Making rookie mistakes while packing your backpacks before a first-time hiking trip, is completely natural. For novice hikers, often the trip can be ruined only for your backpack burden, which will inevitably weigh you down and slow your normal speed on the trail. Backpacking is not about replicating your home comfort on road but carrying essentials for the trail mostly. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut all your comfort while on road. Just go for the lightweight and portable alternatives along with a few never-to-forget essentials. Here are a few tips to help you out to cut your pack weight, not your comfort.
• Opt for Multipurpose Gears
This includes clothing also. While a cooking pot can be used as a bowl, a bandana can be used as a sun-protection, a dish cleaner, a coffee filter, a potholder, etc. Also re-wear your clothes to save backpack space. If you get bored, do some impromptu mix n match or layering from within your stock. Look for professional multipurpose trekking gears, if you need them.
• Hydration Is a Must
A single-liter water bottle can add a significant amount of 2.2 pounds to your pack weight. So, ditch multiple water bottles and carry a filtration solution instead. Plan out water stops along your trail, refill your bottle, and keep filtering your water periodically as you hike. Collapsible water bottles are handy here to save extra space and weight.
• Keep it Organized
The first and foremost thing is to weigh everything you are carrying, including your water and food. The beginner backpackers should not carry more than 20% of their full-body weights on their backs while walking. It’s better to create a spreadsheet to log down everything. You can use the spreadsheet for your next trip too. If this sounds tedious, simply weigh your backpack after packing using a luggage scale and reorganize accordingly.