Backpacking with a friend? Share gear. One tent is lighter than two, and splitting the weight of a stove and gas, pots and pans, a water filter, and first aid kit can mean significant weight saving.
Going it alone? Choose gear that can serve multiple purposes. Your cooking pot should double as a bowl and/or cup. Bring a lighter sleeping bag, and sleep in your baselayers or down puffy for optimum warmth. A down jacket also makes a great pillow. Use a buff as a sweatband and a hat. And if you’re hiking with your dog—get him his own pack, like Ruffwear’s Palisades ($130). A young and healthy dog can carry about 25 percent of its body weight safely.