How should a new backpacker lighten load — Hyperlite Community

How should a new backpacker lighten load

Richard Fresno Member Posts: 2

Background: I'm 52. Just lost 83 pounds after having a stroke in 2019. I'm not 100٪ on balance or stamina but trying out backpacking. First trip was 40-50 miles in Yosemite. Deuter 45+10 pack weighed 36 pounds with 3 liters of water, 5 days of food and mandatory bear vault. Comfort is important. Bag was Kelty cosmic down 20. Tent was REI half dome sl 3+. Aside from downsizing the tent and maybe carryall a little less water, where are you all saving significant weight? Or is it just trimming an ounce here or there?

Best Answer


  • Naomibro
    Naomibro TexasMember Posts: 53

    7/11. Hi Richard!

    At my tender age, must carry lighter. ALL clothing MUST have seal-able, deep pockets; Wear your weight, buy more PRICEY, tested, UL items, If you can (it's worth it--I ditched heavy tent, cook items, and sleeping bag saving lbs.); divvy up items with mates (like, your mate carries poles; you tent n fly) ; rather than carry bulky, heavier bear vault, try a bear sack; pay attention to wt of items sold; All food dehydrated; clothes with deep pockets. Weigh pack, loaded, with plenty food, water, first aid kit; walk around. Feel loaded pack first when it does not "count". Ditch non-multipurpose item(s). There are many on-line recommendations regarding pack wt.

  • Richard
    Richard Fresno Member Posts: 2

    Thank you both. Unfortunately for the time being I'm going solo and in Yosemite where the bear vault is mandatory. But after reading the article I realized I was confusing base and total weight. I thought people had their total weight down around 10 pounds. Again, I'm new and don't have any point of reference from others so I'm not as far off as I thought I was.

    MARK SIREK MAINEAdministrator Posts: 62

    You're doing great, @Richard! Lots of trial and error dialing in a kit to your liking and needs, which is both rewarding, and fun! There are no hard and fast rules–a lot of the ability to float around ten pounds for a base weight is due in large part to the high-quality materials available today to build reliable and durable gear. It's an awesome time to be a backpacker!

  • bugglife
    bugglife Phoenix, AZMember Posts: 14

    Agreed. You're definitely in a great spot. After a bunch of 2-3 day trips Joshua Tree and Utah where we had to carry all of water water, my friends and I did a 5 day trip in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. I started off carrying 3L of water, which was way too much given the frequent stream crossings and access to water. That trip is what prompted me to weigh my gear, start cutting where I could, and eventually buy a HMG pack. It's a definitely pricey, but one spot you could shave at least half a pound is by buying a bearikade bear canister.