101 Ultralight Backpacking Tips

An ultralight backpack means extra enjoyable. Get pleasure from floating down the path as an alternative of hauling heavy gear. You may have an ultralight backpack if you happen to mercilessly analyze every bit of substances in your pack. Listed below are 201 tricks to contemplate for lowering the load of your pack. Some are massive, some are small. That is a part of the key. Small issues add up. The previous and apparent are talked about as a result of they’re a few of the most necessary. Have enjoyable being a fanatic. If your folks make detrimental feedback, invite them to carry your pack and evaluate it to theirs. Consider the following tips as a buffet, and take what you want:

1. Purchase a digital scale. You could find an excellent one which measures right down to 1/10 ounce for about $30. You will be shocked on the weights of some objects. You may take your mild, transportable scale into shops and make clever selections before you purchase. Don’t concern gross sales folks with little or no data of the backpacking gear they’re promoting. You are now in management. Allow them to concern you.

2. Take away the surplus weight out of your physique. Dropping these undesirable kilos might be the perfect weight discount you can also make. It does not contain leaving any of your favourite gear residence. You will really feel higher, and there is a web acquire in power and endurance.

3. It must be talked about no less than as soon as. When you do not want it, go away it residence.

4. Keep away from last-minute packing. When you hurry and pack on the final minute, you are extra prone to throw in issues like additional clothes you do not want.

5. When you’re backpacking with a companion, plan forward and share the load of the gear such because the tent and cooking gear.

6. Develop your stitching expertise. Be inventive. A few of the greatest, and most cheap, ultralight backpacking gear is the sort you make your self.


7. Buy a light-weight backpack. Your pack is without doubt one of the greatest locations to loosen up. You will want to scale back the quantity and weight of each piece of substances to make use of the lightest pack. Your closing consequence could be a pack that weighs lower than 2 kilos. That is a financial savings of greater than 5 kilos over the large “load monster” packs.

8. Do not buy a pack with an excessive amount of capability. You will be too tempted to fill it, and it will not deal with as easily if it is partially stuffed.

9. Attempt utilizing your pack with out the hip belt. You may prefer it higher.

10. Take away your pack’s sternum strap if you happen to do not use it.

11. Take away any producer tags from the bag. In actual fact, take away tags from all of your gear, together with clothes. Save the care directions from the clothes if you cannot keep in mind how they’re to be washed.

12. Lower a few of the size from the waist belt and straps on the pack. Bear in mind to go away them lengthy sufficient for while you’re sporting your bulkiest clothes.

13. If the pack has aluminum stays, or another reinforcing materials that may be eliminated, strive carrying the pack with out it. The actually mild pack you find yourself with should not want reinforcing. Assume positively from the outset.

14. In case your pack has massive buckles or twine locks, discover a option to substitute them with lighter ones.

15. Don’t fret an excessive amount of in regards to the lighter supplies in ultralight packs. These supplies are nonetheless very sturdy. You can also make repairs which might be lighter than tape by utilizing McNett Seam Grip. It really works for sleeping baggage, tents, and different gear, too.

16. When you want a pack cowl, use one which’s very mild, like those which might be made out of 1.Three ounce silicone-coated nylon. Or, use a light-weight rubbish bag. Or, spray your pack with a water-proof coating. Your pack might already be waterproof. Examine the producer’s specs. You may be capable to save the load of a pack cowl.

17. Ultralight compression stuff sacks may help you cut back the quantity of your gear. You might be able to decrease your total weight by utilizing compression baggage as a result of you find yourself with a smaller pack.

Sleeping Gear

18. Purchase a sleeping bag that is not “overkill.” It is stunning how many individuals purchase a sleeping bag for low temperatures after which use the bag for summer time tenting 95% of the time.

19. Use a down bag. Nothing is extra environment friendly for the load. Don’t fret an excessive amount of in regards to the down getting moist and dropping its effectivity. Prime quality baggage are made with shell materials which have a really tight weave and are very water repellent, so they have a tendency to guard the down. The down itself has pure oils in it. It really works for the geese. Use your expertise to maintain your bag dry. Hold it in a water-proof stuff sack.

20. Have a small towel useful to wipe any condensation from tent partitions. That can assist your ultralight sleeping bag carry out to its most.

