One thing you don’t need when you’re exploring the outdoors is extra weight in your backpack.
How to Avoid Carrying Extra Weight in Your Backpack
If you’ve been backpacking before, you know carrying a heavy backpack is the enemy, and if you’ve never done it before, it’s about time you learn this. A heavy backpack puts too much strain on your back, hips, shoulder, your everything, and it takes away from the whole outdoor experience. It’s good to be prepared but it’s also good to know that some items just add bulk and minimize convenience.
Before you throw everything but the kitchen sink in your backpack, consider these tips and get ready for a lighter trip.
Identify the Items You Can’t Live Without
Your destination, the time of year, the weather forecast and whether or not you’ll be traveling alone, are all things you should consider before you start packing. Once you have these down, make a list of the things you plan to carry and ask yourself —do I really need to bring this along?
Water is Heavy
Staying hydrated while you’re hiking is extremely important. Depending on where you’re going, you could avoid adding unnecessary weight. If you’re going to be in an area where you know there will be plenty of water and its clean, you would do fine with a small bottle of water with a quality filter, so you can fill it up again when you run out. However, if you’re not certain about the availability of the water in the area, and its quality, it’s best to carry enough water with you.
Those Smaller Items Could be Weighing You Down
Sometimes, all that weight is not because you’re carrying big items. It’s because you packed a million little things —some necessary, some not so much. Find opportunities to minimize the weight, like carrying a travel-sized toothbrush instead of your regular one. Sometimes, you can optimize your packing not by removing certain items, but by making sure you pack the right amount of them. For example, instead of packing a whole box of granola bars, you could just pack a few bars and forget about the box. You could also wrap your duct tape around your water bottle and discard the cardboard roll. These things might seem insignificant but they all add up and end up making that backpack feel like you’re carrying rocks.