Every backpacker’s bestfriend is his Bag backpack; but it can also sometimes be his worst enemy. It all comes down to packing. Seasoned campers and explorers typically travel light nowadays; even on long distances or elevated terrain. Recent innovations in bag manufacturing and design, as well as in gear, have made it possible for adventurers to pack and travel with less effort than before. While it’s perfectly normal for beginners to include plenty of items for survival, they too, have been studying the many techniques on how to stay light while on the road.
What is the Pack-Lite Principle?
It’s nothing new: veteran packers all over the world know for a fact that there are plenty of advantages to travelling light:
- - More enjoyment and focus on the actual activity.
- - Many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of finding ways to lessen load.
- - Protection from strain or injuries caused by heavy backpacks.
- - Ultra-light gear would allow backpackers to keep doing their activity well into their twilight years because they would’ve suffered less compared to heavy packers.
The Pack-Lite principle is mostly choosing only the most essential equipment or tools for the trip, and packing them in such a way that it won’t cause strain or difficulty during the hike.
Why Go Light?
More than half of backpackers still carry about 30-50 lbs of gear at their person during the trip. That’s alright: not everyone is suited for the Pack-Lite principle. Hardcore outdoor aficionados sometimes take only a sling backpack with them to hold water bottles, food, first aid kit, and a change of clothes. A few, even smaller bags. This is rare and these are seasoned packers with years of traveling experience. Although it’s every backpacker’s dream to one day carry nothing but a small pouch with them; that remains a fantasy until technology can catch up.
The principle only suggests that campers and outdoors people assess their needs and practices. Many of them usually include things they don’t really require (this is subjective since each person has a different tolerance for roughing it out).
A lighter load would simply mean less anxiety and stress on the backpacker. Imagine a long, grueling trek of ten miles with a 40lbs. bag – not exactly a good way to enjoy the scenery or the experience. Another good reason to practice this principle: travelers would have less strain on their joints and muscles from carrying all that weight. This in turn would lengthen their days on the road; maybe even up to their senior years.
Packing light would start with the pack itself. Choosing bags made of lightweight material could immediately reduce the mass of the entire load. A canvas backpack isn’t acceptable since it’s heavy and tears easily; a better choice would be nylon or Rip-Stop fabric. A dry bag backpack works just as well since it’s made of waterproof material and packs everything in nicely.
Plan the necessities and carefully map the trail before going on a trip. This would significantly aid in getting more out of the experience and a good exercise to packing light.