Visual perception is dependent upon one's physical state. The apparent inclination of a hill is overestimated when the observer is carrying a heavy backpack. But, what if the hill is a virtual one and the user is about to navigate the virtual environment through an avatar? In a 2 (user with a backpack vs. user without the backpack) × 2 (avatar with a virtual backpack vs. avatar without a virtual backpack) × 2 (customized avatar vs. assigned avatar) between-subjects experiment (N = 121), participants estimated the hill as being steeper when using a customized avatar rather than an assigned one. When the avatar is encumbered by a heavy virtual backpack, those with a customized avatar perceived the virtual hill as being more difficult to climb. Avatar customization and the physical resources of the avatar (operationalized here in the form of a 'virtual' backpack) were found to be key predictors of embodied perception in virtual environments (VE). This has implications for the design of games and interventions that make use of VEs.