21. A chunk of very mild and skinny painter’s tarp plastic or a light-weight trash bag can be utilized to maintain condensation off the foot of your sleeping bag. The plastic or trash bag can have a number of makes use of akin to conserving gear dry.

22. With a light-weight bag you possibly can all the time add layers of clothes for additional heat.

23. You can too use a silk liner that provides heat and weighs as little as Four ounces.

24. Change your stuff sack for an ultralight one which’s manufactured from 1.Three oz. silicone-coated nylon. They weigh as little as .6 ounces.

25. Hold your sleeping bag clear. That can preserve the effectivity excessive.

26. Hold your sleeping bag in a big storage bag when it is at residence so it can retain its full loft and most effectivity.

27. Air out your bag throughout lunch and as rapidly as potential after you arrange camp. Moisture can evaporate and the bag can absolutely loft.

28. Eat and drink earlier than going to mattress. That can assist your physique to effectively warmth your sleeping bag.

29. In case your toes get a little bit cool, you should use issues as mild as plastic newspaper baggage or grocery sacks to maintain them heat. You should utilize the baggage for twin objective duties, and so they add hardly any weight. They will also be used for bringing moist gear and boots into the tent. The sleeping bag stuff sack can be utilized as a foot hotter.

30. Utilizing an ultralight air mattress can cut back your pack weight and quantity and improve your consolation. They are often as mild as about 20 ounces for a full-length mattress.

31. You may have an air mattress with insulation within the tubes for less than about 1 ounce extra.

32. Go away any inflatable sleeping pad open as a lot as potential so the condensation inside will evaporate.

33. A closed-cell foam pad is mild and simple to make use of. You may even reduce away areas that you simply needn’t save a couple of ounces.

34. The lightest air mattress accessible is named a balloon mattress. No joke. The shell will be made out of 1.Three oz. (or lighter) silicone-coated ripstop nylon. Sew 7 tubes (or kind of) into the 60″ lengthy cloth. Go away the ends open for inserting and eradicating the balloons. Insert Qualatex 60″ balloons (mannequin 260Q) as a result of they’re the strongest. Use clear or white since they’re stronger than coloured ones. The balloon mattress can weigh lower than Four ounces. A pump can weigh 1.Three or 2.2 oz. Every evening you may want to make use of new balloons, so determine Eight per evening. Eight balloons weigh .Four ounces. This figures one for breakage. They do not pop while you lay on them, however might pop while you tie them off. See extra at balloonbed.com. Or make your personal and get balloons and a pump at tmyers.com, larocksmagic.com, or others.

35. You may go loopy and use bubble wrap on your sleeping pad if you happen to do not want an excessive amount of insulation or cushion. It will weigh about Four ounces. There is a selection that is made with some nylon that’s a lot stronger than the most affordable form, however the bubbles nonetheless pop while you focus your knees or elbows straight on a small space.

36. Ultralight backpackers have give you numerous concepts for light-weight pillows. Some of the frequent is utilizing your additional clothes for a pillow. One place to include the clothes is in your sleeping bag stuff sack.

37. Whenever you pack ultralight, you usually do not have a lot in the way in which of additional clothes. Some hikers use their pack for a pillow. It solves a second problem of the place to place your pack within the tent.

38. A small piece of froth with a few of your gear beneath can function a pillow.

39. At .Four oz. you will get a pillow at Workplace Depot. It is a 10 x 12″ air wrap plastic packing “bubble” that you would be able to blow up and deflate with a straw.


40. It can save you numerous weight by selecting an ultralight tent that weighs two to a few kilos for the two-person tent, or lower than two kilos for a one-person tent.

41. When you normally backpack with a companion, contemplate shopping for a one-person tent for these occasions you go solo.

42. When you already use mountaineering poles, it can save you the load of tent poles on some tents.

43. You probably have an previous tent you’d wish to preserve, it can save you weight by changing the poles with lighter carbon fiber poles.

44. You probably have an previous tent that you simply like which has a fly, it can save you weight by utilizing the previous fly as a sample and stitching a brand new fly from 1.Three oz. silicone-coated nylon.

45. It can save you weight by utilizing titanium tent stakes. The 6″ titanium stakes are simply .2 ounces every.

46. Save weight by leaving stuff sacks residence. A number of rubber bands round your tent are lighter than the stuff sack. Put rubber bands across the titanium stakes and band them to the poles to maintain the stakes from poking holes in something.

