Today, we’ll be discussing ways to organize your backpack for hiking and how to lighten it to reduce suffering on the trails.
You won’t need to invest in new or expensive equipment, as these tips only require a bit of preparation and thought.
1- Good Preparation is Key:
The more you analyze your itinerary, environment, and weather, the more you can optimize your gear and leave behind unneeded items.
2- Multipurpose Equipment:
Whenever possible, bring gear that can serve multiple purposes. For example, hiking poles can double as support for a light tent or tarp.
3- Kitchen Kit:
Optimize your kitchen kit by only bringing what you need and not overloading yourself with excessive gear.
4- Water-Efficient Meals:
Choose meals that don’t require a lot of water to prepare. Water is heavy, so it’s best to minimize the amount you need to carry.
5- Wise Water Management:
Always carry enough water and plan your supplies based on potential water sources.
Keep in mind that sources may be dry when you arrive.
6- Fuel Choice:
Consider options for heating food or cooking, such as gas, wood, or alcohol stoves.
Choose the size of the gas cylinder based on your itinerary and meal plans.
For example, a 100gr gas canister will be more than enough for a one- or two-night bivouac.
7- Minimal Clothing:
Only pack the bare minimum in terms of clothing.
A change of underwear, a t-shirt, and pants for longer hikes should suffice.
8- Hiking Shoes:
Light and flexible hiking shoes can help reduce the overall weight of your backpack, but make sure they are suitable for the terrain and conditions.
But be careful to take this advice with a grain of salt.
Not everyone can walk with light and low hiking shoes on an itinerant hike, especially in the mountains, on technical paths, and with a heavy backpack, at the risk of injuring themselves.
9- Sharing Gear:
If hiking with others, consider sharing gear such as tents and kitchen kits to further lighten your load.
10- Debrief and Reflect:
After each hike, reflect on what worked and what didn’t, so you can make improvements for next time.
Carry a piece of reinforced duct tape for any unexpected repairs. Wrap pieces around your walking poles to save weight.
Distributing Weight: Once you have optimized the weight of your backpack, distribute the weight evenly to reduce strain on your back and shoulders.
For more information on these tips and organizing your backpack, check out the articles on my blog, “5 Rules on How To Pack a Hiking Backpack For Long Trek” and “Long-Distance Hiking for Beginners [Ultimate Guide]“.
I hope these tips will be helpful on your next outing!
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