Carry Less, Explore More: Essential Gear for Your Small Trekking Backpack

Manslu trekking backpack (minimalistic packing)

20 Mar 2024 Chandra Gurung

Backpacking is choosing wisely what you should not take. Packing essentials wherever you go is an art, and thoughtfulness is often considered. Which season are you traveling to and what does the backpacking trip have to enhance your overall experience? 

Trekking fun means understanding what you need, such as trekking equipment, gear, and overall pre-planning to maximize comfort in your activities. The amazing mountains, valleys, lakes, wildlife, and mountain settlements are ready to unfold in the high-altitude landscapes of Nepal. 

Here, we not only discuss the importance of a minimalistic backpack but also camping gear options, navigation essentials, and first-aid kit must-haves! A more comfortable trekking experience awaits when you can enjoy your trek without worrying about unnecessary loads on your back. 

Minimizing your packing list: How to Start? 

Who does not love effortless packing and an unburdened small pack for their trekking activity? Choosing the right minimalistic trek gear matters and has the heavy advantage of allowing you to explore effortlessly and more. When you look for lightweight materials, you can repeat and even organize one with enough pockets in a backpack. You are mastering the idea of a minimalistic trekking backpack. 

Are you going camping or on a teahouse trek? Whenever you are packing, consider the purpose and the one that matches your needs. You might need all-weather protection, lightweight tents, tarps, hammocks, and even sleeping bags and pads for insulating in the colder temperatures if it’s a camping trek. 

Clothing in versatile layers allows you to find balance in day and night conditions and has insulating mid-layers, breathable base layers, and a protective outer shell to shield against unexpected rain and snow in the Himalayan altitude. 

1. Identify essential gear category

Identifying essential gear categories allows you to strategize your packing just before trekking, hiking, or multi-functional trekking gear. Prefer reusable items to one-time use and throwable items. 

2. Prioritize multi-functional gear and layers are key

When weight is a top concern for packing, multiple-function gear is needed, including convertible pants and quick-drying microfiber. 

3. Utilizing packing cubes to maximize space in the backpack

You can refill small containers with shampoo, containers, and toiletries instead of bulky loads. Carrying soap paper or multi-functional products. Similarly, load fillers and zip bags help you conventionally pack and maximize space availability in your trekking backpack. 

4. Pack and organize gear in minimalism

Allowing yourself time to break down your essential gear, layering system, and versatile options on the trek is important. Above all, find the best outfit for trekking that is warm, breathable, and protects you against wind, rain, and snow. Between choosing layers and preparing for trekking, the right trekking bag has become a necessity today. 

Where can I buy essential minimalistic trekking backpacks? 

First, research online to see a range of collections of trekking bags at the best deals, from highly reputed brands to positively reviewed affordable products. Also, have window trekking shopping bags that you find interesting for trekking. 

In the market, you find trekking bags ranging from 10 to 85 liters for different levels of adventure in the Himalayas. Some of the options where you can find essential minimalistic trekking backpacks are, 

1. Online Retailers

Popular outdoor gear retailers online, like Trekking Gear Nepal, Kathmandu Outdoor, Dolpo Trek, and, are a few to consider. Daraz, Amazon, and travel gear websites have minimalistic backpacks suited to your needs. 

2. Physical Stores 

There are several physical stores where you can not only buy but also rent trekking gear apparel. One can shop at brand outlets like Sherpa Adventure Gear, Mountain Hardwear, and others with no last-moment rush. 

How do I choose the right trekking backpack size? 

Ultimately, the best backpack size depends on your specific needs and preferences. A smaller pack, as we discussed earlier, is ideal for lightweight adventures. But for longer treks or situations requiring more gear, an 85-liter pack might be the better choice.

The lightweight trekking bag, between 10 and 25 liters, is just perfect for short running and cycling sessions. You can carry less, with emergency food, water, snacks, and a medicine kit under this small backpack. 

