When planning for backpacking trip one may think about what they need and not consider fully how much weight it may add to the pack. When hiking long distances you may start to wish that you would have left more behind and start thinking about how to lessen the load. I would ask myself, “do I need to carry water when there are plenty of water sources around and I can simply purify it?” , “Why do I need a shovel when I can just use a stick, rock or my handy tin cup?” If I want to take it any further, “Why didn’t I buy the titanium cup?”. In my last backpacking trip to Mt. Whitney I ran into these issues once more as I always do when hiking, camping or backpacking. These activities are great for testing gear, learning lessons or re-learning what you knew and just stopped thinking about. Weight distribution, necessities, how to pack your gear, and what to take are important factors to consider on any trip and one may over pack because of over thinking. Truth is, nobody wants to be caught out in the cold wilderness unprepared but on the same logic one does not want to make it only half way because they decided to bring everything including the kitchen sink along with them.
Buy a scale. I bought the following scale and it weighs my items that are 12 lbs. or under. Most items in a pack fall below this weight and common digital scales for measuring a persons weight do not register anything under 10 lbs.
Note: It is also good to look for smaller compact items as well.
Remember the rule of 3. A person needs water within 3 days to survive but can do without food for 3 weeks. There isn’t any need to pack your entire pantry. Plus if you bring dehydrated food they are much lighter. If you need to bring a bear vault then use the extra room to throw in some other items. Once you start weighing your gear you’ll begin to see how many pounds you can scrape away from your pack.
Now that you have a scale and understand what a difference an ounce can make you can go through the gear you have or don’t have yet and either eliminate or switch them out with lighter products. Now you can see the value in a titanium cup that costs $20!
If you want to learn more about backpacking try reading: