The goal of ultralight backpacking is to trek, hike and camp outdoors with the most minimal gear possible. An ultralight base pack weight (weight of the back pack plus gear) must be no greater than 20 pounds. The weight of a traditional base pack is 30 pounds, and can even increase to 60 pounds. However, some extreme ultralight backpackers will reduce their load to 12 pounds.
Ultralight backpacking reduces the unnecessary stress on the back and joints during a strenuous hike. A lighter backpack will also help your stamina and allow you to trek farther. Ultralight backpacking is not difficult. All it requires is a little creativity when packing and in combing your gear for multiple purposes.
Here are the essentials when preparing for an ultralight backpacking trip:
When preparing for backpacking, whether it is ultralight or not, you must have the so-called "ten essentials." The ten essentials are items that all backpackers need for basic survival. This should be the starting point for every backpacking trip. The list includes first-aid kit, fire starting kit, navigation equipment, sun protection, clothing, flashlight, knife, food and shelter. For ultralight backpacking, it is important to pack the lightest variants of these.
You should always consider every item that you are including as your gear. Considering every item includes finding innovative ways to combine items in accomplishing specific tasks. For instance, attaching a flat board at the end of a trekking pole turns it into a makeshift oar. Rope is an essential in ultralight backpacking, as it can be used to hang things onto your backpack. You can use it to dry clothes, or even as shoelaces. Bring clothing that has a dual purpose. Pants that can be converted into shorts are a great way to save space.
When it comes to ultralight backpacking, creativity is key. You should opt for lightweight materials when choosing your gear. Carbon fiber is lighter than both aluminum and steel. Also, see if you can build your tent without some of its stakes. Reducing the weight of small objects will also add up in the long run. Remove all the extraneous packaging from food and use water tablets as opposed to a filtration system. You can also cut the end of your toothbrush handle to lighten your load further.
Your First Trip
Before embarking on a long trip, you should test out your gear on shorter trips. Try out your new gear in different terrain and weather conditions. After each short trip, evaluate your items further and determine which are necessary.
Kathrine played high school and collegiate soccer. Ever since then, she's always integrated fitness into her everyday life. She enjoys trying out new outdoor recreational activities during her spare time.
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