Welcome to the Take Over Tuesday guest post series. I will be featuring posts by fellow bloggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Do you have some expertise or a great story to share? Consider submitting something to the Humans of the Outdoors series or contacting me directly.
This week’s feature is from Luna of HikerTrack.com. Luna is an outdoor enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona. She loves to share all of her outdoor experiences and encourage people to travel more because all good things are wild and free. You can visit her blog at HikerTrack.com to get the best preparation for any adventure.
7 Tips for Ultralight Backpacking
As an outdoor enthusiast, you will love your backpacking trips and sometimes you might even wonder how to save some additional space or weight. Since there are so many things needed for an adventure, it might be quite hard to decide what to leave and what to take with you.
One way of reducing the weight is by purchasing lighter products, but this is not always possible if you want to take along as many pieces of equipment as you can. We have decided to look at the top seven ways to help you become an ultralight backpacker on your next trip.
1. Invest in a scale for weighing down your items
It is crucial to know the exact weight of everything you plan to take along. 10 ounces might not seem heavy when you have it in your hand, but by adding it to your already heavy backpack, that 10 ounces can certainly put more strain on your body and increase the overall level of fatigue.
The scale is not something you will be taking with you on your trip, but it could help to sort heavy camping items from your ultralight backpacking journeys.
2. Reduce cotton clothing
Many people simply put in any clothing without realizing how much weight it actually adds to the bag. Cotton clothing is dense and heavy. When compared to lighter polyester, your cotton clothing could drag you down.
Synthetic materials are generally the best way to go. These also offer you the ability to be much more resistant to water and they tend to dry out much faster when wet.
3. Buy ultralight equipment as your main tools
The most important items to take along on any backpacking trip will be your sleeping bag, tent and perhaps even a sleeping pad. Down sleeping bags are the lightest you can find. They also have superior insulation and the compression is much smaller than the cheaper synthetic versions. If you are a serious backpacker, down should already be part of your kit.
The tent is generally quite heavy and you might find your self stuck between different tents. The pop up tent does not require any stakes to hold it down and the materials are virtually weightless. If you do find yourself in need of a few stakes, you could substitute this for heavy wood items found in the environment, but rocks will also do the trick if needed.
4. Extend your pack with a sleeping pad
The sleeping pad is something that many of us like to take along. It is very lightweight and can improve the sleeping experience. While many top range backpacks offer you space for them, it will save some space and weight if you strap it to the bag. This might extend your bag, but with great strapping, your bag should still be evenly balanced and ideal for long distances.
5. Consider making a fire instead of taking a stove
The stove is definitely something we love to take on trips. The only downside of it is the additional weight it adds. By considering a strike and a flint for fire making purposes, you will essentially eliminate the need for the stove. It is great to prepare your food in advance to ensure you are able to cook it.
6. No doubles or extras
People always tell us to be over prepared rather than under prepared, but if you are looking to save weight, this is not the case. That extra pair of batteries or second jacket is not worth it to take along. If you do not have enough confidence in your flashlight or your jacket, you should consider buying a better one.
7. Split the load
If you are fortunate enough to have someone go backpacking with you, just ask them to split the load. When you are a couple, this should work perfectly and you can share everything, including the tent and the sleeping bag. Two people are also capable of carrying more items before tiring out and needing a break.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we do hope that you have managed to find these tips helpful. Ultralight backpacking can be amazing if you know how to do it correctly and with these seven tips, you should not have any issues.