The weight of the backpack is one of the enemies of the hiker.
This article describes some basic light hiking or lightening the backpack (or whatever you want to call it). The goal is to make you think (and yes still believe I do it on purpose ;-)) ways to lighten your bag – without it affecting your safety and your budget. I also share with you some tips to illustrate the different principles.
Before addressing the principles I have adopted, see what the benefits of having a light bag and some a priori currents from the light and ultra-light hiking are.
This is less a problem for day hikes because the weight of the backpack is often quite low. But why not eliminate some excess weight and good habits?
You perhaps also came across this article in seeking the best hiking day pack. You’re in luck because it is not inevitable (except in exceptional cases). You should also visit topsportsbrands.com for more reviews. Many people are disgusted with their first excursions of several days because of the weight of their bag and it’s a shame.
Benefits of having a lightweight backpack
The advantages are many; I will not dwell too much on it because they are pretty obvious, but recall should make you want to make a little effort.
Benefits of having a lightweight backpack bag
Less effort required. This will be less tired, possibly to walk faster, go further or walk longer. It is also more handy, which allows to “escaping” quickly from a bad situation (to turn around quickly in case of bad weather, for example).
Less traumatic. A heavy bag traumatizes both the upper and lower body. For the upper body, a lightweight bag reduces pain in the shoulders, back, hips, etc. For the lower body, it reduces the load on the bones, joints, tendons, etc. With a lighter bag, you will have fewer chances of developing overuse injuries (tendonitis, stress fractures, etc.). There are also less likely to have overheating feet or blisters.
More stability. With a light bag (which loads are well distributed), it is more stable, and there is less chance of slipping or falling. It, therefore, reduces the risk of traumatic injuries (strains, sprains, fractures, etc.).
More convenient for certain passages. By easing your bag often reduces its size. This is something practical and reassuring in difficult passages.
More autonomy. With a light bag, you can carry more food and be more independent.
Can carry other things. Some people lighten their backpack to carry the little “extras” such as binoculars, camera equipment, a book, a bottle of Schnapps.
Light hiking, it’s dangerous! –should you take a light backpack?
I often hear hikers who combine a heavy bag for safety, and I do not agree with that. Sometimes it would even rather the opposite – as we have seen in the benefits.
Easing your bag does not necessarily mean being unconscious and does not worry about the safety. Besides, I like the quote “a heavy bag is a bag full of anxiety” (some say it is Freud, but I did not check).
Light hiking is much more calculated and reflected than it seems. To optimize the weight of your bag without compromising security, we must know well, know the terrain well and know your equipment (and its limitations). And must have a lot of questions and have anticipated all kinds of situations.
Many people with bags (too) heavy do not necessarily pose these questions (or do not find answers). Many of these people do not speak well either their equipment or its limitations. And it is especially this can be dangerous.
You may be saying to yourself: “Okay, but light material, it is not strong! “.
Much progress has been made at this level and there are now lighter and stronger materials. By cons, two identical tissues of different density (and therefore a different weight) do not have the same strength and durability, for sure! The heavier fabric will be stronger and more durable.
But be aware that the lightweight material is not light only through the use of lighter materials, but also because the hardware is greatly simplified. For example, many lightweight backpacks have a large compartment and possibly mesh pockets (synthetic mesh). Much weight is gained compared to backpacks with lots of pockets and zipper closures.
To summarize: often, the lightweight material is weaker; although simplification sometimes causes more reliability (less chance an item is faulty). But the knowledge of its equipment, itself and the land that the one approaches the limit without going over and that we are ready for the unexpected ( especially with a repair kit ).
The secret lies in the reflection, preparation, and experience.
To illustrate this section, I’ll take the (simplified) example of a dam. The more one knows the geology of the rocks in which will be anchored a dam, the more you can afford to make light anchors and light barrier. When you have less knowledge, there is “heavy” by default because we do not want to take risks. It’s the same with a hiking backpack.
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