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How Much Should I Carry In My Backpack?

May 12, 2014, by Ken Jorgustin


Many of us tend to over-pack, because it’s better to have too much than too little, right? While that may be true to an extent, knowing how to determine how much you should pack in your backpack will help you to be more efficient and to carry only what you need. Less weight requires less energy to carry, especially long distances.

Here is a tip to help you decide how much ‘stuff’ to stuff into your backpack:

When readying for travel, a hike, a camping expedition, a bug-out-bag or emergency kit, here’s a tip to determine if you’re over-packing or being efficient.

Take some time and perform the following task:.

1. Take ALL of your gear that you intend to haul along with you in your backpack, and spread it all out on the floor or on the ground in front of you.

2. Think about each individual item and ask yourself, is it essential?

3. If it is (essential), put it in a pile (the essentials).

4. If it is not, put it in a different pile (the non-essentials).

5. Next, take a look through the pile of non-essentials. Some of the items might make your life easier or more pleasant and enjoyable – or provide a better experience or an increased level of preparedness or safety. You will have to decide if each of the non-essential items are worth the extra weight in your backpack.

Every additional ounce will add up quickly, so the more scrutiny, the lighter your load will be.

It’s that simple! Identify the essentials, then contemplate each additional item’s value.