When we pack for a trek, we must keep in mind the fact that we have to carry it on our shoulders the entire time. Therefore, it is important that we keep it light and only pack the necessary things that we need. Carrying a heavy backpack will only make you slow during the trek and will act as a demotivator for you and the other members of your group.
It is very important to pack systematically and efficiently. This skill of efficiently packing with the least amount of resources comes only with experience but for beginners, some tips can help them learn various techniques and acquire this skill.
There are a few basic steps that you must follow while packing.
Making a list of all the essentials needed is something you should start with.
Secondly, you should weigh all the items that will go in your backpack. Once you do that you will have a clear idea about what can be left behind to make the backpack lighter in case that needs to be done.
Use multifunction gear as much as you can. This reduces the number of items that you need to carry. Thus reducing the clutter in the bag and making it lighter.
Here are a few pointers to help you understand the above-mentioned points more clearly.
The three things which make up the major weight of the backpack are the sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and the tent.
Carry a lightweight sleeping bag and down blanket instead of a sleeping pad. This will significantly reduce the weight of the backpack. The down blanket you carry can double up as a jacket or vice versa.
Carrying a lightweight tent is also very important. Trekking poles can be used as multipurpose gear as they can be used to hold the tent. It eliminates the need for tent poles. If you are going for a trek where you might not need a trekking pole, you can use rocks to anchor the tent to the ground.
If you are able to reduce the weight of the sleeping bag, sleeping pad and the tent it will help cut down a remarkable amount of weight. As a result, you will be able to use a lighter backpack of lower volume.
You can also use your backpack cover as a water sack for carrying water to the tent. This will eliminate the need for carrying a separate water sack.
Instead of carrying many utensils, you should just carry a multipurpose utensil that can act as a cooking pot as well as your plate. It is also important that we carry a lightweight stove for cooking on the trek. Such lightweight stoves can be made with cans.
When you start packing, you must remember to repack. Often the packing of items is done in several layers. It only adds useless weight. For example, you can remove the outer cardboard covering of the toiletries that you carry. In order to carry food items, you can use zip lock bags instead of their heavy multiple layers covering. You can also add many dry food items together in a ziplock, reducing the total number of packets that you need to carry.
Carrying extra food items and clothes can be prevented. Whenever packing clothes always remember to pack clothes made of synthetic material as they are easier to pack, occupy less space and weight significantly less than cotton clothes. Packing synthetic clothes also reduces the need for using compressors, which in turn reduces the weight of the backpack. You should also carry a bandana as it serves multiple purposes.
If you have company on the trek you must share the load. This will help you and your companion in carrying more items that you need but will also not increase the weight of anyone backpack too much.
These little steps can make a lot of difference to your trekking experience as you won't have a heavy weight on your shoulders and will automatically make the trek a pleasing experience.