A Friend on the Camino

a helping hand on the camino frances

Shaving Weight Off Your Pack

by | Feb 8, 2018 | gear

Let’s go through an imaginary back pack and see where shaving weight off can be done…

The first place we’ll find some weight to shave off is – the bag itself. Most packs weigh at least a kilo, some weigh over two. Mine weighs 850 grams. First of all, you don’t want to have a pack that’s got lots of extra room in it. That extra room means extra fabric and a heavier pack. It also means you’ll be tempted to buy souvenirs and other things along the way. Mine is a 30L pack and although it’s sometimes a little tight, it’s big enough for all my gear and a few extras. Rip stop nylon is much lighter than the thicker fabrics packs are usually made out of, but it’s almost as strong and it’ll make a huge difference to the weight of your pack. Make sure that any extra features or pockets or doo dads on your pack aren’t unnecessarily adding weight.

Second best place to shave off weight? The sleeping bag. Your bag should weigh less than 1kg (2.2lbs). If you’re going in the middle of summer, it’s unlikely that you’ll need a pack, but if it’s in April/May/end of September/October time you’ll need some kind of sleeping bag. Down is excellent for warmth to weight ratio, but if you’re like me and you’re allergic to down, you’ll have to find a synthetic alternative.

Third place to whittle down weight is in your clothes. You’re probably thinking, “What is she talking about, I’m only bringing enough for 2 changes”. And that may be true, but different fabrics also have higher weight/warmth ratios and also different features. So, for example, my Icebreaker hoodie is pretty heavy, but it’s got amazing features, so it’s worth the extra weight for me. However, I had a thick pair of hiking pants that weighed almost 500g and they weren’t any better than ones that were half the weight. Weigh your clothes and make some choices – and if you don’t have hiking clothes yet, consider the weight of them.

I have a few more secrets about shaving off weight, but you’ll have to book a Pathfinder Package consultation to find out what they are!


A pretty small pack!


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a friend on the camino

© Tara Cleveland, 2018

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