatty meals proper ahead of mattress to stick heat.

A scorching, fatty meal will give your metabolism a little bit additional spice up and lend a hand stay you heat all night time lengthy. (Any scorching meals going into your core will, after all, be useful, however the extra caloric gas you give your device together with the warmth generated via your range, the simpler). I’ve woken up sweating on single-digit nights after a hearty mac-and-cheese dinner. It’s wonderful.

37. Slip your pee bottle within your drowsing bag for a little bit additional heat.

a) Don’t get from your great, heat tent and move out of doors to pee on a chilly night time. That sounds horrible.

b) Don’t let all that heat pee move to waste! Slip your (very tightly sealed) pee bottle into the foot of your drowsing bag and use it to stay your ft heat for some time. Each and every little bit counts.


38. Sharing is being concerned.

Percentage your tent, water clear out, range, guidebook pages, GPS instrument, and many others. with a spouse, and also you’ll cut up the burden in half of. Simply you should definitely’re undoubtedly going to stay in combination.

39. Mini The whole lot

Mini Swiss Military knife, mini Bic lighter, mini toiletries, and many others. You get the image. Don’t waste weight on full-size anything else.

40. Change headlamp strap for DIY surprise wire strap.

Many headlamps have a detachable headscarf for simply this goal. You’ll steadily get lengths of stretchy surprise wire from an clothes shop. Merely thread it in the course of the holes and upload a stress adjuster.

41. Ultralight Pockets

A snack-sized ziplock or DCF pouch works completely as a pockets. Throw on your credit score/debit card, ID, insurance coverage card, and a bit of of money, and also you’re excellent to move. DO NOT carry your Costco club or your library card, or the ultralight gods will smite you evidently.

42. Trim your equipment.

Should you actually wish to maximize your weight financial savings, take your already ultralight equipment and make it even lighter in the course of the magic of scissors. Trim the straps to your pack to a shorter size, take away tags from clothes, snip your toothbrush in half of, and many others. You’re no longer going to avoid wasting kilos with this system, however when you snip sufficient stuff, you might save a couple of oz.

43. Repackage your meals and different consumables.

In reality a need if you wish to have it to all are compatible on your meals bag. And this most probably is going with out pronouncing, however steer clear of meals that are available in heavy packaging and are onerous to repackage, akin to peanut butter in a tumbler jar or anything else in a steel can.

44. Use a kitchen scale.

The weights revealed via producers are simply averages—precise product weights would possibly range from the printed specifications. For some pieces, it’s nontrivial to even to find revealed weights, and when you get started slicing bits off of your equipment, it will get actually difficult.

A kitchen scale will mean you can decide what every merchandise on your pack definitively weighs. With this data, you’ll construct spreadsheets and itemize your pack weight (when you’re into that more or less factor) to peer the place there’s room for development.

Ethical of the Tale

Perhaps you’ll use all of the ultralight backpacking pointers you’ll to carry your base weight underneath the 10-pound ultralight benchmark, or possibly you’re ok with a base weight beneath 20 kilos, and also you simply want a couple of tweaks to get there.

Be mindful, there is not any “proper” pack weight that you just should attempt to score it doesn’t matter what. The “proper” base weight is made up our minds best via you—your convenience degree, skills, and particular person wishes would be the largest indicator of whether or not you want to scale back your pack weight.

Featured symbol: Graphic design via Jillian Verner (@yourstrulyjillian).

Genie Mathena

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