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backpacking Jul 15, 2024

backpacking weight

how much should my backpacking pack weigh

The Importance of Backpacking Weight and How Much Your Pack Should Weigh

Backpacking is an exciting and adventurous way to explore the great outdoors. It allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in nature. However, one challenge that many backpackers face is the weight of their backpack. A heavy pack can quickly turn a pleasant trip into a grueling and painful experience. In this article, we will discuss the importance of backpacking weight and provide some tips on how much your pack should weigh.

The Impact of Backpacking Weight

The weight of your backpack may seem like a minor concern, but it can have a significant impact on your backpacking experience. Carrying a heavy pack puts stress on your body, especially your joints and muscles. This can lead to fatigue and soreness, making it difficult to enjoy the journey.

Moreover, a heavy pack can affect your balance and stability, increasing the risk of falls and injuries. It can also slow you down, making it challenging to cover the desired distance each day. Additionally, a heavy pack can cause mental fatigue and drain your motivation, making it difficult to stay positive and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

How Much Should Your Backpack Weigh?

So, how much should your backpack weigh? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it depends on various factors. However, as a general rule of thumb, your backpack should not exceed 20% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your pack should not weigh more than 30 pounds.

However, this guideline may not apply to everyone. For example, if you are a beginner backpacker, carrying a pack weighing 20% of your body weight may still feel heavy and uncomfortable. In this case, start with a lighter load and slowly increase the weight as you gain experience and endurance.

Moreover, your pack`s weight also depends on the duration of your trip. For a shorter trip, such as an overnight camping trip, you may be able to carry a heavier pack as you won`t be hiking for an extended period. But for a multi-day trip, you`ll need to reduce the weight and only pack the essentials.

Tips to Reduce Backpacking Weight

If you find that your pack weighs more than it should, there are a few things you can do to reduce the weight without compromising on the essentials.

Choose a lightweight backpack: Your backpack itself can add a significant amount of weight. Look for a lightweight pack that is still durable and can comfortably fit all your gear. Take only what you need: Before heading out on your backpacking trip, go through your pack and eliminate anything that you don`t need. Be mindful of packing items based on their weight and importance. Invest in lightweight gear: Backpacking gear can be quite heavy, so consider investing in lightweight options. For example, a lightweight sleeping bag, inflatable mattress, and hiking poles can significantly reduce your pack`s weight. Share items with your hiking partner: If you are backpacking with someone, you can split the weight by sharing some items. For example, if one of you carries the tent, the other can carry the cooking supplies.

Final Thoughts

The weight of your backpack is crucial when it comes to backpacking. It can either enhance your experience or make it miserable and exhausting. Always be mindful of the weight you are carrying and try to keep it at 20% or less of your body weight. By following the tips mentioned above, you can reduce your pack`s weight and make your backpacking trip more enjoyable and comfortable.

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