How Much Should Your Backpack Weight When Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

When it comes to backpacking, one of the most important things to consider is how much weight your backpack should carry. The amount of weight you carry will depend on a variety of factors, such as your strength and fitness level, where you are going and the type of terrain you will be travelling through.

The general rule of thumb is that your backpack should weigh no more than 25-30% of your body weight. This means that if you weigh 60 kgs, then your backpack should weigh no more than 15-18 kgs. It’s also important to note that this is an average figure and may be higher for those who are stronger or lower for those who are not so strong.

When packing for a backpacking trip, it’s essential to try and pack light. You don’t need to bring everything with you – just the essentials.

Start by making a list of all items that you will need (clothing, sleeping bag, camping gear etc) and then ensure that all items are as lightweight as possible. Avoid bringing items that are unnecessary or bulky – these can quickly add up in weight.

It’s also important to check the weather conditions before leaving on your trip and adjust what clothing items you bring accordingly. If it’s going to be cold or wet, then make sure to bring appropriate clothing items such as waterproof jackets and thermal layers.

Distribute Weight Evenly

When packing your backpack, try to distribute the weight evenly throughout the bag. This will help maintain balance which in turn will make carrying your backpack much easier and more comfortable. Make sure that heavier items are placed close to the back panel so they don’t pull away from your body when you’re walking.

Train Your Body

It is also recommended to train your body in preparation for carrying a heavy backpack as this can help increase strength and endurance when travelling long distances over difficult terrain. Try doing exercises like squats and lunges with a weighted bag on your back or going on regular hikes with an increasing amount of weight each time so that by the time of your backpacking trip, you’ll be able to comfortably carry the load.


The amount of weight you should carry in your backpack when backpacking depends on various factors such as fitness level, terrain type and weather conditions. In general it is recommended not to exceed 25-30% of bodyweight but this can vary depending on individual circumstances. It’s best practice to pack light wherever possible but also ensure that essential items are brought along for safety reasons whilst distributing weight evenly throughout the bag for comfortability when travelling long distances over difficult terrain .