10 Frivolous Items to Bring Backpacking that are Worth the Weight

Backpacking is a great way to get outside to do some exploring and camping. Backpacking gives you the opportunity to get to places that are a little less travelled so your camping experience is more unique. There is a fine art to taking what you need and what you want and balancing the amount of weight you will carry. Some items are worth packing along because they can add that little bit of extra pleasure.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Getting to remote places is one of the great advantages of backpacking. A small, lightweight digital camera can be a nice addition to put in your pack. Capturing moments from your trip makes sharing and recalling your adventures easy and fun. Document the beautiful sunrises, sunsets, wildlife and flowers you are sure to see. Newer digital cameras are smaller and lighter, making them an easy choice.

10 Frivolous Items to Bring Backpacking that are Worth the Weight

Write it all Down

While a picture makes sharing your experience with friends a no-brainer, recording your memories in a journal can be just as rewarding. Journaling doesn't have to be about grandiose self exploration, but you may find that having some peace and quiet on the trail allows your mind to wander. Perhaps you'll solve a problem you've been pondering! Maybe you'll have a vision that clarifies your goals or maybe you just want to make a grocery list. A small notebook and pen make a nice addition to the trip. 

Sit a Spell

Camp chairs are great after a day's hike. It's not always easy to find the right tree or rock to lean against at the end of the day. The best choice for a backpacker will be to look for one that uses your lightweight sleeping pad as the cushion. 

A Good Night's Sleep

Another item that is lightweight and can make a huge difference in your trip is a pillow. Look for a goose-down pillow that compacts tightly and weighs mere ounces.

Night Light

Once you are settled in for the night, it is always nice to have some extra light. If you are looking for enough light to play a hand of cards or read, there are a number of lanterns available. A good choice is to choose a lantern that uses the same type of fuel as your stove. And don't forget to grab a headlamp! They're indespensible for hands-free set up and middle of the night bathroom trips.

Stretch the Mind

Unwinding at the end of the day can include sitting down with your favorite read. Grab a good book to take with you. An e-reader or Kindle is the perfect option because then you can bring as many books as you want. Just make sure to charge it up!

Listen to the Music

Technology has produced items that are incredibly light and dependable. If music is your bag or you have downloaded shows or podcasts that you love to listen to, bring your portable player or cell phone. Don't forget the earphones.


Weight is always foremost in your mind when planning and packing, but seriously consider a light pair of sandals or water shoes. Something to slip on your feet once you get out of your boots will give your feet a break and feel wonderful.


If you are going to be near a lake or hiking streams, consider taking some fishing gear. There are some lightweight rod and reel combinations made specifically for backpacking.


Checking out the sky, clouds or the stars while stretched out in a hammock is a true camping experience. Hammocks are available in either mesh or lightweigh nylon and are another option to consider stuffing in your pack.

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