Lightweight and Ultralightweight Backpacking

The View from Here

Panoramic view from a mountain top in Glacier National Park, Montana

Packing - Lighten up!


Practically everything should be repackaged: the weight of most packaging is useless and difficult to pack bulk and weight for lightweight or ultralight backpacking, plus you will need to pack it out.

By selection of the container, it is possible to repackage nearly everything flat, or, at least in a rectangular stuff sack like that of the Granite Gear Air Zipptwists. The eVent Sil Compression Drysack may be selected to stuff the sleeping bag to put in the bottom of the backpack, or, their Pack Stuffers.

This prevents movement. It is undesireable for the load to shift at awkward moments.

If you have a top loader backpacker, you might consider the Granite Gear Air Zippsack in different colors: one for food, one for clothing, for example.

Have the tent ot tarp on top, or, have the raingear at the top. I have my tarp or poncho/shelter in the outer mesh pocket on the back of the backpack. I can shake moisture off the tarp or poncho/shelter. Nevertheless, the mesh back pocket is better than inside your backpack. I select backpacks having an outer mesh pocket, either that, or, secure the rain wet items on the outside of the backpack.

If anything in a backpack is angular, or heavy and hitting against you, or water or fuel is sloshing in a container, or the contents of the cookset are constantly rattling and clanging at every step on the trail, the answer usually is to repackage it.

If not, the Granite Gear Air Cell Blocks may be the answer, either that or a little creative padding may help.

Because my primary pack carry is a 40-liter pack, I like the soft Granite Gear eVent Sil Drysack as a packliner, and, the Granite Gear Pack Stuffers.

I particularly like how the Granite Gear Block Solid Compression Sack slides over the sleeping bag, so nicely, when I pack. Perhaps this is why my really "big" synthetic sleeping bag now packs to a smaller size. Nevertheless, in my experience, a synthetic sleep system requires a 50-55 liter minimum interior volume backpack.

I usually stuff that in the bottom of my pack. Then, I will loosely pack some high volume item, down jacket or like that. This makes a nicer, and more flat load, with the more lumpy gear nestled inside.

The smaller items may be organized in the Granite Gear Air Pocket, or, ZPacks Zip Pouches.

The Coleman Space Savers small compressible roll-up is 14 x 20 inches, if waterproof is desired. However, the 13.75 x 19.5 inches Travel Space Saver Space Bag Roll Up & Go carry on size, included in the package with two different sizes may be right for your backpack.

The Granite Gear eVent Sil Drysacks and Sea to Summit eVac Dry Sack is outstanding for packing bulky items in a small pack, because has a one-way valve built-in to allow me press out excess air trapped inside.

The Granite Gear Überlight Drysacks, or, Ultralight Cuben Fiber Stuff Sacks may be your ultralightweight drybag choice.

These size and brand guidelines may help you develop strategies for packing the higher volume items.


copyright © 2017 Connie Dodson. All Rights Reserved.