Packing Light – Tips for Carrying less when Backpacking

Sometimes when you are packing for a trip, especially one where you are not always sure where you will be sleeping at night, the list of items to take with you can feel never ending. But when you are walking a lot, the last thing you want to be doing is carrying around loads of weight, as it will make you tire quickly and also weigh down your back.

Here are some simple tips to help you cut down on the amount of stuff you take with you when you go off on your next big adventure:


Backpacking Rope

Although rope is definitely a must have on a trip, bundles and bundles of it is simply not essential. You are unlikely to need to weave a basket out of rope on your travels, and if you do run out of rope at any point and there is an emergency, you can always use other things such as shoes laces or the guylines from your tent to help out.



When you are thinking of your trip and the fact it is three days long, don’t think for a second that means you will need an outfit for each day. When you go camping, you are unlikely to need freshly washed and folded clothes as you will be keeping warm and saving space. Just take a few different layers so that whatever the temperature is you have it covered.

Share Your Gear

 Share Your Load

If you are going camping with at least one other person, there is absolutely no need to take more than one tent or more than one cooker. There are so many things that can be shared and why not make the trip more fun by sharing a tent or cooking together? Duplicating these items will only result in heavier backpacks.


The easiest way to take a small amount is to use a smaller bag. No one ever goes walking with a half empty backpack, so simply ensure that the backpack you take sufficiently fits in the essentials and means you will not be tempted to take unnecessary extras.


Man with Toothbrush

When packing for a holiday, most people are accustomed to taking a large toiletry bag with them stuffed full of shampoo and conditioner, creams, perfumes and much more. Depending on your own needs it is unlikely that during a back packing expedition you will need to smell of roses and have exceptionally clean hair every day. So think about this when you start packing.


Shoes are very bulky to pack and take a up a lot of space, they are often quite heavy too. Depending on the activities you have planned, it is likely that a pair of all-purpose boots and a backup pair of flip flops to wear around the camp will be sufficient. If possible, wear the boots so that the light flip flops can then fit easily into your backpack without taking up much space or adding much weight.

There are many ways to make your backpack lighter; this is just a starting guide. Just remember when you are packing that you won’t always be so energized and strong when you are pounding through a forest or swimming through a river – keep it to the essentials and don’t go over the top!

If you are looking for more Walking and Hiking Survival tips check out the rest of our guide here…

Walking Safety GuideHere

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