Tips On Lightening Your Backpack

Tired of all those aches and pains. Me too! Unfortunately, I can’t take those away. But, I have lightened my load by using these few steps, and if your interested, so can you!

I have been backpacking for almost ten years now. I have lightened my pack a considerable amount throughout the years, but the last couple months, I have lightened my load even more. A few months ago, I was packing solo for the weekend and my pack weighed 33 pounds fully loaded, water, fuel, the whole nine yards. Not bad right? No. Never again! Unless if I’m in the desert and I have to carry a significant amount of water.

I got into ultralight backpacking and now, I love it!  I love knowing that all this wight is lifted off my body. I love feeling that I can move across the land more swiftly. And of coarse, you use less energy, giving you the chance to cover more ground.

So with my extensive amount of research, came great reward! I just started on this whole ultralight backpacking journey and I already lightened my load six pounds, and I just started! I’m not even finished yet with taking the pounds right off my back. It feels so good. In one aspect I couldn’t be more proud of myself, but on another aspect, it does take money, and a lot of it.

My backpack fully loaded: 33 pounds, before I lightened my pack

 How I already lightened 6 pounds!!!!

With all the great, forthcoming -information out there, it was easy to lose 6 pounds in just three of my items. People call this, the big 3, which are, your backpack, your tent (shelter) and your sleeping bag.


My backpack was 4lb 15oz. It was on Osprey which is a really great durable pack, but it was almost 5 pounds. Now with my Ultralight pack, it‘s 2 lbs. I have this pack and totally recommend it.

Sleeping Bag    

My sleeping bag was 2 lb 14 oz where it is now 1 lb 3 oz. Now keep in mind, especially with sleeping bags, if you want something still warm and yet ultra-light weight, your going to pay quite some money. That or do your bargaining research well! With backpacks you can find an ultra-light packs for the same price, if not cheaper as regular backpacks with the brand names of Osprey, Kelty, etc.

Shelter (tent, hammock, etc.) 

My old tent was 3 lbs and now after research I got one for 1 lb 11 oz.

If you add up the weight from my old gear, its 10lbs 13 oz. New gear is 4 lbs 14 oz. These three items make the most significant change in your weight really fast!!!!

Total weight savings: 5 pounds, 15 oz!!! Just in three items. 

*Note: As far as your backpack goes, you should only pursue using an ultralight backpack if the rest of your equipment is light. An ultralight pack is not equipped to hold heavy equipment. Do your research on your pack. How much weight can it hold? As far as the backpack I bought, fully-loaded, my pack can withstand 32 pounds. No more. I felt that I could accomplish this, so I went for it.

The ultralight equipment I ended up choosing to use:

Backpack: OHM 2.o from ULA equipment

Sleeping Bag: Western Mountaineering Summerlite

Shelter: Contrail- tarptent.

As far as the rest of your equipment, you will basically just be saving a few ounces here and a few ounces there, but it all adds up! As an example, instead of using a self blow up pad for sleeping, I just use a regular thermarest, and even the thermarest I cut to wear its just the size of where it touches my shoulders to wear it ends on my hips. Your feet aren’t going to know the difference. That’s the kind of thinking you need to have when packing for an ultra-light adventure.

Well, I’ll keep you updated for the rest of my pack. If I can do it, you can do it. Don’t let the burden of an over-sized pack slow you down, whether it is on a thru-hike, a week excursion in a National Park or a simple weekend trip. Now that I lightened my load, I am never going back to the way I use to pack.

Out with the old, In with the new

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!


By | 2017-12-13T18:39:55+00:00 March 9th, 2016|All Blog Entries, Backpacking, Equipment, Resources|0 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Shelly! A traveler, hiker and an outdoor enthusiast. My dream my whole life was to travel, so I stopped dreaming and started doing. I quit my job and I am currently doing whatever it takes to keep going. I'll pick up jobs along the way and do what it takes to keep being a full-time traveler! I can prove that you don't need to come from money or anywhere special to live your dream. You just have to have the power of your own life to finally say YES!

Leave A Comment