Getting Technical — Track Your Backpacking Pack

If you saw off the end of your toothbrush to save a third of an ounce, you are an ultralight backpacker.

We checked up on a few sites (and 1 app) that promise to help you maximize every ounce (or gram) of space on your next hike—without having to kit up in your living room, stepping on and off your scale.

For the DIY crowd, there’s a little something here too.



More than just a gear tracker, this is a site that lets you plan your entire trip and invite and message with people who are heading out on the trail with you.

When you set the date and place for your adventure, MileStepper offers weather conditions and maps for the area.

But can it do gear? Yes.

Enter all the gear you have (or as much as you want to enter) into you “gear closet” then drag and drop gear into your “pack” until you hit that sweet spot between just enough and too much. Learn more.



Almost like a spreadsheet where someone did the formatting work for you, GearGrams is a no-frills pack tracker that looks a bit like the file manager on your computer.

Items get added to the gear library and then you add them to your trip lists. You can designate items as “worn,” “carried” or “consumable” and it will give you separate weight totals for each. See it here.



For those who love categorizing, GearLoft is a great choice. Within your virtual pack, your gear can be separated into subcategories, such as food, first aid or dog supplies. 

Each subcategory is displayed as windows within your larger pack window.

Uploads for gear include pictures along with names and weights and GearLoft lets you browse other hiker’s gear lists, should you want some inspiration. Learn more.



For a straightforward, intuitive pack tracker, LighterPack delivers.

Name your category, add items, upload pictures for items if you want, along with weights.

Everything gets added to your gear list and when you’re ready to plan your pack, make a list name and drag and drop the gear you want to bring.

A nice touch is LighterPack lets you visualize what portion of the weight a certain category is taking up (say food) with a simple graph. Check it out.

Gram Weenie (App)


Here’s an app for Mac users that tracks your FSO weight (“full skin out” meaning everything on your body, from your skin out).

Create an inventory of your stuff, complete with image and weight (in grams or ounces), then make a trip list, adding and removing the gear you plan to bring until you get it just right.

See it in the Mac App store.

DIY Option: Google Sheets


For some, there’s just nothing like doing it yourself.

Google sheets is a free spreadsheet program. While it takes a while to master all the many features, it’s fairly easy to do basic functions.

Enter your items and weights and let Sheets tally it all up for you.

Doing it yourself lets you get as specific and detailed or simple and basic as you want. Go to Google Sheets.

What are your thoughts? How to you keep track of backpacking pack?

About the Author

After spending 5 years testing gear, meeting people and exploring his home state of Colorado with his wife, Andrej realized something about the outdoor industry. Mostly, that it was complicated. Andrej set out to create no-nonsense gear that was just as easy to use as it was reliable. He recruited a team of wilderness professionals and educators and hit the drawing board. The result was simple gear that you could trust, with specs you understood. Now he’s inspiring others to get out there and explore, by giving them the confidence to trust both themselves and the gear they use.