One of the most frustrating things about hiking is carry a heavy bag around with you as you go. Many people assume that this is an unavoidable problem, but in reality it is fairly easy to reduce the weight of your backpack. There are also lots of benefits to cutting the weight; it makes it easier you to move faster and you are less likely to get tired or fatigued.
If you’re wondering what to pack and what to leave behind, here are 7 tips to help you pack lighter next time you go hiking.
Share The Weight
If you are hiking with other people, such as your friends or family, take the time to distribute the weight evenly between everyone who is coming. Remember that some items, such as water, are much heavier than other items, so it is important to make sure that one person doesn’t end up carrying all of the water while someone else carries clothes!
This means that everyone will carry a small amount of things, rather than one or two people carrying the majority of the stuff.
Repackage Your Food
Food is essential if you are hiking, but the packaging isn’t. Before you set off on your next hike repackage all of your food into air-tight ziplock bags to reduce extra weight. This is will also reduce the size of the food, as most packaging is filled with extra air that makes the product seem much bigger than it actually is.
You can also repackage items that are too big, such as sunscreen or hand sanitizer. Simply buy your own small bottles that you can transfer the liquid into. This will reduce the weight of your backpack while also creating extra room for other items.
Be Tactical When It Comes To Meals
Try to consume the heaviest food at the beginning of your trip, rather than at the end. This will help to reduce the weight of the food that you are carrying, and while many people think that food doesn’t weigh much this can actually make a huge difference to the weight of your backpack!
Use Light Equipment
Equipment is normally one of the heaviest things that hikers have to carry, but you can reduce the weight of this by buying lighter equipment that is easy to transport. Many hikers choose to buy the lightest sleeping bags and tents that they can find, and this will make a big difference to the weight that you are carrying.
One great option is to buy a lightweight airbed instead of a big sleeping bag, as this vastly reduces backpack weight.
Look At Your Equipment
Do you really need all of the equipment that you bring with you on each hike? Many beginners tend to overcompensate by packing too many things, but if you have been hiking for a while you can take the time to go through your items to work out what you really need and what can be left at home.
Don’t Bring Too Many Clothes
One of the main issues that new hikers face is packing too many clothes. They worry about being too cold or too warm, and this means that they end up feeling fatigued from carrying so many clothes around with them!
Check the weather before you head out for a hike, and then plan your wardrobe around that. Remember that you can reuse clothes multiple times; the only thing that really needs to be changed is the layer of clothing that actually touches your body.
Take A Windshirt
Windshirts are extremely light, but despite this they will help to protect your body from the elements, including wind and rain. This means that they are ideal for hikers who want to pack light, as the shirts weigh very little but make a huge difference if the weather is cold or windy.