Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •    Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!
| Page | Discussion | View source | History | Print Friendly and PDF

Lightweight Backpacking

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Occasionally, someone on portlandhikers.org mentions a useful link, which has been collected here. Grannyhiker more than anyone else.

There is a lot of information out there about reducing backpacking weight.

If you reduce weight, you can go more miles and be more comfortable.

Many people go through the transition from heavier equipement to lighter.

You have to be careful to not go too light - equipment doesn't hold up to abuse, not enough stuff to stay warm and dry.

This is a compilation of some of the information out there:

  • backpacking.net backpacking.net has some good info about reducing backpacking weight, especially click on "Reduce backpack weight". Grannyhiker mentioned this.
  • backpackgeartest.org user reviews of hiking gear. Manufacturers donate gear to volunteer testers who write reviews. They're always looking for new testers.
  • backpackinglight.com good info on lightweight backpacking. They stress analytical over opinions. Costs about $25 per year.
  • zenstoves.net zenstoves has a pretty complete discussion of backpacking stoves, especially lightweight stoves like alcohol stoves.
  • usgs.goc free topo maps in pdf format. You can look at them or print them.
  • nwhiker.org nice field guide of hikes in the Pacific Northwest.

Gear suppliers:

  • REI Ubiquitous retailer of backpacking, hiking, bicycling, boating,... equipment. Seattle based. Sort of expensive when not on sale. Nice refund policy. Not necesarily the lightest weight gear. Employees are knowledgeable, but maybe not so knowledgable about ultralight gear.
  • tarptent California maker of lightweight tents.
  • marmot Supplier of backpacking and hiking equipment based in Santa Rosa California. Their Precip jacket is a favorite.
  • froggtoggs Alabama based maker of rain clothes. They make the Froggtoggs driducks rain suits. Very breathable. Several models from about $20 to $40. Not very durable so you probably have to replace it each year.
  • Black Diamond Switzerland based maker of climbing equipment. They have some lightweight tents, like the Mega Light.


  • "Beyond Backpacking" by Ray Jardine was, perhaps, the creation of the ultralight backpacking movement. Ray thruhiked the PCT, Appalacian trail, and the through hike through the Rockies, and other adventures, innovating lightweight gear along the way. There are several more recent books and web sites rayjardine.com.

Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.