When we mention hiking, most people imagine a girl or a guy with an enormous backpack struggling to climb a mountain. This is a common perception or should I say misconception of hiking.
Truth be told, there is no need to over pack. In fact, shorter hikes (lasting for a day or two) can practically be done with no supplies.
So, how to pack without missing anything? Read these 7 tips and you will know!
- Make sure to feel safe
Ultralight backpacking is a concept that existed for a while. According to it, you are able to do longer hikes with only 10 pounds of supplies! However, the main concern here is safety and comfort. If you do not feel comfortable carrying just 10 or 15 pounds of supplies, you should add some more. Ultralight concept is great for experienced hikers. If this is your first rodeo, you should carry an amount of supplies that makes you feel safe. Always remember; hiking should be a fun activity. There is no need to remove stuff if their removal will make you feel antsy.
- Adjust your backpack according to the length of a hike
As I mentioned, you can walk on a trail just by carrying your personal belonging. Nowadays, popular US trails such as the Appalachian Trail are full of hikers. There are shelters on approximately every 10 to 15 miles so you can easily manage with just a sleeping bag and food. Rest of stuff you can either borrow or carry in your hands. Of course, if you wish to go on a lengthier adventure, you will need to carry enough stuff to be self-sufficient in the wild.
- Sew your own backpack
Backpacks are one of the heaviest things you have to carry. Most stores sell big hiking backpack as a way to make some extra money. It is really hard to find products that are according to ultralight mentality. So, the best way to approach the issue is by sewing a backpack yourself. Not only will you be able to reduce the size of the backpack but you will also be able to use much lighter materials that the ones used for standard products.
- Relying on shelters
If you can safely predict length of a hike, you can completely rely on shelters positioned along the way. However, keep on thing in mind. During summer and spring, popular US trails tend to get overcrowded. Even if you planed your hike perfectly there is a good chance that some of the shelters will be overcrowded. At the same time, if the weather is nice, you might as well sleep without a cover over your head.
- Carry less water
Water is one of the biggest and bulkiest things in your backpack. It takes a lot of space but, at the same time, it is quite necessary. Best way of handling your water is if you drink a lot of it every morning, on natural springs that are usually near the shelters. After that, you should fill up a smaller bottle for to-go.
- Spread the weight
Ultralight backpacking is especially great if you are going in a group. This way, everyone can carry one piece of equipment. There is no need for everyone to carry the same set of items. Instead, you can spread the weight between you. Furthermore, if you are going for a shorter hike during a peak period, you can also rely on other hikers which you meet along the way. Most of them will be prepared to help you out and share their resources.
- Pack your own food
Similar to water, food is another thing on the list that can take a lot of space. Best way to deal with this is by preparing your own food. Dry food is awesome for hiking. You can either buy dry products or dehydrate the food yourself.
There are many benefits to ultralight hiking. First of all, you can walk for a much longer time than you usually could. Besides that, by going ultralight, you can reduce pressure on your back and hips. If you love hiking, this is the way to go!