One of the keys to lightweight backpacking for women is to look at everything we want to take and see if anything can be used for more than one function. This is especially important if we have a choice between two items - ask yourself, could one of them have more uses than the other. Here are some examples:
- Wind jackets are nice but they won't help if it rains - and rain is something you always need to be prepared for. A lightweight rain jacket can do double duty as a wind jacket.
Camping pillows are comfy and lightweight - but you need a stuff sack to keep your clothes organized anyway. So why not take most of the clothes out at night, just enough to have the size pillow you find comfortable.
You need a wool cap, don't you? Maybe not! A buff will serve much the same purpose and has so many other uses I could (and will) write a whole separate article on them.
- I always bring gloves, lighter or heavier, depending on the season. But if they get soaked, I know my wool socks can act as back up mittens and keep my hands toasty.
- I used to carry a trowel for those times when nature called at inconvenient times but now I just use my hiking poles. And talk about a multifunction piece of equipment! We wrote an article on 10 uses for hiking poles.
- Do you need a bowl and a cup? Only if you insist on drinking and eating at the same time. I have a lightweight foldable bowl. After dinner I use a little hot water to clean it out and then make my evening tea in it.
There are other possibilities, of course, depending on how "hard core" you want to be. But I guarantee that every ounce you leave at home will be appreciated.And if you want to learn lots more tips and techniques of lightweight backpacking, join us this September for our Intro to Lightweight Backpacking course.
Do you have suggestions of multifunction clothing and equipment? We would love to hear them!