Hiking offers one the opportunity to unwind and just take time sip in the beauty as well as tranquility that nature has to offer. Therefore, it would be unwise to burden yourself with back-breaking luggage while hitting the trail. Ardent adventurers are encouraged to exercise ultralight backpacking. It comes with numerous benefits. With a lighter hiking backpack, you can definitely cover more mileage. Besides that, less weight transforms into more comfort. It also means that you can easily maneuver through the unforgiving outdoor environment. Perhaps the most outstanding advantage of lightweight backpacking is the reduced likelihood of injury. Less bulky packs are gentle on bones and muscles. Still, they are excellent for knees, especially during mountain climbing. Let us delve into the whole business on how to make your backpack lighter.
How can I reduce my backpack weight for hiking?
Hiking can turn out to be a terrible experience in the event of a heavy backpack. Check out some of the smart ways by which you can cut down on the weight of your hiking backpack and still have a great time in the jungle:
1. Ration water capacity
Rather than carrying water, you could opt to drink from other water sources like streams. This way you will only have to carry little water hence making your pack lighter.
2. Leave out books
There are so many ways by which you can access books other than carrying them physically. Kindle is one such medium through which books can be read. Other than that, you can snap photos for guide books. All you need is a phone with good battery life.
3. Switch to collapsible water bottles
The weight of reusable plastic water bottles plus water is far more than that of collapsible ones. Switching to collapsible water bottles will save you a couple of ounces.
4. Take note of unused items
You should make a list of your unused items every time you go hiking. This will give you a slight idea of the items that are less necessary on your next trip.
5. Go small on your wardrobe
It is needless to carry an extra pair of clothing in case you are out on a one-day hiking trip. Rain gear might be crucial but not in warm weather. Investing in reliable weather forecast gadgets could come in handy.
6. Buy a quality backpack
Great backpacks demand hiking lovers to dig deeper into their pockets. Nonetheless, such products tend to be more durable. They also guarantee reliability and top-notch functionality. One of the best ways to spot a quality hiking backpack is to look out for a reinforced bottom and strong material.
What do you do if your backpack is too heavy?
I. Distribute weight evenly
It is essential to have the weight of your backpack distributed evenly so as to avoid straining one side of your body. One of the ways to achieve this is by having heavy items at the bottom of the pack. This will shift the weight of the backpack to the back rather than wearing down your neck and shoulders. Similarly, the heaviest objects should as close to your back as possible.
II. Double strap
Emphasis on double strapping goes for teenagers who consider one-strapping to be stylish. Using both straps will distribute the weight of the pack on both shoulders and onto the back. On the flip side, you risk suffering from a self-inflicted injury by using one strap. Additionally, straps with thick and wider cushioning have proven to be comfier.
III. Attach a sternum strap support
Backpacks with sternum straps are easier to carry around as compared to those without. One of the reasons why your pack is heavy could be anchored on the absence of a sternum strap. Sternum straps come in handy by further distributing the load across the chest. It is possible to add a sternum strap to any backpack for added support. Another reason for having a sternum strap is to curb the swinging that might emanate from a loose pack.
IV. Tighten the straps to minimize injury
It is crucial to have your backpack as close to your body as possible. As mentioned before, a loose backpack will swing thus heightening pressure on your shoulder and back muscles. Such strain makes a pack bulky. In order to keep the pack tightly around your body, go for backpacks with a waist or sternum strap.
V. Keep your luggage organized
Weight distribution in your pack will affect its bulkiness. In the event that it is uneven then one side of the pack will be strenuous. However, if your luggage is properly organized, you are likely to get rid of the heaviness.
How can I make my backpack last longer?
Always carry the backpack appropriately
One of the greatest injustices that you can subject your hiking backpack to is slinging it over one shoulder. This induces enormous pressure that should be contained by two straps onto one. This will only lead to untimely wear and tear of the victimized strap. Thus, it is imperative to carry your backpack using two straps if you want it to last long.
Keep the backpack clean
Cleanliness is everything when it comes to hiking gear and backpacks are not exceptional. You need to keep your pack clean at all times. This is because dirt deteriorates the quality of fabric making it vulnerable to wear and tear.
Use the pack for its intended purpose
Another useful tip that will help your hiking backpack to last longer is to ensure that it is used for the right purpose. Just as the name suggests, hiking backpacks are designed to handle the conditions of an outdoor excursion. What's more, it should be used alongside all the integrated waist and shoulder straps. Using the pack accordingly will eliminate any unnecessary pressure on its design and construction.
According to experts, the ideal weight of a hiking backpack should be less than 10 to 20 percent of your body weight. Thus, carrying anything beyond the recommended limit will only wear you down and cause harm to your back. Moreover, it will also cut down on the durability of the backpack. If you really have to overload then it would be wise to use a wheeled backpack. This way you can transfer the weight to your hands and avoid destroying it.
The best way to enjoy time outdoors is by going ultralight on your backpacking. You can always refer to the tips above on how to make your hiking backpack lighter.