Last Updated on July 29, 2021
I’ve spent years assembling the best ultralight backpacking gear setup for my multi-day hikes into the wilderness, and I’d love to share my 2021 list with you.
Because the gear you bring along backpacking will make or break your trip. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.
On a 2014 attempted trek of the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland, a brutal storm put me and my inefficient gear to the test, and things went downhill fast. The humbling experience reinforced what I’d already known: it was time to overhaul my backpacking gear setup.
Since that fateful trip, it’s been my mission to assemble the best ultralight backpacking gear setup for my personal needs. I’ve counted ounces, scoured over reviews, and slowly pieced together my dream kit. The base weight of my 2021 ultralight backpacking gear list comes in at 8.7 pounds.
Nowadays, I feel light, mobile, and unstoppable on the trail.
So check out the gear I love, read a few reviews, and use the checklists as you get ready for your next adventure into the backcountry.
Because backpacking is just better with quality ultralight gear.
ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING GEAR: TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Backpack, Shelter & Sleeping System
2. Carried Clothing
3. Cooking System & Food Storage
4. Water Filtration & Storage
6. Miscellaneous Items
7. First Aid Kit & Toiletries
8. Worn/Carried Items
10. Ultralight Backpacking FAQs
11. Benefits of Ultralight Backpacking
12. Tips & Tricks for UL Backpacking
13. Ultralight Backpacking Resources
14. Final Thoughts
15. More Hiking & Backpacking Resources
Backpack: Zpacks Arc Blast 55L
The Arc Blast — I removed the hip belt — is as light as it gets for backpacks with a 50+ liter capacity. It’s comfortable when hauling up to 30 pounds and is completely waterproof, which means no need for a rain cover. Its carbon fiber frame is notoriously fragile, though, so keep that in mind.
Weight: 17.0 oz | 482 grams
Tent: Zpacks Triplex
The ultra-roomy Triplex is one of the best pieces of ultralight backpacking gear I’ve ever owned, even if it’s too much tent for one person. Made from super lightweight DCF, it’s very well-engineered and has held up to heavy rain, howling winds, and everything in between. Read More >>
Weight: 26.4 oz | 749 grams
My Next Tent: Zpacks Altaplex – 15.4 oz | 437 grams
Sleeping Bag: Katabatic Gear Alsek 22°
My Alsek 22° bag has never failed to keep me warm. Katabatic Gear’s quilt design saves weight by dropping the zipper and using less material than a mummy-style bag. The bag connects to the sides of the sleeping pad while locking in heat and allowing room to stretch out.
Weight: 23.0 oz | 653 grams
My Next Sleeping Bag: E.E. Enigma 30° – 17.9 oz | 509 grams
Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite
I used to sleep on the gigantic Therm-a-Rest Neoair Xtherm MAX, but I switched to the smaller three-season Xlite pad and trimmed 11 ounces off of my base weight. This pad is a commonplace among backpackers and has cemented itself as a staple in the ultralight community.
Weight: 12.2 oz | 346 grams
Pillowcase/Stuff Sack: Therm-a-Rest Trekker
I’m a finicky stomach sleeper, so having a quality pillow when backpacking is really important. By day, I use this pillowcase to hold my clothing and, when bedtime rolls around, I stuff my Plasma 1000 down jacket inside to create a super-comfortable and warm pillow. Read More >>
Weight: 2.0 oz | 57 grams
Tent Stakes: Zpacks Titanium V
These lightweight ‘V’ shaped tent stakes stay anchored in the earth, even when conditions are less than ideal. They grip into the soil and don’t let go. These stakes are quite easy to bend, however, and should be used gently. Never forcefully hammer them into the ground.
Weight: 3.4 oz | 97 grams (8 stakes + DCF Sack)
My Next Stakes: AliExpress Carbon Fiber – 1.4 oz | 40 grams
Total Backpack and Sleeping System Weight: 84.0 oz | 5.25 lb | 2.38 kg
Down Jacket: Montbell Plasma 1000
In terms of warmth-to-weight, the Plasma 1000 down jacket is second-to-none. By utilizing insanely efficient 1000-fill down as an insulator, Montbell has raised the bar for all premium ultralight down jackets. Gear nerds, rejoice, as it simply doesn’t get better than this.
Weight: 8.8 oz | 250 grams
Windbreaker: Zpacks Ventum Shell
This wind shell is extremely popular on ultralight backpacking gear lists worldwide. For weighing almost nothing, this windbreaker stifles gusts and holds in body heat with ease. When nights are especially cold, I wear it to bed instead of a thermal top.
