5 Tips to Lighten Your Hiking Load

The less you carry, the more fun you'll have. Cut down your weight with these easy ideas.

    Photo: aegidian/Flickr

If you're worried about your knees or setting a new PR, first take a look at your pack. For every pound of weight you cut from your body, you reduce the pressure on your knees by four pounds, a 2005 study in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism found. Lose 10 pounds of weight, and you’ll reduce the load on your body by 48,000 pounds of pressure per mile you walk. Translation: cut weight from your pack and your knees will thank you.

Luckily, weight loss doesn’t have to come from your waistline. Reduce your pack weight and not only will you place less stress on your joints but you’ll cover more ground with the same amount of effort and feel better when you roll into camp. And with these five tips, you won't have to resort to sawing the handle off your toothbrush to make weight.

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