What Is Considered Base Weight for Backpacking?

By Anna Duncan

Backpacking is an incredibly popular outdoor activity, and one of the most important factors in any successful backpacking trip is the amount of gear you carry and the weight that it adds up to. This is why it’s important to understand what is considered base weight for backpacking.

Base weight, simply put, is the total weight of all your gear (excluding consumables like food, water, and fuel) that you’ll be carrying on your back when you set out on a backpacking trip. It’s important to note that this does not include the weight of your backpack, clothing (which you are wearing), or any additional items that can easily be removed from your pack during stops such as trekking poles or a bear canister.

The amount of base weight you should carry will vary depending on several factors such as the difficulty level of the trail, the length of your trip, and even the weather conditions. Generally speaking though, experienced backpackers recommend keeping your base weight to around 20% of your bodyweight.

For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., then 30 lbs. would be considered a good base weight for backpacking.

It’s also worth noting that reducing your base weight can make a huge difference in terms of comfort while hiking. By reducing unnecessary items and packing lighter items where possible (such as lightweight tents and sleeping bags), you can make carrying your gear much more manageable while out on the trail.

What Is Considered Base Weight for Backpacking? Base weight for backpacking is the total weight of all gear (excluding consumables) that will be carried on a backpacking trip. Generally speaking, experienced backpackers recommend keeping this weight to around 20% of one’s bodyweight for maximum comfort while hiking. Reducing unnecessary items and packing lightweight gear can also help make carrying one’s gear more manageable while out on the trail.