Traditional backpacking is no more the norm in the trekking world. As such, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes an ultralight backpacking. As a thumb rule, it is generally considered that ultralight backpack weighs between 5 - 10 pounds. You can lessen or increase couple of pounds as there is no rule book that states ultralight backpacking is strictly less than 10 pounds. Nevertheless, we will continue our discussion further by considering ultralight weight in the range five to ten pounds.
Ultralight Backpacking Tips and Tricks
It's All in the Mind...
We're accustomed to filling our bags with lots of unnecessary stuff. To become an ultralight backpacker, you have to get rid of the mentality of packing anything and everything you get! Yes, free your mind! Let it be free, lightweight. What do you experience if all thoughts are just washed away? Relaxation and calmness! Isn't it? So, the same you have to do while backpacking. Challenge your traditional thinking. You just have to carry the necessary stuff, that is multipurpose and things that you absolutely cannot do without.
It's All for the Body
Now when you carry light weight, it's easy on your body too. You tire less, there is less injury to back, ankles or knees, and you can cover more distance. This is all good on the body. When you are carrying less weight, you feel less stressed and hence, you can actually enjoy the trip instead of feeling exhausted. If you are hiking with children, the less weight is an added advantage. You are free to handle children with ease.
What All to Carry
The best way for ultralight backpacking is to carry all the required things but in a light-weight form. This way you will have all that you need without having to worry about the weight. Another important tip is to remember that you have to carry the absolute essentials. Don't carry stuffs like books, heavy hiking tools, camp shoes, etc., that you can do without. A good way to lessen your weight is to not carry things in duplicate. People tend to carry extra clothes, towels, etc., that really adds up to the total weight. Packing small tubes of sunscreen, toothpaste and other toiletries also helps in reducing the overall weight. Don't forget to take into account these ultra backpacking tips.
- There are some essentials that you would need - your backpack, a sleep system and a shelter. Here you can carry the light weight yet durable versions.
- The light weight pack that can carry all your stuff is a preferable option. Go for such sleep systems that have lesser zips, ground pad weight and no hood.
- Carry a down vest along to keep you warm. In case of shelters as well, you can pick up the ones that are made of light fabric. Though these require more care while handling or pitching and may not give you bug protection yet are light on your back.
- You can also reduce weight by carrying lighter rain jacket or camping shoes. Other things like small LED light instead of a heavy flash light, smaller stoves or maybe stove and cook pots, water treatment tablets instead of water filters, are some of the other ways in which you can achieve your goal of ultralight backpacking.
- You can make a checklist as well, to make sure that you do not miss out any of the essentials in the name of packing light. As to what should be on this ultralight backpacking checklist will depend upon the place you are going and the duration of the trip. So, a weekend trip would naturally require lesser things to be carried.
In the end, I would like to tell you that carrying less weight doesn't mean that you have to compromise on your safety; that always comes first. Keeping that in mind, you can trade all the unnecessary stuffs for the bare essentials and enjoy your trip without stress. Happy journey.