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How much weight should you carry backpacking

Blog-Post How Much Weight Should You Carry Backpacking

Like everything the decision to carry how much weight in your backpacking depends on how much weight you are comfortable carrying and what is your specific goals for the trip.

If you are a beginner backpacker it is ideal to carry anything between 30-35 pounds the lighter the better makes your comfortable during the entire trip. With more experience you can gain you can increase the weight up to an extra 8-10 pounds.

There is a lot of things to consider what to carry in your backpack here we explain what exactly you need to carry depending on a short or a long trip. 

Table of Content

1. Base Weight to carry.

2. What should be the ideal backpack weight?

3. Tips on how to reduce backpack weight

4. Essential Items to carry in the backpack


Base weight is defined as how much you loaded pack weight excluding your consumable goods like food, water and fuel.  The reason you exclude the consumable goods is because during the journey these consumable goods weight will reduce since you use up these goods which will reduce the weight. 

But the base weight like your tent, sleeping bag, cooking stove and clothing will remain the same in the entire trip. If you know what are all things you need to carry will help you to know what is the base weight. The other think to consider is the total weight of the backpack bag you carry. We do recommend a TETON’s ultralight weight backpacking from amazon with a total weight of only six pounds.


If you consider hiking with your backpack a few decades ago the average weight a backpacker would be carrying would be between 50-60 pounds. But with the advancement of technology, the backpack types of equipment have become ultra-lightweight. Also with lots of resources and information on blogs and podcasts on how to minimize your overall backpack weight it has become easy for anyone to hike with a lighter backpack.

What is an ideal backpack weight for hiking?

These questions again depend on the person and high body structure. The common myth about backpack weight is the 20% rule that your pack should exceed more than 20% of your body weight. It’s true to people for example a 150-pound person can carry at least a 30-pound backpack weight. who are on average body weight but this principle won’t hold for someone big and overweight.

Packing your essentials is key to making your backpack light and easy to carry throughout the trip. Also depending on the trip duration and the season, the ideal backpack weight will vary

During the summer season, you can carry few light clothes and sleeping gears, but during the winter season you will have to carry more equipment like tents, temperature resistance sleeping bags (one we found Sierra Designs bags on amazon for 15 Degree mummy sleeping bag)

Avoid Injuries by putting lots of overweight into your backpack.

If you ask older folks who did backpacking with overload weight they would say they like injuries to their back and hip, knee and ankle injuries, etc. To avoid these ensure to pack your bag which is ideal for your weight and specific trip goals.

Tips on how to reduce backpack weight

How to shave off weight without sacrificing too much from your backpack. One of the major decision you need to take while backpacking is trying to include items that have multiple uses for example like camping cooking pot can be used as a bowl to serve food (one of these cooking pans I found very useful on amazon )

Your Tent carrying a 2 person backpacking tent with an overall weight of 2-3 pounds should be perfect to reduce some space in your backpack. If you are a solo hiker then one person tent would be handy. 

Sleeping Bag – High-quality ultralight without comprising the temperature will go a long way to shred a lot of weight from your backpack. My favorite ultralight backpack is the TETON Sports LEEF Lightweight Mummy Sleeping Bag is excellent with compression and also keeps you warm.

Repackage your essential food and personal items – Who is going to use an entire tube of sunscreen, toothpaste, or food for a short 3-5 days of a hiking trip. If you can reduce it to a small container that will same some space as well as the weight you carry. Best small containers you can carry during a short hiking trip.

Reduce your water carrying – If your hiking route includes lots of abundant streams plan on using those water using a water purifier instead of carrying all the water you need for the hike. This is a big space saver as well as the weight.

Conclusion Use maximum use of the items you carry – Some of the ways to reduce weight are using the same pan or pot to eat right from it. This just reduces dishware in your backpack.

These small changes can help you to reduce weight and enjoy a comfortable hiking with less weight

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How much weight should you carry backpacking

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