Packing your backpack is no easy task, considering that you will be carrying your mistakes for hours upon hours on your back. When you have to tow your weight yourself, every single ounce counts, and apart from the inconvenience involved in carrying extra weight while backpacking, there are many other disadvantages associated with carrying heavy stuff. For one, you tend to get tired faster with every extra gram that you carry on your back, which reduces the pleasure that you get from your trip by a certain percentage at the end of every day.
Heavy weights not only slow down your trip considerably, they also reduce the freedom that you have because taking a side trip or checking out a diversion is not possible with a very heavy load on your back. Apart from these problems, heavy backpacks are a major cause of trekking related injuries like sore muscles, sprains, back and knee problems and blisters on hands and feet. Heavy backpacks also act as a major encumbrance during emergencies when you need to find help or shelter fast.
Packing light on your backpacking trip will not only help you avoid all the above mentioned problems, it will ensure that you enjoy your trip much more than you ever can with a heavy backpack. With a light back pack, you will not only enjoy your trip more and move faster, you will be more comfortable, safe and free to move around wherever you want.
But lightweight backpacking is not easy, considering that you will have to live out of your back pack for days on end. In order to have a light backpack, you not only need to pack in the minimum amount of things that you need, you will also have to pick and pack the smallest and the lightest of those items available. For example, if you have to carry an iron, you should carry a travel iron that is very light and very small instead of carrying a regular one. Since no sane person carries an iron (of any kind) while backpacking, you will need to apply this fundamental to the things that you will need on your backpacking trip—clothes, towels, accessories, toiletries etcetera.
When packing clothes, take along pieces that are extremely versatile, can be used again and again, are lightweight, as weather resistant as possible and dark colored. Do not take along pieces that you will be able to use only once or twice. Similarly, carry along small travel packs of your toiletries—soap, shampoo, toothpaste etcetera. Then again you will need to buy the lightest tents and sleeping bags available in the market. At times, you might find that the lightest or the most convenient version has a cost that is inversely proportional to its weight and size. In such a case, buy the best that you can afford instead of going for only the best.
One great invention that will make backpackers across the world happy is the Lightload towel. These towels have been specially created for backpacking and adventure travel and are so small that you can put a dozen of them into the palm of your hand. A 12”x 24” towel weighs only 0.5 oz, so you can carry as many of them as you want without breaking your backpack or your back. What makes them apt for backpacking is their multi functionality, and you can use them as coffee strainers, fire starters, water filters, wind scarf and a first aid supplement. You can also use them for cleaning not just your own body, but for wiping dirty utensils and for cleaning up spills. These towels are reusable and fast drying and all its combined features make it a necessity for any decent backpacker’s luggage.
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