What Should Your Backpacking Base Weight Be?

By Anna Duncan

For those who’d like to explore the outdoors and go on backpacking trips, it is important to consider how much weight you’ll be carrying on each trip. This is especially true for those who plan to stay out for days or even weeks at a time, as you don’t want to be weighed down by too much stuff. To help figure out the perfect amount of weight to take with you, it’s best to consider what is known as your “base weight.”

Base weight refers to the total weight of all of your gear and supplies that you will need for a backpacking trip, minus consumables such as food, fuel, and water. This includes all of your clothing, shelter, sleeping items, cookware, and any other additional items that are essential for your trip. It’s important to note that if you plan on carrying any extra items (such as books or souvenirs), they will need to be included in your base weight calculation.

When considering what your base weight should be, the most important factor is the type of terrain you plan on traveling through. For example, if you are planning on hiking in mountainous terrain where there may be lots of elevation changes and difficult terrain, then it’s best to keep your base weight lower than if you were traveling through flat or easy terrain. This is because when hiking in more challenging areas, it’s easier to become fatigued from having too much extra weight in your pack.

Additionally, it’s important not to skimp too much on the essentials when deciding what items should make up your base weight. Packing lightweight versions of items such as a tent or sleeping bag can help reduce the overall load without sacrificing comfort or safety. Make sure that all of the necessary items are included in your calculations so that there are no surprises during the trip!

The general rule of thumb when deciding what should be part of your base weight is that it should not exceed 20%-30% of an individual’s body weight (depending on their experience level). For example if someone weighs 150 pounds then their ideal base weight would be between 30-45 pounds depending on their experience level with backpacking and the terrain they plan on exploring.

Ultimately knowing what should constitute a backpacker’s base weight comes down to personal preference and experience level with backpacking trips. When planning a trip always remember that while cutting down on unnecessary items can help lighten up one’s load; make sure not to skimp too much on essential items needed for safety and comfort throughout the journey.

Conclusion: The ideal backpacking base weight will depend upon each individual’s experience level and planned route but generally should not exceed 20%-30% of an individual’s bodyweight depending upon their experience level with backpacking trips. When considering which items should make up one’s ideal backpacking base-weight make sure not skimp out too much on essentials needed for comfort and safety while also trying to keep an eye out for lightweight versions of certain equipment such as tents or sleeping bags if possible!