If you're heading out for a week's vacation to the beach, you can pack a few extra swimsuits in a suitcase and not stress the extra baggage. However, when you're going camping, it's crucial to pack as light as possible.
A heavy pack is not only uncomfortable, but it can also cause back or leg injury. In the past, lugging a fifty-pound pack on a camping trip was common, but today campers are taking advantage of lighter gear and better planning to decrease their load. Here are some tips on how you can cut excess weight from your camping trip.
Don't Bring a Tent
Think a camping tent is a must have for any camping trip? Well, think again. If the weather is temperate, a tarp is sufficient for many camping situations, especially if you enjoy sleeping under the stars. If you're going to camp without a tent, you may want to consider buying a high-quality down sleeping bag to not only stay comfortable, but also to reduce weight in your pack.
Bring a Light Backpack
Today, many camping backpacks are chock-full of fancy zippers, numerous compartments and endless other gadgets; these extras add unnecessary bulk. Instead, bring a lightweight backpack that only has the bare necessities.
Prioritize Your Camping Needs
Do you think you need an extra pair of pants for a two-day trip? How about a fresh shirt for each day on the trail? Sometimes it pays to be a bit less than fresh, especially if it means you're more mobile. If you purge your bag of all the extras, you'll notice a bounce in your step.
Items with multiple uses are key on camping trips. Consider bringing along a bandanna that also functions as a potholder or a water bottle that can also be used as a small cooking pot.
You don't want to starve, but cutting down your food supply to the bare minimum is key in making hiking more bearable. Consider buying freeze-dried fruit, MREs and other items that will make your load less bulky. It may not be gourmet grub, but it will relieve some of the weight on your back.
Trim the Fat
If you're really try to get spartan, consider shearing some of the extra ballast by taking extreme measures, such as cutting off the handles of your toothbrush or the corners of a map. Remember, when it comes to lightening your load, every ounce counts.