Lightweight Backpacking: Don't Take Too Much With You
Lightweight backpacking is the practice of hiking with a backpack on, which includes all of your necessities, but it's also the act of making sure that your backpack isn't to heavy. That is, lightweight backpacking is the act of making sure that you pack lightly, to ensure that you have as much energy as possible to carry you through your hiking goals. You don't want to over pack, only to find that your backpack is too heavy. It's most likely that you won't even end up using most of the stuff you bring anyway.
Just The Necessities
When it comes to necessities, food, water and shelter, you want to make sure that you take care of those needs first. Food can be accomplished by carrying a stock of granola bars, or some other form of lightweight food. Your shelter can be found in a lightweight backpacking tent and your water in water bottles. Water bottles are probably going to be the heaviest items you carry with you. For this reason, you want to make sure that you have as much water as you need without being too bogged down. Remember, you may be able to find water on your hiking trip so just one water bottle might do but you don't want to run out of water. That wouldn't be good.
After your food, water and shelter are taken into account, the rest is entirely up to you. Remember, however, this is lightweight backpacking. So, after the food, water and shelter, what do you really need? Well, you could bring a change of clothes or shoes, a first aid kit, as well as a book to read when you're hunkered down for the night. However, lightweight backpacking is making sure that you only take what you need with you, or at least making sure that any of the extras don't weigh too much.
You can get more tips on lightweight backpacking by asking people who go backpacking often or by asking the clerk at your local camping store or even by searching the internet. All you need is your necessities. The rest you will just be carrying around needlessly. So, make sure that when you are planning for your lightweight backpacking trip that you only take your food, your water and your shelter. A first aid kit is a good idea, as is a change of socks or just clothes for that matter, but it's probably not necessary and so you have to decide if any extras that you aren't sure about are worth lugging around, especially when you are hiking.
Lightweight backpacking is the way to go. Why work harder if you don't have to? Just carry what you need and the rest can stay home for when you get back.