6 Useful Ultralight Backpacking Tricks

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Hikers - people hiking, man looking at mountain nature landscape scenic with woman in background. Happy multicultural young couple in Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Modern way of hiking and backpacking teaches us that we are able to do much more and to travel far greater distances by simply cutting the weight. This is the basis of ultralight philosophy where you have to decide what items to cut and how to reduce your already light backpack.

There are numerous benefits to traveling light. First of all, it is much easier and it reduces risk of an injury. Also, it allows you to quickly adapt to unforeseen situations.

With these 6 tips, you will be able to pack like a pro!

  1. Tent, backpack and sleeping pad – the big three

Ultralight packing always has to start with these three items. Given that tent it the biggest one, we need to go from it and then, plan everything else. Ultralight philosophy revolves around creation and sewing of your own items. This also includes tent. You can create one that suits your body’s dimensions and is much smaller than the ones sold in shops. Same goes for backpack and sleeping pad. Based on this, you can reduce a lot of weight during the very first step of the process.

  1. Minimize your clothes

Basically, the clothes that are on you is everything you need. Naturally, if your hike will last for a several months, you will need to adapt to change of seasons and bring something extra. Nevertheless, you will need spare socks as they are crucial for warmth. All clothing items should be synthetic (except for socks and boots, of course). It is common for clothes to get soaked while on the trail. If you are wearing cotton, it will take a lot of time to dry them. In other words, you will have to wear wet clothes if you wish to continue your hike. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, are impregnable.

  1. Reduce the amount of water in your backpack

According to ultralight backpacking, all you need is one medium bottle of water. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink whenever you can in big quantities. Basically, you will carry most of the water in your stomach. Instead of drinking bit by bit during the whole day, you will need to make a compromise and drink water seldom.

  1. Food should also be considered

Inexperienced hikers lose a lot of space in their backpacks for food. They bring food that is energy rich without thinking how big it actually is making the backpack really heavy. Although energy rich food is necessary for hiking, you need to find the way to reduce it. Dry food is optimal in this case. You can also choose to dry and pack food yourself. This way, you will create perfect portions according to your daily needs.

  1. Multipurpose items

Ultralight hiker has to compromise and adapt all the time. This can be seen through choice of items he brings. Instead of carrying objects with one function, he has to opt for multipurpose items. Even if something is not meant to be used in a certain way, you need to improvise.

  1. Split the weight

This last tip pertains to hikers who are traveling in a group. There is no need for everyone to carry the same set of items. Instead, make the arrangement in advance and decide who is going to carry what. Another great way to minimize your backpack.

Ultralight backpacking is based on resourcefulness. It is a hiking model which was invented by hikers who, at certain point, lacked items from their backpack. They realized we are carrying too much stuff as it is and create ultralight backpacking. Hopefully, you will adapt it on your next hike.


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