Weight: 2.0 oz | 56 grams
Rain Jacket: Montbell Versalite
I recently switched to the Montbell Versalite from the ultra-popular and affordable Frogg Toggs ultralight rain jacket. While sporting a much higher price tag, the Versalite fits better, breathes better, and is far more durable.
Weight: 6.3 oz | 179 grams
Long Underwear: Patagonia Capilene Lightweight
I bought these mostly because they were so light, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their performance in cold temperatures. They’re reasonably warm and work well as a base layer for hiking in chilly mornings. (Patagonia no longer makes ‘Lightweight’ bottoms.)
Weight: 3.1 oz | 89 grams
Gloves: SmartWool Touchscreen Liner
The warmth-to-weight ratio on these gloves is solid and, although they’re not waterproof, they’re a must-bring when I’m anticipating chilly weather. For winter journeys that get really cold, I’ll bring along my warmer SealSkinz gloves instead.
Weight: 2.0 oz | 57 grams
Headwear: Buff Classic
My trusty Buff has loads of practical functions on the trail, and will forever be a part of my backpacking kit. I regularly use mine as a headband, neck gaiter, and face-covering during my hikes, though its versatile enough to be worn in countless other different ways. Read More >>
Weight: 1.5 oz | 43 grams
Total Carried Clothing Weight: 23.8 oz | 1.49 lb | 675 grams
Food Storage Bag
I carried the Jetboil Flash for years before I decided to lighten my load and switch to the insanely light BRS-3000T. I’m glad I did. I shaved 9 ounces off my cooking setup weight and can boil water with ease. This little stove is a little erratic, but it gets the job done nonetheless. Read More >>
Weight: .88 oz | 25 grams
Pot: TOAKS Titanium 750 ml
Because I moved on from the Jetboil to the BRS-3000T, I needed to pick a camping pot to for all my backpacking food endeavors. The TOAKS 750 ml titanium pot (I leave the lid behind) fits the bill and has been as useful and durable as advertised.
Weight: 2.9 oz | 83 grams
Spork: Sea to Summit Alpha Light Long
This titanium Sea to Summit spork is feather-light, sturdy, and great at shoveling fresh-cooked backpacking food into your mouth. Its long handle measures about 8.5 inches, which makes it easy to scoop food from the bottom of freeze-dried meal pouches without dipping your hand into the bag.
Weight: .39 oz | 11 grams
Food Storage: Ultralitesacks DCF Bear/Food Bag Kit
This waterproof DCF bag (1.9 oz) can hold 7-8 days worth of food during multi-day backpacking trips. It helps masks odor from bears, rodents, and can be used with a rock sack and paracord (.5 oz) to suspend and hang my consumables when hungry creatures are a threat.
Weight: 2.4 oz | 63 grams
Total Cooking System Weight: 6.6 oz | .41 lb | 187 grams
Dirty Water Container
Clean Water Container
Water Filter: Sawyer Squeeze
The Sawyer Squeeze has cemented itself on countless ultralight backpacking gear lists. Why? Because it’s simple, effective, and very lightweight. Word to the wise: Don’t try to save weight by purchasing the Sawyer MINI. It’s maddeningly slow. Read More >>
Weight: 3.5 oz | 99 grams
Dirty Water Reservoir: Evernew 2000ml
I use my durable two-liter Evernew pouch to collect water from sources along the trail. After I’ve filled it up, I screw on my Sawyer Squeeze and push the untreated water through the filter and into my Smartwater bottle, where it becomes clean and ready to drink.
Weight: 1.5 oz | 43 grams
My Next Water Reservoir: Cnoc 2L – 2.6 oz | 74 grams
Clean Water Container: Smartwater 1L Bottle
Even though it’s twice the weight, I prefer the one-liter Smartwater bottle over the Sawyer Water Pouches that come with the Squeeze Filter. Why? Because the Smartwater bottle is more durable, easier to slide in and out of my pack, and doesn’t collapse when I’m filtering water.
Weight: 1.5 oz | 43 grams
Total Water Filtration and Storage Weight: 6.5 oz | .41 lbs | 184 grams
Cell Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9
A quality-made cell phone is a really good piece of gear to bring along on your backpacking trip. My Xiaomi Mi 9 has a fast processor, good battery life, takes great photos, and has 128 GB of storage. My smartphone is my go-to navigation tool over physical maps on multi-day hikes.
