The art of hiking ultralight is something that many are trying to master. It often takes many years of trial and errors to learn what to adjust to make your backpack lighter. But it is of course possible to initially follow some universal tips that often form the basis for a lighter backpack. We have therefore compiled a list of 12 mixed tricks for an easier pack to start with.
1. Dump the electronics
We start with a point that will hurt many. But leaving much of the unnecessary electronics at home allows you to relax and enjoy nature more. The tablet fits better on the sofa than by the campfire. This tip also includes extra batteries, power banks, and headphones.
2. Improvised pillow
Fill a drybag or zip lid with air and wrap it in some clothes. It will be much more comfortable than just sleeping on a sweater while saving many grams against wearing an inflatable pillow. This is a bit related to point 8 but is so good that it gets its own spot on the list.
3. 3 for 3. A weight measure for the heaviest stuff
Trying to keep sleeping equipment, backpacks, and tents under 3kg/6.6lbs is according to many the reason for hiking lighter. But it’s no easy match, and we will not lie: This point can cost a lot of money to achieve. But if you succeed in this, you have a fantastic foundation to build on to hike ultralight. Below are some simple things to keep in mind for this point.
- Shorter sleeping pads
- Tarp instead of a tent
- Down instead of synthetic in the sleeping bag
- Sleep with more clothes to be able to carry a thinner sleeping bag
4. Switch to a wood stove
Not only do the wood stoves give a cozy feeling when cooking, but they also weigh only a fraction against gas and liquid fuel kitchens. This is because the construction is extremely simple and you do not have to carry fuel.
5. Keep track of the weather
If you keep a close eye on the upcoming weather and any changes that may occur in the area you are going to hike in, you can save a lot of weight. This is because you can then leave various reinforcement layers at home. It saves a lot of space and weight in your backpack.
6. Learn to live with the smell
Leaving your deodorant at home can save the next to 200g/7oz in your backpack! It is much more than many people think. So learn to live with the smell of sweat and maybe how to do laundry outdoor.
7. Rainproof with a garbage bag
Instead of having several different drybags whose locks are often made out of thick materials, you get very far with a regular garbage bag as a “liner” in the backpack.
8. Several purposes
Try to think of more purposes for each item you bring. An outdoor knife, for example, is excellent as a cooking knife. Pans can be used as plates, hiking poles can work as tent poles, and neck gaiters as head or neck protection.
9. Do not carry unnecessary water
Plan your hike and try to decide where and when you can fill water. In most cases, you do not have to carry water for the entire trip. One way to archive this is to invest in a filter. You can then get an almost unlimited amount of water to a weight of 56 grams/2oz! You can of course also use water purification tablets or filters and boil the water.
10. Eat freeze-dried
We know. It may not be super appealing. But few things can reduce the weight as much as replacing the cans with freeze-dried food. Buy a few different meals and try them at home to find your favorites before you leave for your next hike.
11. Learn to live by nature
This can probably be seen as a bit unusual for some people. But during the years we have taken a closer look at bushcraft, and we have realized a number of things. You fir example do not have to take everything out into the woods! It is possible, for example, to carve a pair of cutlery in just a few minutes. Or why not make an improvised rope from common nettle instead of bringing paracord? Knowledge weighs nothing!
12. Be critical and think twice!
The most important and final point and really what constitutes the whole idea of walking ultralight is to think through what you need and making a packing list. If you are in doubt about a particular gadget, you will probably not miss it. In short, there are many small streams. But do not throw away anything that has to do with your safety!