What Qualifies as Ultralight Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

Ultralight backpacking is a style of backpacking that focuses on minimizing the weight of the gear and supplies used while camping. It is a popular trend among experienced backpackers, as it allows them to cover long distances with minimal effort and energy. Ultralight backpacking requires careful planning and consideration, as it involves packing only the essential items in order to make the journey successful.

Ultralight backpackers use clever techniques to reduce their load, such as using ultra-lightweight materials for tents, sleeping bags, and clothing. They also strive to minimize their food weight by eating lightweight meals that are easily prepared in the wilderness. Other items that can be minimized include cookware, water bottles, and even luxury items such as books or games.

Ultralight backpackers also practice packing efficiently by using compression sacks or “stuff sacks” to help keep items organized and reduce bulk. These sacks can be used to store clothes, sleeping bags, and other bulky items so that they fit more easily into a pack. This ensures that everything fits in one place without taking up too much space.

In addition to reducing the weight of their gear, ultralight backpackers also take special precautions when packing for an adventure. They often use lighter packs with fewer compartments for extra storage space and use less clothing than normal hikers would need for cold weather conditions. Additionally, they may choose lightweight options for shoes such as trail runners instead of heavy hiking boots.

What Qualifies as Ultralight Backpacking?

In order to classify as an ultralight backpacker, individuals must carry a base pack weight of ten pounds or less (not including food or water). This means that all essential gear must weigh under ten pounds in order to qualify as ultralight backpacking.

Ultralight backpacking is a great way for experienced hikers to cover long distances with minimal effort and energy while still enjoying all the comforts of home away from home. It requires careful planning and consideration in order to successfully reduce weight while still bringing all necessary supplies.


Ultralight backpacking is an efficient style of camping where only essential items are packed in order to minimize overall pack weight.

In order for an individual’s gear loadout to qualify as ‘ultra-light’ it must weigh ten pounds or less (not including food or water). Experienced backpackers who practice ultralight techniques often find themselves better suited for covering long distances with minimal effort compared to standard campers who carry heavier loads.