How Much Should A Hiking Pack Weight?

Lots of factors go into deciding how much your hiking pack should weigh. Especially all kinds of outdoor gear these days are so light and compact, that it is tempting to just go overboard and bring everything but the kitchen sink.

But a heavier pack will make your hike more difficult and less enjoyable. So how do you decide how much should a hiking pack weight?

Base Weight Defined

There are two different ways to look at the weight of your pack: base weight and fully loaded weight.

Base weight is the weight of your pack excluding food, water, and fuel.

A fully loaded weight is the total weight of your pack including everything you need for your hike.

For most people, a fully loaded weight will be 30-40 pounds for men and 20-30 pounds for women.

For ultralight backpacking, those numbers can be much lower: 10-15 pounds for men and 5-10 pounds for women.

how much should a hiking pack weight

What’s the Ideal Backpacking Pack Weight?

There is no definitive answer to this question. But a good rule of thumb is that your base weight should be no more than 20% of your body weight.

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your base weight should be no more than 30 pounds.

If you are new to backpacking, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with a slightly heavier pack.

You can always leave some gear behind if you find that you don’t need it.

It’s much harder to add weight to your pack mid-hike!

Pack Weight for Backpacking and Hiking

The weight of your pack is important, but it’s not the only factor to consider when choosing a backpacking pack.

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The type of hike you are going on, the distance, the terrain, and the weather all play a role in what kind of pack you need.

For a short day hike, you can get away with a small daypack that doesn’t weigh very much.

But if you are planning on backpacking for several days, you will need a larger pack that can carry all of your gear.

Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right pack for your hike:

  • For day hikes, choose a small to medium-sized pack that weighs no more than 2 pounds.
  • For weekend hikes, choose a medium to large-sized pack that weighs no more than 4 pounds.
  • For weeklong hikes, choose a large pack that weighs no more than 6 pounds.
  • For ultralight backpacking, choose a pack that weighs no more than 10 pounds.

Remember, these are just general guidelines. The best way to find the right package for you is to go to a local outfitter and try on a few different packs.

how much should a hiking pack weight

How to Reduce Pack Weight

Most hikers and backpackers see their pack weight as a goal to strive for. The lighter your pack, the better!

There are a few different ways to reduce the weight of your pack:

Know your base weight:

The first step to reducing pack weight is knowing your base weight. This is the weight of your pack without food, water, or fuel.

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, your base weight should be no more than 30 pounds.

Choose the right gear:

One of the best ways to reduce pack weight is to choose gear that is light and compact.

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There are a lot of great ultralight backpacking gear options these days.

For example, you can now find ultralight tents that weigh less than 2 pounds!

Replace old gear with lighter gear:

If you have been backpacking for a while, chances are you have some old gear that is heavy and bulky.

Consider replacing some of your old gear with newer, lighter gear.

For example, if you have an old sleeping bag that weighs 5 pounds, consider replacing it with a new ultralight sleeping bag that weighs 2 pounds.

Leave some gear behind:

Another way to reduce pack weight is to simply leave some gear behind.

If you are going on a short day hike, you don’t need to bring your tent or your sleeping bag.

And if you are going on a weekend hike, you can probably get away with just carrying a few days’ worths of food

Eliminate unnecessary items:

There are a lot of items that you might think are essential for backpacking, but are actually unnecessary. Take a close look at the items in it your pack and ask yourself if you really need them.

Loughney cautions that your “big three”—shelter, sleeping bag, and backpack—should never be ultralight because they are essential for your safety and comfort.

But items like camp chairs, coffee makers, and umbrellas can usually be left at home.

How much does a climbing pack weigh?

The weight of your climbing pack will depend on a few different factors, such as the type of climbing you are doing and the length of your climb.

For example, if you are doing multi-pitch trad climbing, you will need to bring more gear with you and your pack will be heavier.

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If you are doing sports climbing, you can get away with carrying less gear and your pack will be lighter.

In general, a climbing pack should weigh no more than 10 pounds.

How to hoist your backpack properly

When you are hoisting your backpack onto your back, it is important to t properly know how much should a hiking pack weighs.

If you don’t, you could end up injuring your back or shoulders.

Here are some tips for hoisting your backpack properly:

1. First, put the pack on the ground in front of you.

2. Then, open up the pack and take out anything that is not essential for the hike.

3. Next, close up the pack and make sure all of the straps are tightened.

4. Now, put the pack on your back and adjust the straps so that the pack is snug but not too tight.

5. Finally, lift the pack up onto your shoulders and tighten the shoulder straps.

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