Weight: 6.3 oz | 181 grams
Battery Bank: PowerAdd EnergyCell 5,000mAh
Since I rely on my cell phone as my primary form of navigation, an external battery bank is essential for my multi-day trips. I’m able to fully charge my phone about 90% with the EnergyCell, essentially doubling my battery life in the backcountry.
Weight: 3.1 oz | 88 grams
Charging Port: Anker PowerPort Mini
Whenever I hit a town and stop into a restaurant or shop to quickly charge my cell phone and battery bank, the AnkerPowerPort Mini is perfect for the job. It’s equipped with fast charging 12-watt output and can charge my gadgets in just a couple of hours.
Weight: 1.3 oz | 38 grams
USB Cables: Cable Creation 6″
To charge my smartphone and battery bank, I carry two tiny six-inch USB cables (one type C and one micro-USB). Their minuscule length doesn’t allow me to use my phone while it’s charging, but that minor inconvenience is worth the weight savings.
Weight: .70 oz | 20 grams
Headphones: Panasonic ErgoFit
Music, podcasts, movies, etc. are an immense morale boost while hiking or winding down in the tent, so I always backpack with these minimalist headphones. They weigh next to nothing, put out above-average sound, and are extremely affordable.
Weight: .42 oz | 12 grams
Headlamp: Nitecore NU25
The Nitecore NU25 is about as is lightweight and powerful as they come; it sets the standard for lightweight backpacking headlamps. It has wonderful battery life, recharges via USB, and has various brightness settings, as well as S.O.S. signals. Read More >>
Weight: 1.1 oz | 32 grams
Total Electronics Weight: 12.9 oz | .81 lb | 371 grams
Pen and Paper
Sit Pad: Folding Foam Mat
My lightweight sit pad is a new addition to my gear list and will be a fixture of my setup for years to come. It works as a comfortable cushion when sitting on the ground, fits inside my pillowcase to add volume, and served as padding for my Arc Blast when its frame snapped mid-hike. Read More >>
Weight: 1.0 oz | 28 grams
Compass/Thermometer: Coghlan’s Four Function
A compass, thermometer, and whistle for under an ounce? That’s a no-brainer. I haven’t used the whistle or compass yet, but they’ll be there for me if I’m ever in a pinch. I hang this outside my tent so I can check the external temperature every morning.
Weight: .81 oz | 23 grams
Micro Scissors: Tacony Super Shears
I used to carry a mini Swiss army knife, but I never used any tools aside from the scissors. So, I swapped it out for this incredibly lightweight and compact pair of micro shears and shaved almost a full ounce in the process. These scissors are sharp, durable, and minimalist.
Weight: .18 oz | 5 grams
Mini-Towel: Lightload Microfiber
I use my Lightload Microfiber towel for wiping down the condensation inside my tent and drying out my cooking pot, but it can serve many other purposes. It can be used as an emergency fire-starter, mask, or medical gauze if the situation calls for it.
Weight: .56 oz | 16 grams
My Next Mini-Towel: Packtowl Face – .5 oz | 14 grams
Lighter: BIC Mini
The BIC Mini is a must-have for any backpacker’s ultralight gear list. Having the means to start a fire can be a life-saver during low-temperature emergency situations. I also use mine as a backup to ignite my stove and to burn off any frayed threads on my precious trekking gear.
Weight: .39 oz | 11 grams
Pen & Paper
I love to take notes during my backpacking adventures, especially at nighttime inside my warm tent. Note-taking improves my memory and helps me recover important details when I’m writing my hiking guides weeks or even months after my initial experience.
Weight: .35 oz | 10 grams
Ditty Bag: Ultralitesacks DCF Ultralight Zip
Organization is key when backpacking, so I use this waterproof ditty bag (large size) to keep my electronics, accessories, toiletries, and first-aid items in order. It’s the perfect size for my needs, and I keep it at the top of my backpack for quick and easy access on the trail. Read More >>
Weight: .67 oz | 19 grams
Total Miscellaneous Weight: 4.0 oz | .25 lb | 113 grams
Total First Aid Kit & Toiletries Weight: 1.8 oz | .11 lb | 50 grams
Total Base Weight: 139.6 oz | 8.73 lb | 3.96 kg
Worn and carried items do not count towards total base weight.
