Packing It Light: Tips for Compact Backpacking

Venturing out into the woods and enjoying what nature has to offer can definitely be enticing. Backpacking trips usually offer a great opportunity to let loose and forget about your everyday worries for just a few days. Yet, packing your stuff might seem like a chore. After all, you do not want to forget any essentials, but you also don’t want to carry a heavy backpack for days! This is why it helps to know how to pack light for your next adventure. 

Check out our next few tips for compact backpacking.

Start With a Light Backpack

Bigger is not always better, especially when packing your bag. Traditional backpacks usually have a frame to keep the weight you are carrying evenly distributed, which is certainly a good feature to have. However, these bags often feel extremely heavy even when they’re empty, so imagine how heavy they become when full! If you are ready to ditch the weight-distributing feature for something more compact, you should go for a frameless bag. Getting a small backpack means that you will feel less tempted to overpack and will focus only on the essentials. Although frameless backpacks do not have all the extra features like padding, they are your best bet if you are going on a short trip and do not need to pack a lot of things anyway.

Get a Compact Mess Kit

For those camping nights where you need to have a hot meal, you cannot go wrong with a compact mess kit. More often than not, beginners make the mistake of packing traditional cookware, thinking that they will need all the pots and cutlery in their kitchen. Nevertheless, this is just a waste of good space. On the other hand, mess kits are specifically made for camping trips and whatnot, which makes them essential for any backpacker. Yet, not all mess kits are created equal, this is why you need to learn more about these kits by reading online reviews if you want to get more bang for your buck. As a general rule of thumb, you must consider the portability and the contents of your desired kit. Opt for kits that include plates, cutlery, and a compact stove. Also, make sure that the contents of the kit are made of compact material that can be easily cleaned if you want to add a dash of convenience to your backpacking trip.

Avoid Heavy Tents

Avoid Heavy Tents

One of the first things that jump into our minds when we hear the word “camping” or “backpacking” is where we will sleep. Some might prefer to purchase those heavy, fancy tents, yet you can find more compact alternatives and save some money while you are at it. If it is already hot and humid, you can ditch tents and go for a sleeping bag instead. However, if there are a lot of insects in the vicinity, then you might need to go for a mesh tent. Regardless of the conditions of the place you are heading to, always opt for light, compact tents or sleeping bags to save some space in your backpack.

Do Not Go Overboard When Packing Food

It is easy to think that packing food that will last you for a month is the way to go, but this is actually counterproductive. Most likely, you will not be able to finish all the food you’ve packed and will be stuck with a heavy backpack. To solve this dilemma, bring tote bags in bulk and you should pack dry food, such as cereal, dried fruit, and granola bars. In case you are itching for a hot meal, you can also include a can or two of soup. To be on the safe side, pack food that will last an extra two or three days, so if you are going on a three-day trip, pack enough food for five days.

Be Careful When Packing Clothes

It goes without saying that you are going on a backpacking trip, not attending Paris Fashion Week, so you will not need ten different outfits! When packing clothes, do not take more than three outfits, and opt for clothes made out of polyester because it does not get soaked as quickly as cotton. For chilly nights, pack a light jacket, and do not forget to take your swimwear if you plan on taking a dip.

Going on a camping or backpacking trip is the way to go if you want to relax for a couple of days. To make your trip as hassle-free as possible, packing light is recommended. So, only pack the essentials, and avoid overpacking unnecessary stuff that will only slow you down. By following our previous tips, you are sure to have the time of your life!