So, you have searched for, decided on and invested in the right backpack for you. It’s as lightweight as possible whilst remaining spacious enough to meet all your needs on your adventure. Below are some tips on how to ensure your backpack is as light as possible.
For advice on how to choose the right backpack, you can read my previous blog on the subject here. Now it is time to decide how to fill it. Does anyone enjoy packing? This is something that has taken a great deal of thought whilst preparing for my nine-week trip!
One of the greatest issues has been lowering the weight of essentials to aid my comfort as I embark on my journey. So, what should you consider? How should you go about packing a backpack at the lightest weight possible?
How to ensure your backpack is as light as possible
Ideally, a backpack for trekking long distance should weigh no more than 15lbs when holding all your essentials. To ensure you are making the most of this capacity you can split your essentials into categories. Then you can then consider the weightiest essentials in comparison to the lightest. This will help you plan your purchasing and packing of the items that will sustain you throughout your adventure.
Your list of categories will look a little something like this:
- The actual backpack
- Food and water
After choosing the lightest backpack possible, your next consideration will be the heaviest items. For example, the tent that will shelter you and keep you warm, and then your essentials such as clothes etc. Having this base of essentials decided will then inform the weight of your food and liquid items that will take up a lot of the weight you carry.
What else should you consider when packing your rucksack?
The tent and bedding that will shelter you throughout should involve careful consideration when purchasing. This is because it is likely to amount to almost half the weight of all the essentials you will be carrying. I discuss the weight of tents in my blog on buying a tent, which you can read here.
The next thing for you to consider will be the clothing you pack, typically taking up roughly over a third of your backpack’s overall weight. Consider the density and warmth of the clothing you are packing as well as the durability. How essential is waterproof clothing for the type of trip you are embarking on? In the UK this is usually essential as we have typically British weather!
You should also be sure to consider the comfort of the clothing you pack. Avoid underwear and bottoms with thick seams or straps. This is to avoid them digging in from under the pressure of your backpack.
How I packed my rucksack
I had my essentials and established the weight they added to my backpack. Secondly, I then moved on to pack my maintenance (small toiletries and small pieces of survival equipment), electricals and essentials such as wallet, phone etc. These elements can be the heaviest amount of weight in your backpack but are vital for ensuring your health and safety on your trip.
Battery power packs can be incredibly heavy, I have taken two extra battery packs and chargers. This for me is essential in the money, social media, and tracking device age! I also have a very important solar charger, which I’d highly recommend when camping.
How to organise a rucksack
I used packing cubes to help organise my rucksack and to separate the equipment. This has been so helpful in keeping everything in its place. Packing cubes are small bags that organise and compartmentalise your clothes and equipment inside your rucksack or other luggage carriers. They are perfect for backpackers, travellers and even if you are just heading off on holiday.
As well as the packing cubes, I have coloured dry bags. These can be used instead of packing cubes, for those who don’t have any. During my travels, my packing cubes contain underwear, socks, mattress and liner, underwear, and main clothes. Then I use my dry bag for toiletries, electrical gear, first-aid, and a few food bits.
So, that’s my rucksack all packed up ready to aid me on my adventure! Do you enjoy packing for a long trip? Let me know what you find hardest to pack!
To find out more about my 700-mile trip across the South-West Coastal Path, click here.