Trail Running Shoes: Salomon XA Pro 3D V8
These shoes saved my Colorado Trail thru-hike. 120 miles in, I made a desperation switch from the La Sportiva Wildcats, which ran very small and put blisters all over my feet. The XA Pro 3D V8s were comfortable and breathable from day one and made the rest of my hike enjoyable and pain-free. Read More >>
Weight: 27.8 oz | 788 grams
Hoodie: Montbell Cool Hoodie
This Cool Hoodie became my favorite piece of backpacking apparel the moment I put it on and hit the trail. It’s breathable, blocks UV rays, wicks away moisture, and keeps odor at bay. It excels in warm weather and pairs well with my windbreaker to keep me warm when it’s cold and gusty. Read More >>
Weight: 6.6 oz | 186 grams
Shorts: Patagonia Nine Trails
I always used to hike in my prAna Strech Zion pants but came to realize that I’m happier wearing shorts. The Nine Trails are extremely comfortable, water-resistant, have built-in boxer briefs, and sport three separate zippered pockets. What more could you ask for in a pair of hiking shorts? Read More >>
Weight: 6.4 oz | 181 grams
GPS Watch: Garmin Instinct
Maybe it’s a bit of an ultralight backpacking luxury, but the Garmin Instinct’s usefulness on the trail makes it a no-brainer for my 2021 gear list. This sturdy and straightforward watch helps me navigate, records my heart rate, tracks altitude and distance traveled, syncs with my phone, and much more.
Weight: 1.8 oz | 52 grams
Socks: Darn Tough Light Hiker
The Darn Tough Light Hikers are the perfect backpacking sock. They’re durable, comfortable, and extremely breathable — an unstoppable combination. I never realized how important a good pair of hiking socks was until I geeked out while wearing my first pair of these. Read More >>
Weight: 2.1 oz | 58 grams
Trekking Poles: Cascade Mountain Tech
These lightweight carbon fiber trekking poles are absolutely essential to my gear list. They distribute weight away from my injury-prone knees as I navigate steep terrain and also act as tent poles to keep my Triplex standing strong. They’re light as a feather, durable, and affordable. Read More >>
Weight: 15.6 oz | 442 grams
Hat: Vuori Athletics
I recently moved on from my Carhartt mesh back trucker to this ultra-comfortable hat from Vuori. It’s far more breathable and stylish than my old lid and can be jammed into the confines of my pack without damaging its no-structure bill. It wicks moisture away extraordinarily well and fits me like a dream.
Weight: 1.7 oz | 49 grams
Sunglasses: Merry’s Vintage
I’m too clumsy and forgetful with sunglasses to hold onto a pair for longer than a season, so I wear budget-friendly Merry’s. They’re made from durable aluminum, have polarized lenses, and offer wide peripheral vision. They’re incredibly affordable — only $13 — so if I break or lose them, I won’t lose any sleep.
Weight: .85 oz | 24 grams
Total Worn Items Weight: 62.9 oz | 3.93 lb | 1.78 kg
I’ve accumulated an array of tiny plastic containers over the years to carry my sunscreen, blister prevention cream, bug repellent, Advil, and multivitamins. I carry the bare minimum of what I think I’ll need on a given trip and stash my toiletries and first aid supplies in two separate Ziploc bags.
Food for a day on the trail (about 3,000 calories) weighs about 24 oz (1.5 pounds | 680 grams), and I always bring an extra day’s rations in case of emergency. Check out my guide on backpacking food and meal planning if you want to see exactly how I pack food for a trip.
On average, I carry about a liter of water (35.25 oz | 1 kg) at a time during my backpacking adventures and filter water as I go. If the trail I’m hiking goes long stretches without any freshwater sources, I’ll carry two or more liters at a time. Water is heavy, so I try not to overload myself if opportunities to purify are abundant.
Consumables do not count towards total base weight.
Total Consumables Weight (Five Days of Food + One Liter of Water): 155.0 oz | 9.69 lb | 4.39 kg
Total Worn Items + Consumables Weight: 218.0 oz | 13.63 lb | 6.18 kg
Total Worn Items + Consumables + Base Weight: 357.5 oz | 22.35 lb | 10.13 kg
That’s it. You’ve now taken a peek at every single item on my 2021 ultralight backpacking gear list. I hope this post helps you in one way or another on your multi-day hiking endeavors.
And now, for those of you who aren’t entirely familiar with ultralight backpacking, I’d love to answer a few of your questions.
What is Ultralight Backpacking?
