Ultra light backpacking is a style of camping or hiking where the goal is to reduce the overall weight of a backpacker’s gear to an absolute minimum. This type of backpacking requires careful planning, thoughtful selection and good organization of equipment and supplies.
The primary aim of ultra light backpacking is to reduce the overall burden on the body and allow for greater exploration with less strain. This means reducing the overall weight of items such as sleeping bags, tents, cookware and other camping necessities in an effort to keep carry weight as low as possible.
Most ultra light backpackers strive to keep total carry weight below 10 kilograms, while some manage to go even lighter than that. This requires careful selection and evaluation of every item that goes into a pack. While it may be tempting to select traditional camping items, it’s important for backpackers to consider lightweight options wherever possible.
Shelter: The shelter system is one item where ultra light backpackers can save significant weight. A tent with poles can weigh several kilograms depending on its size and construction, but there are lighter options such as tarps or hammocks which can weigh only a few hundred grams.
Clothing: Clothing choices are also important when it comes to cutting down total pack weight. Synthetic fabrics are usually preferable over heavier cotton materials, while multi-use garments such as convertible pants or jackets can help reduce the number of items needed in a pack.
Cooking: Similarly, cooking options should be carefully considered when aiming for an ultralight setup. Simple stoves with minimal fuel capacity will often be sufficient for most camping trips, and many campers opt for cold soaking food instead of using stoves at all.
Backpacks: Another area where backpackers can save weight is with their choice of pack itself. Many ultra-light packs are available which have minimal features but are still capable of carrying large loads comfortably.