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Do you know the seven principles of lightweight outdoor hiking equipment?

Do you know the seven principles of lightweight outdoor hiking equipment?


Outdoor sports often require long-term weight-bearing walking and climbing. If the weight is too heavy, it will overdraw physical strength, and it will easily damage the waist and knees for a long time. The ideal weight for hiking and mountaineering is not more than 1/4 of your own body weight, and the limit state should not be exceeded. 1/3. So, how to achieve lightweight outdoors?


  1. Prepare sufficient equipment to ensure the safety, comfort and certainty of the activity.

Lightweight walking does not mean deviating from comfortable; it is to maintain a certain degree of comfort while reducing the load. Lightweight equipment can be some very basic and simple equipment, but these equipment can provide backpackers with shelter/tents, comfortable sleep, nutritious and appetizing food, clean and hygienic water, and clothing adapted to the environment.

In addition to physical comfort, psychological well-being is equally important. Be confident in your equipment. Lightweight is actually more of a process, no matter what kind of equipment you buy when you get started, and no matter how many things you put in your backpack when you first start.


As long as you keep streamlining the equipment you carry based on your own experience and needs, or you gradually update lighter equipment based on your growing experience. Such a process is to reduce the weight of equipment. Warmly remind you that you must not rush to achieve lightweight.


Basic composition of equipment:

Backpacks, shelters/tents, sleeping systems (sleeping bags, moisture-proof pads, etc.), food, clothing, and some useful small objects


  1. Be familiar with the accurate weight of each equipment.

Knowing the weight of each item in the backpack is very important. When purchasing equipment, you can learn about the approximate weight of the equipment by studying the product manual and website provided by the supplier. However, manufacturers and distributors may lower the weight of the equipment, so you can only know the true weight of the equipment if you have actually weighed the equipment.

The weapon used to weigh equipment is the parcel scale used to weigh letters and parcels. The accuracy of this scale is very high and can meet our actual needs. The weighing of the parcel scale can reach 4.5kg on-line.

For lightweight backpackers and ultra-lightweight backpackers, their sleeping systems, shelters/tents and other large items generally do not exceed 1.36Kg.

Required skills:

Many ultra-lightweight backpackers use small notebooks to write down the description and weight of each of their equipment. The advantage of this is that the weight of everything can be added together to get the total weight of the equipment, without the need to weigh the entire backpack. There is also the easiest way to record the weight of equipment by listing the equipment on a spreadsheet in the computer. By doing so, the equipment can be sorted faster and the total weight can be automatically added.


  1. Choose multi-functional equipment if possible.

Lightweight equipment does not require that the equipment can be perfectly adapted to all situations. We only need it to solve most of the troubles that occur. In this way, backpackers can leave those professional tools with repeated functions at home. . But before that, we have to make sure that the functions of this multi-purpose equipment are really needed in the field, and that doing so will indeed reduce weight.

Multi-functional equipment, one thing with multiple functions, not only simplifies the load, but also saves equipment costs, killing two birds with one stone.

Examples of multi-purpose equipment:

The poncho is a typical multi-purpose equipment, which can provide waterproofing for hikers and backpacks in rainy days. It can also be used as a sky screen, ground cloth, or to hide privacy in an emergency.

The large printed scarf is another typical multi-purpose piece of equipment. It can be used as napkins, headbands, potholders, rags, scarves, lens cleaning cloths, glasses cases and so on. Like the poncho, it has unlimited usage, only limited by the imagination of human.

Another example is the camp lamp that you must bring when camping. You can save the weight of a large brick by buying a lamp with mobile power supply function. Stuff two pieces of clothing in the detachable top pack will be a very comfortable pillow. Pants with a built-in safety belt, compared to the same shorts + seat belt configuration, can almost save you 100-200 grams of weight.

If you want to lose equipment weight, you should start with the heaviest equipment. For most backpackers, the heaviest equipment includes backpacks, sleeping systems, shelters/tents, food, cooking utensils and water. Work hard on these big heads, and the effect of weight loss will be immediate.


  1. Choose the smallest equipment that can meet your needs.

Those big equipments must be heavier than small equipment, but their actual use effect is the same.

For example: traditional outdoor tents, as the most common and important outdoor sheltering system, are relatively bulky, so reducing the weight of shelters is the most important thing. The ultra-light enthusiasts prefer multi-purpose, lightweight and compact canopies. At the same time, with appropriate trekking poles, trees, etc. as support, this can greatly reduce the weight. Although this method requires more experience, the sense of accomplishment and convenience of completing such a shelter will surprise you.


  1. Choose useful, sturdy and reliable lightweight equipment.

If a piece of equipment is not really useful, then not carrying it will save the entire weight of the piece of equipment. In the wild, it is annoying to repair equipment if it is broken: not only is it troublesome to repair, but it may also cause serious danger.

The equipment is judged according to the following order:

  1. Is it really useful? 2. Is it reliable?
  2. Does it meet the requirements of lightweight? 4. Is it small enough?


The first type: "Basis Weight Method"

The "Basis Weight Method" is a method used by lightweight backpackers and ultra-lightweight backpackers to calculate the carrying weight. It refers to the total weight of the backpack and the weight of the items in the backpack that will not change in weight during the hike. Items that will be consumed during the hike, such as food, water, fuel, insect repellent, sunscreen, toiletries, and other things that will be consumed during the hike, are not included in the "basis weight". This measurement method originated from the tradition of long-distance backpackers, who would replenish consumables during the hike, which is why consumables are not included.

