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HOW CAN I LIGHTEN MY LOAD?
1. Weigh everything you would usually take on a tramping trip. Use a spreadsheet or website such as www.lighterpack.com to organise everything you carry. Sometimes it can be surprising to see right there how much you are really carrying.
2. Think about what you can remove from your pack. The cheapest way to lighten your load is to leave things at home. Look at where you have duplicates, and ask if they are necessary. When you come home from a trip, think about the things you didn’t use - could you leave them at home next time?
3. Try to reduce the weight of some of the things you already have. For example you can cut off extra straps and leave stuff sacks and storage boxes at home.
4. Think about the weight of consumables as well. It can be a good idea to carry a water filter, so you can carry less water and fill up at any stream/lake you come across. Look for foods that have a high calorie density - getting more energy for less food weight means less weight on your back. You can also look to cut down on the volume of sunscreen, toothpaste etc (and maybe leave the deodorant at home).
5. Use multipurpose gear - leave the bowl and mug at home and eat/drink directly out of your pot, use a tent which utilises walking poles as tent poles etc.
6. Once you have worked through all of these options, look at replacing your gear with lighter alternatives. Ultralight gear can be expensive, but it can make a huge difference to your pack weight. Look at replacing the things that will have the biggest impact first: typically your tent/shelter, sleep system and pack. Replacing your pack can be a delicate balance, replace it too soon and it will likely be heavier/bigger than you may need in the long term.
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