The focus of ultralight backpacking is to bring the lightest and most basic gear as possible.
Packing light is easier and less expensive than you might expect. Every ounce that is cut from carrying backpacks will make you more nimble, and the trip more enjoyable . Here are some fantastically creative ways to reduce backpack weight on your next adventure, without breaking the bank!
Ultralight Backpacking Weight Reduction Tips:
1. Trash compactor bag for backpack liner.
Covers for backpacks are bulky, heavy and, sometimes, ineffective. Instead of covering the outside of your pack, line the inside of it with a trash compactor bag and keep all gear inside. Trash compactor bags are super waterproof, replaceable, affordable and weigh a fraction as much as a pack cover.
2. Use a one-liter plastic water bottle.
Water bladders with chords have too many excess parts. A plastic water bottle is lightweight, cheap and durable. Smart Water bottles are particularly great for their liter size and because their threads match well with Sawyer water filters.
3. Dental floss to stitch and tie.
Stronger than thread for stitching clothes and mending gear. Floss can also be used as a dry line or for tying items to your pack.
4. Duct tape saves.
Wrap it around your water bottle or roll it into itself to prevent bulk and the extra cardboard weight. Duct tape can be a great barrier to prevent blisters as well as helping mend the obvious gear repairs.
5. Shave off your toothbrush.
Cut off the handle. Or get a travel toothbrush that comes in two pieces and discard the extension half.
6. Skip the stove, eat ‘Cold’
The easiest way to drop weight from a “kitchen” setup is to simply leave the stove at home. In summer, it’s not that bad. Eat cold food, including reconstituted meals like oatmeal or simpler items including summer sausage, hard cheese, nuts, and even packed sandwiches. I drink coffee cold, too, using Starbucks Via packets in a mug.
Tip: Those “add boiling water” dehydrated food pouches? Many can be prepared with cold water; you simply need to let the H2O sit for 30 – 45 minutes inside the packet to slowly “cook” the meal.
7. Ground Sheet
Tyvek, a thin industrial tarp material obtainable on Amazon, makes for a great barrier between you and the ground for sleeping (tent or bivy) or simply sitting. Strong, lightweight, and cheap.
8. Basic First Aid
No need for one of those premade med kits with 30 things you’ll never use. Grab a Ziploc bag and head to the pharmacy section. Pick out the items important to you, often including ibuprofen, stomach medicine, medical tape, and other blister treatments.
9. Eating Utensils
Select ultra-lightweight – yet strong – lexan utensils. As with the toothbrush, cut off as much handle as possible and sand down the cut corners. Do you really need anything other than a spoon ?
10. Blacken Your Pots
Another tip for using less fuel is to blacken your cooking pots. A blackened pot will absorb heat faster than a shiny surfaced one.
Tips 9-11 via Backpack Weight Reducing Tips – BACKPACKING LIGHTWEIGHT
So when ultralight backpacking, keep the weight of backpacks down, enjoy your outdoor adventures, and we’ll leave you with this wise Spanish proverb:
“On a long journey, even a straw weighs heavy.”
Looking for more ideas? Read Ultralight Backpacking Tips: 10 Clever Ways To Trim Pack Weight