How To Lighten Up Your Backpacking Gear

Lightening up your gear is an essential part of lightweight backpacking. It’s the most obvious step to take and with lightweight gear getting more common, not very difficult.

Your tent is where you can save a lot of weight. The bigger the tent the heavier it is. A tent bigger than a 4 person tent is usually not suitable for backpacking because of the weight. If you are in a group, it does make sense to share a tent because it’s warmer.

However you need to consider the weight cost per person. To calculate the weight cost, divide the total weight of the tent by the number of people who will be sleeping in it. The cost weight should not be more than 2 pounds per person.

Although some tents can sleep comfortably the number of people as stated in the tent description, most tents refer to corpses instead of people. So a 2 person tent may fit 2 corpses perfectly but 2 people may be uncomfortable sleeping in the same tent. Get a tent that can fit at least one more person than you intend to accommodate.

Some people may not like sharing a tent for various reasons. If you are one of them, you can either go for bivy sacks, 1 person tents, or even a 2 person tent. Some 2 person tents are even lighter than 1 person tents and even a few bivy sacks. A word of caution about bivy sacks: they may not be comfortable in prolonged bad weather.

You can also save some weight on your backpack. It won’t be much but a little bit does make a difference when you’re backpacking. As with most things, the bigger they are the heavier they get. When you have a big backpack you tend to fill it up even for short trips so it’s sometimes better to have a smaller pack than a big one.

If you’ve used your backpack for a long time and find that some straps are unnecessary, you can cut them off. I know some people who save up to 1 pound as a result of cutting unwanted straps and more. You need to be careful with this approach though. Only do it if you know what you’re doing.

Your cooking gear can weigh a lot if you don’t consider them carefully. A lightweight cooking system consists of a stove, pot with lid, mug, spoon, scrubber, viscose pack towel and fuel should not weigh more than 3 pounds. Some can even get it under 2 pounds or less especially when the mug is left out.

Jonsky Sicuna is a writer for The Nemo Nano Elite is a 2 person tent that is so light that it’s commonly used for backpacking.