What Should I Pack for Ultralight Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

Ultralight backpacking is the ultimate way to explore the great outdoors. By lightening your load, you can cover more ground, move faster and enjoy a more enjoyable experience. But in order to get the most out of your journey, you need to know what to pack.

First, it’s important to choose a quality backpack that fits properly and is designed for ultralight backpacking. You’ll also want to pick out a sleeping bag that is lightweight and weatherproof.

A good tent or tarp will provide shelter from wind and rain and keep you warm at night. Clothing should be lightweight and comfortable, but also waterproof and durable.

In terms of food and cooking supplies, try to pack items that are lightweight but calorie-dense. Nuts, seeds, jerky, dried fruit, energy bars and freeze-dried meals are all good options for ultralight backpacking trips. For hydration, pick up a collapsible water bottle or two as well as a water filter or purification tablets.

Navigation tools like a compass and map are essential for any backpacking trip. You may also want to bring along a GPS device or smartphone with an offline mapping app installed. Additional items such as trekking poles, headlamps and fire starters can be helpful depending on the terrain.


Ultralight backpacking requires careful planning when it comes to what gear you bring along on your journey.

Quality apparel that is lightweight but durable is essential for staying comfortable outdoors. Look for calorie-dense foods that are easy to transport in addition to navigation tools like maps and compasses. Don’t forget about additional items like fire starters or trekking poles which can come in handy depending on the terrain.