47. In some dry areas, you might be able to use a bivy sack or sleeping bag cowl as your solely shelter.

48. When you want bug safety solely, the pop-up bug bivies weigh solely 6.5 ounces.

49. For a good lighter resolution to bugs, a sq. yard of no-see-um netting weighs lower than an oz..

50. Easy, light-weight tarps can cut back your shelter weight to a pound or much less.

51. When you use a bivy, tarp, or poncho/bivy, you might need to have a mosquito head web to maintain the bugs away. In fact, these can be utilized throughout the day, too. They weigh solely .6 oz.

52. Some tarps serve a twin objective by doubling as your poncho, too.

53. Artistic twine tying from a tree or utilizing an accessible keep on with some tarps and tents can save the complete weight of poles.

54. The lightest floor fabric is the one you do not take. Use warning while you arrange your tent so you do not want a floor fabric.

55. When you use a floor fabric, use one which’s a light-weight as potential. An ultra-thin 99-cent plastic painter’s fabric is a light-weight disposable choice. Some folks like Tyvek. Think about using 1.Three oz. silicone-coated nylon on your floor fabric.

56. When you use a floor fabric, make sure you trim it a few inches smaller than your tent. If it is greater than your tent, you possibly can catch undesirable rain and funnel it below you.

57. Take into account hammock tenting. Hammocks will be as mild as about 2 kilos, and there are some nice benefits like having the ability to arrange on uneven floor.

58. You probably have a tent with a fly, you might be able to set it up with the poles and fly solely, particularly in late summer time when there are fewer mosquitoes.

59. You may extra successfully use tent choices with out netting if you happen to repel bugs by including permethrin to your tent.

60. Shake the water out of your tent earlier than packing it on a humid morning. Let the moisture drain off whereas the tent is on a rock or tree.


61. Lengthy-term climate studies from the web can reduce ounces from you pack. In dry climate you possibly can go away a few of the rain gear residence. In heat climate you possibly can go away some insulating layers residence.

62. You may shave ounces by making some last-minute selections about whether or not to hold issues like rain pants. If the climate and circumstances look good, you possibly can go away objects within the automobile.

63. If the climate is heat sufficient, some hikers like to go away the rain pants residence anyway. Your legs will get moist, however they will not be trapped inside sweaty rain pants.

64. Your rain pants will be lighter than Four ounces if you happen to use “chaps” that cowl your legs however are open on the midsection.

65. Rain gear can weigh lower than 10 ounces for high and backside if you happen to use the very lightest and most straightforward varieties. We have already talked about mixture poncho/tarps in order for you a bit of substances that serves as shelter and rain gear.

66. Top-of-the-line light-weight clothes guidelines is “no multiples.” You probably have one pair of pants, operating shorts and/or rain gear are sufficient backup.

67. One very mild quick sleeve shirt and one long-sleeve shirt must be sufficient.

68. Keep away from cotton. It does not dry as rapidly, so it may very well be harmful. And even when it isn’t harmful, it’s going to be heavier when it is moist as a result of the water weight will not dry as rapidly as different materials.

69. Very mild artificial supplies and silk might help you go away heavier, bulkier fleece at residence. A few silk layers below your rain gear could also be sufficient for summer time hikes. That is a complete of lower than 6 ounces for two shirts.

70. By no means put on denims. They weigh about 1 ½ kilos and do not dry nicely. Light-weight nylon out of doors pants can weigh as little as Eight ounces.

71. When you want extra insulation, there are ultralight jackets made with down that weigh lower than Eight ounces, in regards to the weight of a T-shirt.

72. It can save you numerous weight by utilizing operating shorts that weigh round Three ounces as an alternative of heavier cargo shorts.

73. Leather-based belts will be fairly heavy. Search for a light-weight belt. A light-weight nylon accent strap with a quick-release buckle works nicely.

74. Utilizing silk can reduce the load and bulk of your underwear in half.

75. A light-weight watch cap (beanie or light-weight stocking cap) can weigh as little as an oz.. It is nice for additional heat throughout the day or when you’re sleeping.

