Ten tips on how to pack lightly for a long hiking trip
Hiking is fun personified, full of thrill, and excitement. All it requires is proper planning, a lot of energy and a bit of patience. Having a lighter backpack when hiking for an extended period can make your adventure much comfortable and enjoyable.
Putting light things in your backpack can be quite tasking, for the fact that, you want to carry everything you need for that long hike. A lighter pack can help you prevent back pains and knee injury and help you enjoy the hike.
Ten tips to pack lightly for a long hiking trip.
Take stock and analyze your current equipment.
Try to weigh every piece of your hiking equipment to ascertain the weight and any need for replacement. If such item is heavy, go for lighter one, that can perform well, if not better.
Pick only what you need, not what you want.
This is very important if you want a successful outing. Take only what you need, not what you feel might be useful on the road especially for “luxuries”. Things like electronics can give comfort and entertainment but may be surplus to requirement. You don’t need Jewelry and valuables, camera zoom lens, extra toiletries, too many cotton clothes, more than one pair of jeans, those nice shoes, hiking boots, more than one jacket, bulky towels, extra gadgets and so on.
A good packing phrase says ‘pack everything you need and get rid of half”,
Go with the lightest items possible
Yes, it is true that, the lighter the equipment, the more expensive it might be. One needs to pay the price to prevent any unfortunate incident such as knee injury, back pain and so on. Select the lightest items according to your budget. If your budget cannot afford lighter items, don’t embark on hiking.
Consume the heaviest food first
Carrying snack and food for your long hike tend to take a considerable amount of space and contribute significantly to the weight. Eat the heaviest first to create space and lighten-up the backpack.
Sharing is good
You can share with people while hiking to reduce your load. Don’t give-out things you might need later; apply wisdom. As the hiking progresses, don’t have more than one pair item.
Use dry or dehydrated options to liquid
Liquids especially water as the case may weigh around 1 kg per litre. When you include your liquids you’ll notice a significant amount of weight being added. Try the powder based juices and other dehydrated alternatives for a better result.
Take multipurpose or multi-functional items
Items that can be used for two or more functions are most suitable, and they will help you to carry fewer items. Many separate items can have dual purposes individually or by pairing with other items to provide a new use. This not only helps significantly to reduce your load but also helps in your approach to lightweight backpacking.
Carry a wind-shirt
Wind-shirts have dual functions, not only protect you from the external elements but also reduce the backpack load significantly, compared to other clothing options. Wind-shirts weighs less and still give you the overall comfort and significant warmth you want. This enables you to put-on lighter base layers.
Don’t hang extra stuff
It is good to desist from putting or hanging extra equipment from the outside backpack. While you hike, they tend to move side-ways from one point to another and can cause shake-off balance. The person can no longer balance while hiking and even can make nasty noise.
Pack according to weather
Select items especially shelter and sleeping items that are appropriate for the season and weather. If you’re travelling to a cold climate, pack clothes that can keep you warm and can be used in layers. Layering is more effective than carrying bulky coat and sweater.
You see, this process can be mastered as you gain experience. Learn your packing habits before, during, and after every hiking, and take note of what items you used during the hiking. This will help you in subsequent hiking to reduce the amount of unnecessary weight and to be more practical and adventurous on every trip.