Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 8, 2014

Travel Light

I pulled into my driveway at about 8:30 last night after my final meeting of the day. Because I was not interested in unwinding in front of the television, I decided instead to get my backpacking gear out of the closet and reassess the weight of everything in my pack. My hope is to hike the 100+ mile Lone Star Hiking Trail in late March, so I am giving lots of consideration to how much weight I will carry in my backpack.

As part of my research for my upcoming hike, I have watched lots of YouTube videos on ultralight backpacking, read all sorts of backpacking blogs, and talked to a few guys who have considerable backpacking experience. The common denominator among all of these sources is that with careful planning anyone can shed ounces and even pounds from the load they intend to carry on a backpacking trek.

Backpacking GearAt first glance, it seems kind of goofy to even give those few extra ounces another thought. So what if my flashlight weighs 8 ounces instead of 4 or my cooking pot weighs 7 ounces instead of 5 or I wear hiking boots instead of a lightweight trail shoe. All of the guys who are serious about backpacking will tell you that the weight you carry on your back and on your feet matters, especially when you plan to hike a long distance.

So, last night I sat on the floor, looked at my gear, and considered ways to shed a few ounces here and there by packing lighter gear that can also serve more than one purpose. The savings in ounces can result in a pound or pounds less that I will not have to carry on my back over a period of a week. This will allow me to hike a little more comfortably and efficiently.

As I sat and meticulously looked at each of the things in my backpack, the Lord whispered to me to take a look at what I am carrying around in my heart. For example, Proverbs 12:25 cautions, “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down.”  And Hebrews 12:1 admonishes us to “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us.” God is concerned that we not carry around more than we have to because the extra weight can wear us out and wear us down.

My look at my backpacking gear last night resulted in something unexpected — a look into my heart. I not only want to hike well on the Lone Star Trail, I want to live my life well, one day at a time. In order for me to run the race that is set before me I need to periodically unpack my heart, lay it all out before the Lord, and be willing to “lay aside every encumbrance” so that I can travel light.

Last night I ended up shedding a few unnecessary ounces from my backpack and what seemed like a few pounds from my heart. That’s a good thing, a really good thing, because I still have a long way to go on my journey.


  1. Excellent!

  2. This warmed my heart. God is so good. He is so loving and gentle when He asks us to look at our stuff. I’m so grateful to hear His voice. Still amazes me that He takes the time to lighten our load. I enjoyed this one! Thanks Omar for sharing your journey with us!

    • Thank you, Cindy. God is indeed good as He works with us to lighten our load. Thankful for His kindness and patience and determination to complete the good work that He started in us.

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