Perfect bags for hiking in Nepal come with 20 to 40-liter storage options. Here you can carry maps and have additional clothing items and these are compactly designed for hiking gear, maps, and extra layer storage for some of the heavy load. 

A 50-60 liters backpack fits you well on multi-purpose three-day camping trips, and even beyond with a minimalistic packing option. You are provided with extra straps and buckles for roll mats, sleeping bags, snacks, and cloth space, along with handy pockets as well. 

Though we are discussing lightweight backpacking, longer adventures often require heavy-duty packing. For heavy-duty packing, get up to 85 liters of storage capacity for bulky cold-weather gear. These trekking bags are suitable for additional necessities such as food, water, emergency supplies, and off-the-beaten-path adventures.  

Hiking vs. Trekking backpack: What should I look for? 

A small backpack that usually ranges from 15 to 30 liters in volume is suitable for hiking. But you can go beyond range, for longer backpacking adventures. Comparatively, hiking has fewer space requirements. 

The lightweight and comfortable hiking bags for a shorter duration, have a breathable mesh back panel for ventilation. These bags come with comfortable shoulder straps for even weight distribution.

You have a hydration sleeve for a water bottle and enough compartments for organized and minimalistic packing for snacks and medical kits. Rain cover attachment points and trekking pole loops are also available in some of the hiking backpacks, eventually featuring varying brands. 

Trekking backpacks, on the other hand, are just the perfect ones for a multiday adventure, with an average storage size of 40 to 60 liters. So that you can carry camping gear, food, and clothing for your extended trips. These come with load lifters, compression straps, and multiple- compartments. 

Whenever you choose the right backpack, here are a few things to consider for your hiking and trekking in Nepal. Let’s see what the day pack or backpack opens up as 

1. Trip length

Day hikes vs. multi-day treks vary depending on the entire trip length.  For day hikes, use hiking backs and multi-day treks necessitate being managed with the trekking backpack.

2. Weight 

Who wants to carry more weight while trekking? What if I say you can feel less stress on your shoulders with comfortable backpacks and a well-designed suspension system? 

It’s about efficiently distributing weight mechanisms in bags. Take off the strains and undue pain from the shoulders and back with a well-padded hip belt, comfortably across your body. Even, adjustable torso length, load lifter straps, and shoulder straps can help you with hassle-free trekking. 

3. Comfort 

You need a safe and comfortable trekking backpack, but is that perfect for you? Look for a reputable outdoor store and test-try the perfect padded straps on your trekking bags. Adequate cushioning and pushing on shoulder straps on bags will help you with that. 

4. Features 

A trekking backpack comes with additional features like a trekking pole loop, a sleeping bag compartment, and load lifter straps. Choose one based on what you look for in terms of optimal comfort on the trekking trail

Can I use any backpack for hiking and trekking? 

You can choose any backpack of your preference for hiking and trekking but it might not be the most conventional choice. For more fun and exploration preferences, choose the right backpacking size, comfort, and features for weight distribution in trekking.

Besides, minimalistic packing comes from the right set of ideas; do I need this or is it versatile enough to carry? Plan your overall outfit, not just clothes, when you are packing. Avoid extras (that can be avoided on your trekking) when it is for the trekking approach. 

Utilizing packing organizers, zip-lock bags, and stuff sacks maximizes packing space. Don’t forget to consider the specifics of your trek when choosing the right backpack. The length, climate, location, and activity level of your trekking tour do influence how much to pack. 


Minimalist trekking is about packing strategically. A small backpack is about choosing the essential gear, embracing multi-functional items, and ruthlessly evaluating every addition to your backpack. By doing so, you can achieve an even load distribution that translates to a more enjoyable and efficient trek. 

Minimalistic trekking allows more agility and helps you have enhanced comfort. Refine your list of packing items on each trek, and the most valuable gear to bring on the trek is a mindful approach to your adventure, starting with backpacking essentials.