There’s you, the trail, and mother nature at her best. What could be better than a hiking holiday? But that backpack that felt so light when you first picked it up seems to get heavier with each passing mile. Travelling light is clearly going to be a help, but you also want to be comfortable, and all the home comforts you can carry need to go on your back. How can you reduce the weight you’re carrying without sacrificing the things you need for a pleasurable holiday? Check out our tips.
1. Choose a Central Campsite With Surrounding Hiking Trails
If you’ve been dreaming of a long trek through the wilderness, having a central home base where you can leave most of your stuff may sound a little unadventurous. But, if you’re into other outdoor activities, doing so will not only lighten your backpack, but give you several extra activities to choose from. Feeling trail weary after your hike? Been investing reels for bass fishing? If you choose the right lakeside camping spot, you can take a break from walking, sit back, relax, and reel them in. Best of all, you’ll only need a daypack for the trails you undertake – it makes things a lot easier!
2. Pack a Lightweight Water Purification Kit
Water is a must-have when you’re hiking back-country trails – but it weighs a lot. OF course, you can eliminate everything you don’t want in water by pre-filtering and just letting the water boil for two minutes, but it’s quite a process. There are many different approaches to water filtration and purification on trail, and all of them will save you a lot of hassle while most of them are lightweight and compact.
3. Pack Lightweight Foods
If you’re going on a multi-day trek, choosing the right foods to take a long will help to save you from the discomfort of lugging a heavy pack. You do need a lot of energy to fuel all that physical activity, so go for small items that are high in fats like nuts, hard cheese, or salami. Balance out your trail diet with dehydrated foods. You’ll also save some weight and space by getting rid of unnecessary packaging – admittedly not much, but every bit helps.
4. Leave Out Certain Personal Care Items
This is really your choice, but a lot of the things we consider necessary on a regular day don’t really feature when you’re out on the trail. Deodorant, for example, is probably going to lose the battle anyway; it doesn’t really matter if you leave shaving out of your routine for a few days; and make-up isn’t going to do much for you along the way. Towels might seem worth packing, and there are lightweight and compact towels meant for hiking, but they’re also not entirely necessary. If you need a wipe down after washing, any cloth item will do.
5. Weigh Your Necessary Gear and Consider Replacements
You will need a sleeping bag and a tent, and your backpack has weight all on its own. If your basics are unnecessarily heavy, consider replacing them with lighter options. Simply weigh your basics and hit the internet to shop around and see how much weight you can save. You may be surprised at how much mass you can shed.
Add Some Spring to Your Step
The less you lug along, the easier your trail will be. Don’t do without necessities – that can be frankly dangerous – but eliminate everything you won’t absolutely need while you’re on the trail. Long hikes are about “roughing it” and they’re even rougher when you’re carrying a heavy pack. Add spring to your step by lightening your load.