Unless you like constant muscle strain and back pain, it is advisable to
pack as little and lightly as possible. The saying goes, "Pack everything you think
you will need, and get rid of half of it." You can save yourself the
bother by writing out a well thought out packing list.
How much and what you pack
varies with the time of year you plan to travel (common sense should lead you in the right
direction--assuming you have common sense). For example, a person backpacking in the
winter is not going to need a swimsuit, shorts, or sandals (unless you are in fact going
to a tropical locale) and a person backpacking in the summer won't want a wool sweater, a
heavy coat, or thermal underwear. People backpacking in the spring and fall should
be prepared, to at least some extent, for both warm and cool weather--but of course this
all depends upon the length of your journey and the climate of your travel destination.