Ultralight backpacking is the minimalist practice of packing as light as possible while remaining safe and comfortable on the trail. The typical base weight limit for an ultralight setup is 10 pounds or less.
The ultralight mindset can be traced back over a hundred years but has only been widely practiced since the 1990s. Since then, technology has brought upon significantly lighter gear that is easier than ever to get your hands on.
What is Base Weight and What are Consumables?
Base weight is the total combined weight of your pack minus food, fuel, and consumables. Worn clothing and items that will be carried outside of your backpack (like watches, sunglasses, trekking poles, etc.) don’t count towards your base weight.
Think of your base weight items are the things that you’ll carry for the entirety of your hike (your backpack, tent, sleeping bag, extra clothing, etc.) The weight of these items should be more or less fixed for your entire trip.
Consumables are the items that fluctuate in weight during the duration of your trip (like food, water, stove fuel, Advil, sunscreen, etc.) The weight of your consumable items is not fixed and will vary from day to day.
Keeping track of your base weight and consumables separately will give make it easier to calculate how much you can expect to carry on a given trip.
There’s no cut-and-dry list of base weight items vs consumables in the ultralight backpacking community, so don’t fret much about how to classify everything you carry. Base weight is just a number in the end.
Does Backpacking Have a Weight Chart?
There’s no official weight chart for backpacking classifications, so defining them is completely objective. Based on my personal backpacking experiences, here’s my best stab at it:
- Traditional Backpacking: 30+ lb base weight
- Lightweight Backpacking: 20 lb base weight
- Ultralight Backpacking: 10 lb base weight
- Super Ultralight Backpacking: 5 lb base weight
Is Ultralight Backpacking Dangerous?
It can be, but only if you don’t prepare yourself properly.
Lightweight backpacking gear can perform just as well, if not better, than heavier traditional gear, so there’s no added risk if you pack for your trip appropriately. If anything, a proper ultralight setup is safer than a traditional setup because it will put less strain on your body.
Where ultralight backpackers can get in trouble is when they leave behind essential items (first-aid supplies, physical maps, weather-specific gear) for the sake of cutting weight. This practice of being “stupid light” is foolish and can put hikers in danger.
Is Ultralight Backpacking Gear Expensive?
For me, ultralight backpacking has been quite pricy, but it doesn’t have to be for you.
My current ultralight backpacking setup is worth around $2,500 brand new, which is no small price to pay. Cost aside, the quality gear in my pack will perform at a high level and likely won’t need to be replaced until many years in the future. That’s money well spent, in my eyes.
It’s possible to put together an ultralight backpacking for a fraction of what I spent, however. You just need to be willing to get a little creative. How, exactly? Seek out second-hand gear, research budget brands, and be willing to sacrifice a little bit of quality to save some money.
Many backpackers hesitate at buying ultralight gear, believing that packing less will diminish their experience on the trail. Here are some benefits that suggest that quite the opposite is actually true.
Carrying Less Weight Means Fewer Injuries
The heavier your backpack, the more susceptible you become to slips, falls, twists, sprains, and breaks on the trail. Lightening your load will make you more sure-footed and lessen the chance of injuries that can derail your hike in an instant.
You Can Move Faster and More Efficiently with a Lighter Pack
A fine-tuned ultralight backpacking setup will allow you to hike faster and more effectively than if you were to carry a backpack full of heavy, inefficient gear. This faster pace will lead to more daily distance hiked and less energy expended per mile.
Ultralight Backpacking is More Comfortable than Traditional Backpacking
Anyone who has ever carried a heavy, overstuffed backpack knows how agonizing the experience can be. Straps dig into your shoulders, dull pain creeps up your back, and your knees begin to ache with every step.
Too much weight on your back distracts from your hiking experience, plain and simple.
A streamlined ultralight setup will ease the discomfort of traditional backpacking, lessen your aches and pains, and put your mind off of your body and back onto your surroundings.
A Lower Base Weight Means More Space for Consumables
When you make the transition to ultralight, a lot of free space will open up in your backpack. This newfound room will allow you to pack extra food, water, and fuel for the long stretches of trail where you’re unable to resupply for several days at a time.
Over my years of backpacking and converting to an ultralight setup, I’ve learned quite a few valuable lessons along the way. Here are some of the best bits of ultralight backpacking wisdom I can offer you.
Buy a Scale
Every ounce counts in the world of ultralight backpacking, so get your hands on a precision scale and weigh every item that goes into your pack. Analyzing the weight of your existing gear will help guide the way for future changes to your setup.