76. A full-brimmed hat for storm safety that is made out of silicone-coated nylon weighs as little as 1.2 ounces.

77. A baseball-type hat from light-weight ripstop nylon for solar safety can weigh lower than an oz..

78. A painter’s cap gives you low-cost, mild safety from the solar. They weigh about 1.Three ounces.

79. If a hat is just too sizzling for you, use a visor to be cooler and lighter. Visors differ rather a lot in weight, so use a digital scale to seek out the lightest one.

80. Light-weight polypropylene gloves that weigh an oz. gives you some heat.

81. You should utilize your additional socks as gloves, or for added heat over mild gloves.

82. These plastic newspaper or grocery baggage that we used for conserving your toes heat at evening can be utilized to maintain your palms dry.

83. Socks which might be heat, snug, and make it easier to keep away from blisters are important. Do not attempt to go too skinny and lightweight if you happen to are inclined to blister. However many fashionable types are available numerous heights. So a shorter, lighter sock may provide the similar operate.

84. Top-of-the-line methods to avoid wasting clothes weight is to make use of trainers as an alternative of mountaineering boots. The previous saying of 1 pound in your toes being equal to 5 kilos in your pack is true. You carry your footwear with each step, so why not carry one thing mild and cozy?

85. Shoe laces that include your trainers are sometimes too lengthy. They catch on the little twigs alongside the path. You may as nicely reduce them off and save the load. Burn the ends so they do not unravel.


86. Hold your cooking gear mild by utilizing a kettle solely. It can save you greater than half the load of the cooking equipment by leaving the plate and fry pan residence. The ¾ quart kettle by itself weighs lower than 5 ounces.

87. With titanium, your kettle can weigh below Four ounces.

88. Stainless-steel is heavy. Keep away from it. Non-stick coatings make a kettle heavier than one with out it. Determine whether or not the load of the non-stick floor is value it for you.

89. In your cup, use the plastic form which have measuring marks inside. They’re 4 occasions lighter than a sierra cup.

90. Attempt utilizing a lexan spoon solely. You in all probability do not want a fork. For reducing meals you should use your pocket knife. File a few of the extra weight from the deal with of your spoon. Have some enjoyable being a fanatic. Drill some holes within the deal with.

91. Some hikers like a protracted Dairy Queen spoon as a result of it might probably attain all the way in which into foil pouches and zip lock baggage. Be prepared to make use of some emergency chopsticks if the spoon breaks. Some folks like chopsticks anyway.

92. Blacken the underside of your kettle to prepare dinner quicker and preserve gasoline. In case your kettle will not do that naturally, use heat-resistant paint, the sort you employ to color barbeques and wooden stoves.

93. Hold the lid on your kettle. You will save its weight by utilizing much less gasoline.

94. Use a windscreen so that you preserve and carry much less gasoline. You may in all probability use one thing that is already in your pack so there is no weight added. Or use one thing very mild, like aluminum foil.

95. Use your digital scale to know the load of a full and empty gasoline canister if you happen to use butane/propane. It is stunning how far a small can will go. You may study when to go away a full 7-ounce canister residence.

96. For a scouring pad, preserve it easy and reduce it right down to a really small dimension. Or, higher but, do not take one in any respect. They have a tendency to turn out to be micro organism magnets. Use goats beard — the stuff that is hooked up to tree bark. Or use pine cones or sand.

97. You could want a towel to deal with your sizzling kettle. Hold one small piece of a rayon camper’s towel for kitchen use and one on your physique.

98. The lighter, thinner towels you could find in grocery shops are even lighter than a rayon camper’s towel. These work nicely in your physique as a result of they’ll rinse so simply for laundry up.

99. There are two foremost forms of ultralight stoves. Titanium stoves that burn butane/propane gasoline will be as mild as 2 ½ ounces. Their small gasoline canisters are 7 ounces. Or you possibly can select a soda can fashion range that burns denatured alcohol. These will be lighter than 2 ounces. Their gasoline is available and will be carried in very mild containers.

100. Fiberglass is commonly used as a wicking agent within the soda can stoves. The skinny fiberglass inside foil can be utilized to carry sizzling stoves or kettles and can be utilized to carry warmth in your kettle.

101. The lightest water container is a plastic soda, water, or Gatorade bottle. In fact, you may need to take away that heavy label.

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