We are told by various health and posture experts, that a person should carry no more than 20% of their body weight to prevent long term damage to their frame and joints. For example a 13st male should carry a maximum of 30 Pounds or 14Kg, and a 9st Female no more than 16 Pounds or 6.5Kg.
This is a good starting point and will give you a general target to start aiming for. Just because you are young and fit and ‘can’ carry the weight doesn’t mean you ‘will’ enjoy the trip more with more equipment. Sadly it is true to say that the pain and damage in your joints will potentially last longer in your future years, than the lingering memory of the views whilst you are outdoors.
Secondly, the journey to using lightweight equipment is one we always suggest people take time to undertake. If you are used to carrying big loads, with lots of ‘just in case’ equipment and luxuries, the sudden leap to any of the lightweight categories can be a bit of a shock and you should never place yourself in danger in extreme conditions, until you have knowledge and faith in yourself and your lightweight gear.