Committing to a backpacking trip can be fun and exciting. But if you are new to the world of backpacking, figuring out what to pack, how much to pack, and how to pack can be stressful. 

Experts suggest that you go into the trip with the knowledge that you aren’t just hiking—you are traveling on foot. One of the most important lessons you will learn is that you should pack light when traveling on foot. Instead of learning the hard way, read below for advice on planning for the perfect backpacking trip.

When packing, you have to consider just how long you will be backpacking through the great outdoors. If it is more than a few days, it is best to bring a healthy supply of essentials. You may want to bring a stove, tent, water, etc. to ensure that you will have a successful trip, particularly if the trip will be an extended one. You should also bring a change of clothes and a comfortable pair of shoes with you.

One crucial element that new backpackers usually overlook is the importance of weighing their backpacks before embarking on the trip. Expert backpackers state that you should weigh your base weight first—this is usually everything but food, water, and fuel —and then all of your gear together. You definitely should replace old, bulky equipment with lighter gear and pay close attention to the weight of each item.

Lighter, more innovative gear is often more expensive. As such, you should budget out getting newer items. One way to do that is by replacing your equipment gradually instead of focusing on purchasing it all at once. Rather than buying a brand new pack altogether, some experts suggest you sew your pack yourself. If you sew your bag, chances are you will end up sewing a lighter option instead of buying a heavy one straight from outdoor shops.

Whatever you decide to do, ultimately, backpacking should be fun and exciting. There is nothing better than venturing out in the great outdoors and embarking on a new adventure. If you have a heavy load, it could potentially make your experience somewhat tricky. Be sure to take the time to weigh out your items so you aren’t stuck in the middle of the wilderness with a sore back.