Most backpackers refer to hikes with a basis weight of less than 10 pounds as ultra-lightweight hikes, and hikes with a basis weight between 10 and 20 pounds as lightweight hikes.


The second type: "carry weight method"

The "knapsack weight method" is a method traditional backpackers use to calculate the carrying weight. It refers to all the weight carried by the backpack at the beginning of the hike. This includes food, water, and everything in the bag, but the clothes worn by the backpacker or the things in the pockets of the clothes are not included.

Both the "basis weight method" and the "carrying weight method" ignore certain equipment, and there is no clear indication of whether to include items outside the bag (such as trekking poles). Therefore, when such out-of-bag items are taken on the road, whether their weight is included is entirely up to the backpacker. But this question is not a problem in the face of "Naked Weight Method".


The third type: "Vitro weight method"

The “Vitro weight method” is another method of calculating the carrying weight. It is the most comprehensive but least used method for calculating the weight of a hike. It includes all the things worn by backpackers at the beginning of the hike. Although, it is not the most convenient calculation to weight. But it outlines all the items carried by the backpackers, even the things in the backpacker’s pocket.

No matter what kind of measurement method we choose, our only goal is to choose the lightest, smallest and most sophisticated equipment under the premise of taking both comfort and practicality. The physical strength should be used on the most critical place.

In addition, I also summarized some basic outdoor knowledge. I hope everyone can be safe and happy outdoors during the outdoor process, and make their world better.


  1. There is no competition between strengths and weaknesses outdoors, only the method that suits you; (Choose the appropriate route according to your physical abilities, and don't blindly participate in routes that exceed your own ability.)
  2. A pair of good hiking shoes will protect your body more; (a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and don’t neglect the role of outdoor shoes)
  3. Prepare a trekking pole, which will provide you with great help during the descent. (If you don’t have trekking poles, you can find a branch to replace it temporarily)
  4. A good backpack will make you more comfortable outdoors; (a good hiking bag has a carrying system, which can reduce your load)
  5. Always keep a flashlight and emergency first aid kit in the bag; (don't think it's useless, you will know how wise your choice is when you really use it)
  6. Trekking poles are not used to pull people; (you must pull people with your hands, and you must grasp the wrists in both hands, don't use the way of holding hands)
  7. The leader is also a person, not a superman; (Do not rely on the leader outdoors, the most important thing is to rely on yourself, the leader is the person who takes overall planning.)
  8. Don't rely too much on knee pads, use them only when going downhill; (knee pads are more icing on the cake, knee pads cannot be used as ligaments)
  9. There is a walkie-talkie that will save you from taking the wrong path. Please consciously turn it off when the battery is low; (it is important to keep in touch with the front, middle and back teams at any time to confirm the direction of travel and where you are)
  10. Outdoor activities are the best way to spend the least money to see the most scenery; (mainly not to go to the scenic spot to see people and follow the crowd)
  11. Don't compare outdoor equipment with others. Your feelings whether comfortable is the emphasis; (good equipment is tens of thousands, your ordinary mountaineering or hiking will basically not be effective)
  12. When wearing a jacket, the middle layer must be fleece; (warmth, breathability, and strong perspiration wicking function)
  13. The skin coat is not used for mountaineering; (The skin coat is mainly for UV protection, and the material is thin, and it will break if it is scraped by shrubs and branches)
  14. Wearing cotton pants in summer will increase your physical energy consumption; (soaking cotton clothes will take away your body heat, so you have to use part of your physical energy to resist the loss of heat)
  15. Inferior soft shell clothes will make you catch a cold;
  16. Plastic brook shoes can only be put in the bag, not for mountaineering; (the river tracing shoes are used for crossing the river, and wearing them for mountaineering will increase the risk of injury)
  17. The tip of the trekking pole must be lower than the highest point of the bag when hanging the bag; (if you encounter a low branch, the trekking pole may hang you upside down if it is too high)
  18. When climbing cliffs, be sure to hang trekking poles on the bag, not on the bowl; (where you need to use both hands and feet, trekking poles will affect the flexibility of your hands)
  19. Tighten the fixing buckle under the backpack will reduce the pressure on your shoulders;
  20. Take more pictures where you don’t want to go the second time; (If you fall in love with the outdoors, there will be no places where you don’t want to go the second time)
  21. Bringing bread food will make you feel hungry in a short time; (climbing is very physically exhausting, bread can only temporarily fill your stomach, it is best to bring high-calorie food. For example: meat, steamed bread, sesame seed, etc.)
  22. Eat less and more meals when eating outdoors. (Eating too much before the activity starts, will cause gastrointestinal indigestion, severe cases will vomit)
  23. Putting a little salt in a water bottle or bringing a bag of mustard tuber before departure will make you better; (you will sweat a lot during exercise and cause salt loss. Salt water or mustard tuber can quickly replenish the lost salt and restore physical strength)
  24. There must be a bottle of spare water in the bag; (water is the source of life)
  25. Always put an extra coat in the bag, and down jacket in winter is the best; (regardless of spring, summer, autumn and winter, an extra coat in the bag can save lives at critical moments)
  26. Don't doubt the route taken by the team leader. You can communicate with the team leader alone when he really goes to the wrong route;
  27. Receiving the team is as important as the leader; (Don’t underestimate the receiving team, his workload is greater than that of the leader)
  28. Experience is more important than physical fitness;
  29. Walking everywhere according to your own mood is a taboo outdoors.
  30. Putting a few empty plastic bags in the bag will have unexpected uses. (The main role is to protect the environment, take all the garbage you generate down the mountain)

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