The Joy of Lightweight Backpacking

Whether you are new to the hiking and backpacking experience or you are a seasoned camper, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that lightweight backpacking will be more enjoyable during the hiking part of the trip than carrying a heavy load. Since a backpacker has to pack in and pack out all of the supplies that he or she needs, it is essential that each backpack is packed with care so that all camping needs are covered and no extra weight is added to the pack with non-essentials.

It also does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you lighten the load in the packs, there have to be some items that were previously taken on camping trips that are left out, purely for weight reasons. Because of this, lightweight camping changes the camping experience to a more Spartan style of camping. However, there are more pros than cons to lightweight camping.


The main draw back to lightweight camping is the one mentioned above. If a hiker/camper is really going to pursue lightweight camping, then gone are the days of canned food, pots and pans for every dish, multiple changes of clothing and the biggest tent you can find. The campsite is even more nature-friendly, and is narrowed down to the food, shelter and clothing needed to be comfortable and enjoy the time at the campsite, without giving in to outright luxury.

In order to lightweight camp, what is put in the pack has to be cut down to between ten to twenty pounds per pack. In order to achieve this weight, there is a lot of planning involved before each trip. There is also the need to buy certain lightweight camping gear, such as tents, sleeping bags and stoves.


The benefits of lightweight camping might not be so immediately obvious to a novice backpacker. Seasoned backpackers know that carrying a fifty or sixty pound, metal framed pack is probably one of the least enjoyable experiences on this planet. When a hiker is carrying that much weight, there is no forgetting it and just enjoying the hike in the beautiful surroundings. In addition, the packs are cumbersome and uncomfortable, which adds to the discomfort, especially in the back and shoulder regions.

Lightweight camping relieves all of that. When a backpacker is hiking with only ten to twenty pounds on their back, it is easy to forget it is there and enjoy the hike itself. It allows the backpacker to go further into the wilderness because their stamina isn’t drained by the load on their back.