To get your base weight as low as possible, you’ll need to take a close look at every single piece of gear on your packing list. Compare your current gear meticulously to other items on the market, and always ask yourself, “Can I go lighter?”
But lighter gear doesn’t always mean better gear, however, so be prepared to do thoughtful research and make decisions based on an item’s effectiveness as well as its weight.
Focus on the ‘Big Four’
In most backpacking gear lists, the heaviest items are as follows:
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad
By minimizing the weight on these four specific items, you can trim not only ounces but pounds off of your traditional backpacking setup.
Don’t Bring Duplicates
Packing double of an item when one will do is a no-no in the ultralight backpacking community. Why? Because the UL mantra is about carrying only what you need and nothing else. This means you can leave the extra socks, shirts, pants, underwear, and sandals at home.
Share Gear with Others
Communicate with your hiking partners, share your gear, and distribute the weight between your backpacks whenever possible. Pooling the weight of your tents, stoves, pots, water filters, knives, etc. is a great way to lower your base weight by sacrificing some comfort and convenience.
Research Your Hike Thoroughly Ahead of Time
The trail you hike and the weather you expect to encounter should dictate what gear you pack and what you leave behind. Study your hike’s terrain, check forecasts, determine the distance between water sources, and pack accordingly.
For example, backpacking alone for two days in the world’s driest desert will call for a vastly different gear list than hiking for a week through intense wind and rain in Patagonia.
Let the journey ahead decide what you pack and leave all your other unnecessary gear behind.
Stupid Light, Not Even Once
Ultralight backpacking isn’t a contest, so don’t leave essential items behind just to shave a few ounces off of your base weight. This practice is called being ‘stupid light’ and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Prepare yourself for worst-case scenario weather, bring a complete first aid kit, and pack physical and digital maps when navigating unfamiliar terrain. Cutting corners to trim weight is foolish and can be life-threatening if your hike goes sideways and you’re all alone in the backcountry.
Here are some helpful books, websites, and tools that have been invaluable along my journey as an ultralight backpacker. I hope you find them as useful as I do.
Reddit.com/r/Ultralight is a helpful forum to discuss ultralight backpacking, gear lists, trip reports, and more. Redditors in this super-involved community are quick to answer questions, share wisdom, and offer advice.
LighterPack is a great place for backpackers to keep track of, analyze, and compare their gear lists. Users can assign weights to each piece of gear in their backpacking setup and the website calculates base weight, carried weight, and consumables in a helpful pie chart.
Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips
Though Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips was published in 2011, it’s full of thoughtful information that is still 100% valid today. The author, Mike Clelland, packs over 150 incredibly useful pointers into the book, all drawn from his lifetime of hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors.
Andrew Skurka has been an absolute legend in the ultralight backpacking community for years. Want some proof? Check out his 4,700-mile expedition around Alaska, where he hiked, packrafted, and skied for seven straight months through some of the world’s most remote wilderness.
Ultralight Backpacking YouTube Channels
YouTube is full of great ultralight backpacking enthusiasts who are eager to share adventures, gear recommendations, and tips with the world. My personal favorites are Darwin onthetrail, John Zahorian, and Jupiter Hikes.
In a word, definitely.
Going ultralight is an exercise in freedom and efficiency.
There’s simply no downside in drastically cutting your pack weight, as long as your new set up keeps you safe, happy, and comfortable on the trail.
Trimming weight and minimizing your packing list means that every item you pack should serve its purpose as efficiently as possible. Space and energy will no longer be needlessly wasted on hauling around a bunch of unnecessary stuff.
Less weight on your back means you’ll hike farther, longer, and more comfortably. There are simply no arguments against responsible ultralight backpacking that make sense, so my advice is to give it a try. Lighten your load, what’s there to lose?
- Essential Backpacking Gear: The Items I Can’t Hike Without
- What to Bring on a Day Hike: 10 Essentials + Checklist
- Budget Backpacking Gear: Affordable 10 lb Ultralight Kit
- Backpacking Food: Meal Plan Tips & Ideas for Your Next Hike
- Get Paid to Hike: 10 Jobs to Make Money on the Trail
- Best Gifts for Hikers: Unique Hiking Gifts for Any Budget
What are some of your favorite pieces of ultralight backpacking gear of 2021 that didn’t make my list? What’s your base weight? Do you have any ultralight packing tips or tricks? What is the lightest backpacking gear list you’ve ever seen? Let me know by leaving a comment below!