Lightweight Backpacking 1

The Ten Essentials

  1. Pocketknife
  2. First Aid Kit
  3. Extra Clothing
  4. Rain Gear
  5. Canteen -or- Water Bottle
  6. Flashlight
  7. Trail Food
  8. Matches -or- Fire Starters
  9. Sun Protection (includes a hat)
  10. Map and Compass

The above items should be with you on every outdoor expedition.

Click here for more details on these 10 items.

Other Items to Carry

  • At LEAST a gallon of water per day, no less.
  • A pack weighing no more than 5 pounds, 5 pounds is a little on the heavy side.
  • A small stove, preferably weighing no more than one pound, including fuel.
  • Synthetic, lightweight clothing that will keep you warm and weighs literally nothing. 
    NOTE: When it comes to clothing, you should practice layering. That is your clothing is in layers, not one huge parka.
  • Enough toilet paper for yourself, not an army!
  • ONE alluminum pan, with capacity of about 2 cups, and lid.
  • A spoon, no need for a fork, and you have a pocketknife, right?
  • A lightweight insulating pad to sleep on. Something to keep you off the ground, no more, no less.
  • Enough food to get you through the trip comfortably, with generous amounts at meals.
  • A sleeping bag that is rated to 20 degrees or less, not rated under 0, though. Lower rated bags can be pricy and heavy. 
    NOTE: Wear your clothing to bed to stay warmer.

Bottom Line


We can't stress lightweight backpacking enough. The more you lighten your pack, the more you will enjoy the hike. It is our assumption that anyone attempting a backpacking trip is not out to reach their destination, but to enjoy the journey. And with a lighter pack, this can be achieved and we promise that you will want to go out and hike again!
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