How much does pack weight affect hiking speed?

It is physically provable and understandable that speed is really affected by the weight a person or a moving thing is carrying. If a car is carrying several passengers, it is likely to go slow as compared to if it is just carrying one person. Moreover, if a person is carrying heavy weight, he/she is likely to move slower than if he/she is moving empty-handed.

There is all sorts of physics and mathematics involved in understanding this, but we will not be going into that, luckily for you and us. Our focus here is to understand the difference in hiking speed of a hiker due to the difference in the weight the hiker is carrying.

The science of hiking backpacks!

Every hiker would want to carry lighter backpacks, because it becomes easy to walk long distances and climb tall heights when there is less weight on one’s shoulder. Moreover, less weight means more enjoyment too, because the struggle part is cut out. It is said that a hiker’s backpack weight must not be more than 10% of his own weight, however, it is not a completely reliable statistic, because two people having the same weights might have different strengths.

On a long journey, a hiker would need much more stuff than a smaller journey. The hiker will have to carry more water, more food, more clothing and even a tent. This would increase the weight of the backpack that is to be carried. The increased weight will, consequently, slow down a hiker’s walking speed.

Following the formula! Maybe?

However, there is not a fixed formula about how the hiker’s speed will vary with the change in hiking backpack weight, because the fitness level, weather, surface condition and the slope would vary in each case.

If the surface is uneven or bumpy, hikers would face a lot of difficulty in walking with a heavy backpack. On the other hand, if the surface is flat, the weight of the backpacks would not matter much. Same is the case with the slope of the surface: if the surface is steep, heavy backpacks would not allow the hikers to walk without difficulty, however, if the surface is gentle, heavy weight would not affect the hikers’ speed considerably.

The fitness level of the hikers matters too. A fit person can travel with heavy weights at good speed while the unfit people will get slow if the backpacks get too heavy. Moreover, the length of the hike matters a lot too. The hikers’ speed at the start of the hike will be considerably higher than by the end of it.

The extent to which speed is affected by weight!

Whatever the case is, carrying less weight is always preferred over carrying heavy backpacks. There are several ways to decrease the weight of your backpack considerably, and one of the best ones is to get lighter bags in the first place. Some of the very light backpacks with great utility and reasonable prices are available at

Some of them are: ‘Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbody Messenger Backpack’, ‘Laptop Backpack with USB Charging’, ‘Anti-Theft Canvas Backpack’, ‘Cycling Backpack with Solar USB Charging’, ‘Girly Fashion Backpack with Quirky Prints’, ‘Luminous Canvas School Backpack’ and the ‘Color Backpack with Floral Prints’.

Another way to lower the backpack weight is to decrease the number of things you are carrying in it. One of the best ways to do so is by removing the boxes of things you are carrying and place the things in plastic bags. Moreover, a hiker must not carry foods with heavy weights. Instead, lighter foods must be carried which are nutritious at the same time such as cereals and fruits. Adding to this, heavy clothes such as jeans must not be carried. A power bank can also increase the weight of the backpack considerably.

To get around this problem, has several bags available which have a solar panel to charge your mobile phones. Adding to this, the ‘Cycling Backpack with Solar USB Charging’ also has a water bag in it, so hikers can also be relieved from carrying a water bottle.

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