The Best Equipment for Lightweight Backpacking Cont...

You are here:Home / Backpacking / The Best Equipment for Lightweight Backpacking Cont...
The Best Equipment for Lightweight Backpacking Cont...

The Best Equipment for Lightweight Backpacking Cont...

What Makes My Backpack Lightweight Cont.

Moving on from the big three for my backpacking equipment things get interesting.  The additional gear one takes along on their trips is where most of the weight comes from.  This is the one place that most people think they need something to be comfortable in the backcountry.  On my first trip, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would need and this is how I came to the list of gear below.


Ounces Pounds
Homemade Foam Cozy 1.6 0.1
Titanium Long Handled Spoon 0.3 0.01875
Total 1.9 0.119

My husband and I are big fans of freezer bag cooking so we don’t have to do dishes or carry extra pots and pans for cooking.  Our inspiration was Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple by Sarah Svien Kirkconnell.  We have since made many of our own recipes and love this method for a hot meal after a long day of hiking.

Water Containers

Ounces Pounds
10-liter Sea to Summit bucket 2.8 0.175
1 Liter Nalgene 4 0.25
2 Liter Platypus (w/ clip, w/camelback valve) 3.5 0.21875
Platypus 2 Liter 1.2 0.075
1 Ziploc Bag 0.1 0.00625
Total 11.6 0.725

The various containers we have in our packs helps store water at camp since we use a gravity flow filtration system.  I use the 10-liter bucket to stay clean it works great for bathing away from water sources and washing socks and underwear.  The Nalgene is useful to have water with a flavor packet so help there is some variety from the normal water.  I enjoy Crystal Light packets especially lemonade.


Ounces Pounds
Solio with Charge Cord and USB Tip 6.4 0.4
Crocs – Camp Shoes 8.3 0.51875
Black Diamond Storm headlamp 2.9 0.18125
purple pack cover 3 0.1875
Money – $100 in $20’s 0.1 0.00625
Glasses with Hard Case 4.1 0.25625
iPod Nano – purple 1.4 0.0875
iPod earphones 0.4 0.025
Spyderco knife 1.5 0.09375
sunglasses 0.8 0.05
Journal w/ pencil 5.3 0.33125
book 10.7 0.66875
collapsible cup 1.8 0.1125
Ground cover for 2 4.6 0.2875
Go Lite umbrella 7.9 0.49375
Total Weigh correction 0.2 0.0125
Total 59.4 3.713

The Misc. category is a tricky one and is the one that has added almost 4 pounds to my pack.  These are the items I “think” I can’t survive without.  The interesting thing about this category is my first backpack is only an overnight and this is one of the categories that as I backpack more will see the most change.

Survival Sack/ Toiletries

Ounces Pounds
Vaseline 0.3 0.01875
Wet ones 2.6 0.1625
Spare contact lens 0.1 0.00625
Dental floss 0.3 0.01875
Sunblock 4.2 0.2625
cotton balls/ Q-tips 0.5 0.03125
Lotion 0.9 0.05625
Saline solution 2.3 0.14375
Toothbrush 0.4 0.025
Hairbrush w/ mirror 1.5 0.09375
Contact lens case 0.3 0.01875
toothpaste 1 0.0625
fingernail clippers 0.4 0.025
Purell 1.3 0.08125
hair bands 0.1 0.00625
Imodium 0.7 0.04375
One a day multivitamin 2.2 0.1375
Iron pills 1.9 0.11875
Advil / Tylenol 1.5 0.09375
Band-Aids 0.4 0.025
Water purifying drops 1.1 0.06875
Camp suds 1.9 0.11875
Kleenex 0.8 0.05
3 AAA batteries 1.2 0.075
Rolaids 0.6 0.0375
Body Glide 1.1 0.06875
Buck knife 2.1 0.13125
Total Weight Correction 0.3 0.01875
Total 32 2

This category looks like a lot but actually is quite a small stuff sack in my pack and has some items that have come in very useful over my many trips.


Ounces Pounds
REI Fleece Jacket – Dark gray 12 0.75
OR wide brim hat 2.6 0.1625
Waterproof Pants 7.8 0.4875
Columbia Waterproof coat 15.1 0.94375
stuff sack for rain gear 0.4 0.025
gloves 3.3 0.20625
Fleece pants 11.3 0.70625
REI women’s polyester shirt 5 0.3125
REI wool hiking socks 2.1 0.13125
sports bra 2.4 0.15
Underwear 1.2 0.075
Smart wool socks 1.5 0.09375
Buff 1.2 0.075
Turtle Fur hat 3.6 0.225
Total 69.5 4.344

The clothing category is everything I carried for at camp.  I wanted dry clothes to change into after a sweaty hike.  My fear was getting chilled from the sweat.  Hiking in Colorado also called for rain gear and we did end up using it on this trip.  We got hit by light showers on our hike in and by a thunderstorm in the afternoon.

Digital Camera

Ounces Pounds
Samsung Digital camera/video camera 8.6 0.5375
(2) spare batteries 1.4 0.0875
Spare SD Memory Card w/ Case 0.1 0.00625
Camera case 2.8 0.175
Total 12.9 0.80625

The camera as state of the art in 2009 and also shot video and it was our goal to make a short movie about our whole trip.  Ironically it turned out to be cumbersome to do video and I only used the camera for photos.


Ounces Pounds
Toilet Paper, cleaning cloths, purell, extra Ziploc 2.9 0.18125
Total 2.9 0.18125

Consumables was a very tiny category but a necessity for me, backpacking for me then and now is a no go without toilet paper.  Over the years, I have read many different takes on this and in the end, it is light and you can never take too much.  I do plan to explore backcountry hygiene for women in a future blog post.


There it is, all the gear I took on my very first overnight backpacking trip.  My big three came in at 7.23 pounds and all the extras added up to 11.89 pounds for a grand total base pack weight of 19.12.

I was lightweight but just barely and since 2009 I have changed and learned so much.  The number one thing that I can state now is you need way less than you think.  It will be ok if you forget a small/larger item you thought you would not survive without.


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

Search our store