A large number of people are going on hiking trips as part of their vacation. Usually, these outdoor excursions last at least more than two days. Many efforts are devoted to the planning of their outing and packing. One common mistake made by hikers novice or even more seasoned is, overpacking.
Since most hiking trips are long, and of course, there is much walking involved, carrying a heavy backpack throughout can be a real burden. Not only will it tire you, but it will also consume half of your energy. What hikers primarily want is to have all the essentials in their rucksack, and at the same time, keep the weight as minimal as possible.
Here are some tricks to help you lighten your backpack:
1) Repackage Food and Personal Items
You don’t really need a whole tube of sunscreen for your 3 or 5-day trip or an entire tube of toothpaste. Therefore, what you can do is squirt the extra amount and save it in a container so that the weight is reduced. You can do the same for food, instead of keeping large tins you can put it all in an airtight pouch that weighs less and keeps the food safe as well.
2) Minimal Amount of Insulation
A down sleeping bag is the most recommended because of its lightness. However, suppose if you are traveling during the warm months, then you can skip that part and just keep the lightest form of the sleeping bag and simply wear a jacket for insulation instead.
3) Careful Selections of Tents
Hikers usually travel with trekking poles, so when choosing a tent, you should go for the one that can be set with the poles already in hands. By doing so, this will eliminate the need to put any extra tent poles, thereby again reducing the weight.
4) Limit your Wardrobe
Sure, it is important to stay clean, but I guess you can skip changing clothes daily while you are on a hiking trip. What you need to have is just an extra shirt and pant. Other than this there isn’t any need for more clothes. The jacket and the shoes or hiking boots that you are wearing can be used for all days. Thus, items of clothing account for a small portion of your backpack weight.
5) Take Lesson
If you are a regular hiker, the chances are that on previous hiking trips, you stuffed your hiking backpack with things that never got out of your backpack! So, live and learn! Leave those items that never came into use, home. Instead, only pack the essentials!
6) Never Pack Books
Books imply a tremendous weight. You need to realize that you are living in the 21st century where you can quickly get all of that in your palm-sized smartphone. The phone essentially weighs half of one book and carries ten times the information that you need. All you need to worry about the phone is its battery, and that too can be sorted out by keeping a small battery pack along.
7) Plan Ahead while Traveling
Some items can be found along the way, like water. There may be a natural spring or clean water body coming in your way. So, in that case, you don’t have to carry the bulky weight of water bottles. You can ration your water, and fill it again as you cross those natural water sources.
8) Keep Pop or Platypus Bottles
Gone are the days of holding heavy plastic or metal bottles. All you need is a container to hold water, and that can be done with the platypus (soft bottles) or pop bottles. These containers weigh roughly 1.2 ounces, which is less than half the weight of a plastic bottle!
9) Skip the Eating Utensils
All the delicacy and sophistication that you are used to in your home should stay there when you go out for your hiking adventure. You don’t really need to carry the load of all those plates. You can readily eat your food directly from the cooking pot, so all you need is a good pair of spoon/fork and knife.
By following these tips, this will surely help you lighten your hiking backpack and keep the weight minimum without compromising on any of your travel needs. Thus, your time spent exploring the great outdoors will be more enjoyable.