Backpacking involves walking long distances with heavy gear on your back. That is the essence of the sport, but it does not have to be the reason why you give it up or can no longer do it. You do not have to struggle with heavy equipment. There are things you can do to make your backpack lighter and reduce the strain on your body.
By using items that can be used in multiple ways, you will lower the number and, thus, the weight of items in your backpack. This is great for someone who simply can not handle the weight or who is suffering from back problems due to the weight of their backpack.
It is actually quite easy to figure ways to get more than one use out of some typical backpacking gear. You can likely use many of the items you already carry and be able to eliminate the use of other items you carry. Additionally, there are other pieces of gear that have multiple uses, too. In fact, you probably already are using pieces of your gear in more than one way without even realizing it.
You may not be parachuting on your backpack trip but a parachute cord is a useful piece of gear is lightweight and offers a few different uses. It can be used as a clothesline or to tie your food bag up when camping overnight. You can also use it in case of an emergency to tie a splint in place. To pack it you loosely wind it up and hook it to the outside of your pack.
You may have bought candles along just for a little extra lighting, but candles do more than provide light. A candle can be used to help start a stubborn fire and works as a great waterproofing agent. They are lightweight and you will rarely even notice if you add them to your pack. Plus they are much better than carrying a heavy lantern.
Duct tape is commonly know around the house as the ultimate 'do-it-all' tool. Duct tape is strong and durable. A roll can last you a long time and it has many helpful uses. It can be used to insulate, as a wrap for a bandage and repairing tents, backpacks and almost everything else. Duct tape should always be a part of your backpacking gear.
Another lightweight and easy to pack multiple use piece of gear are safety pins. Safety pins can come in helpful to secure bandages, act as clothespins or hooks to hang items and as a stand in fish hook.
Plastic placemats are also lightweight and easy to pack. Plastic placemats can be used in a variety of ways. Instead of sitting on blankets and getting them wet, use a placemat. Use it to set your shoes on, so you do not get dirt and mud in your tent. You can also invent other uses, like a fly swatter or to prepare food on.
You may find that you can cut your gear down by several pieces by simply using multifunctional gear. You can also take out items that the multi-use gear is replacing. The idea is to go with items that are lightweight and can be used in many different ways. It takes some creative thinking, but you will be able to do it.