How Much Weight Should You Carry When Backpacking?

By Michael Ferguson

When backpacking, knowing how much weight to carry is an important skill to have. It will determine how comfortable and safe your trip is, as well as the length of time you can stay out on the trail. The amount of weight you carry is a personal decision, but there are some general guidelines that can help you determine the right amount for your particular needs.

The first thing to consider is how far you are going and how long you will be on the trail. If your trip is relatively short, then it’s best to keep the total weight down as much as possible. Aim for no more than 25-30 pounds total; this includes your food, water, and gear. This will be enough to cover basic needs without overloading yourself with unnecessary items that will only slow you down.

If it’s a longer or more challenging hike, then you may need to increase the amount of gear and supplies that you bring along.

In this case, aim for a total weight of 35-40 pounds or more if necessary. With this amount of weight, it’s important to make sure that everything is strategically packed so that it is easy to access when needed. Try using compression sacks and other organizational tools to make sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

It’s also important to pack items in order of importance and use lightweight materials whenever possible. For instance, opt for a lighter sleeping bag or tent instead of heavier ones that are made from thicker materials. Also look for items with multiple uses such as a tarp that can double as a rainfly or shelter.

In conclusion

When deciding how much weight you should carry when backpacking, it’s important to consider the length of your journey and what type of terrain you will be covering. Aim for no more than 25-30 pounds if your trip is relatively short and 35-40 pounds or more if it’s longer or more challenging. Use lightweight materials whenever possible and organize items in order of importance so they are easy to access when needed.