Hitting the trail soon? Whether you’re going for a weekend or thru hiking, it’s important to pack efficiently and light. From simply having quality light-weight gear to breaking your toothbrush in half, there’s plenty of light weight advice out there.
When you start talking with other backpackers, you will receive a wealth of different opinions and hacks on how to start sparing your pack ounces here and there. But at the end of the day, they truly do add up.
Bring less clothes
Free up some space by bringing less clothes. It’s not a fashion show. But then how do you have enough clothes to stay dry? The answer is you use more moisture wicking/non-cotton materials. Take a few outfits of micro-fiber based materials and you will not have to change your clothes as much. (Your hiking, not going to a job interview.) Or, you can even rinse them off and hang them to dry and they will actually dry.
Not to mention you will be more comfortable if you get caught in the rain, because your clothing will dry significantly quicker. Space saver and body heat conserver. One of my favorite picks for backpacking apparel? American Backcountry Tees are pioneers in the industry, use environmentally friendly water-based inks, and have a variety of fresh designs and graphics.
Get Your Head Right
If you’re the weekend warrior type, I strongly recommend the Pak Pillow, it’s cushy and lightweight enough for my experience level. However we need to use different tools for different jobs. If you’re counting the ounces in your pack, then you’re probably looking for a lighter option.
Take a pillowcase from home, store your extra socks and clothes in it and at night use this for your pillow. Efficiency and head support. A good in between solution is the ParaPillow, with just enough “cushiness” but only weighing in at 11oz, it’s definitely something to consider.
Minimize Your “Kitchen”
Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with kitchen gadgets when you’re planning and packing at home. But honestly, you only really need one small camping pot, one simple pocket stove, and one utensil.
Use your pocket knife as your food prep knife, after you sanitize it obviously.I personally like the lightweight multi-utensils from Tradition Creek. They’re affordable, lightweight, have spoon, fork, and knife capabilities–not to mention they come in a variety of bright colors.
Bring a Hammock
Hammock Camping is amazing for a few reasons. First of all, I for one sleep overnight in a hammock extremely well, and I don’t think I’m alone on this. Most folks who give it a try find that they sleep deeply and feel rejuvenated the next day. Secondly, with the OneLink system, each piece is separate but works together; so you can piece together your shelter system based on your environment. If you know the forecast is clear and it’s nice out, forgo the rainfly and just put up the bugnet for example.
Now if you’re a thruhiker who will mostly be using your hammock dominantly for overnight camping trips, consider building your OneLink with: the ProNest, SlapStrap Pros, and ProFlySil. These are the ultra-lightweight gear options from ENO. Another nice thing about the OneLink system, is that you have a hammock and straps to play with. When I say play, I mean you can take a break on the trail. If you come across a stunning mountain view and you’re ahead of schedule, throw up your hammock and take a break! You don’t set up your tent to take a nap in the middle of the day.
Additionally, a hammock has many other uses when you’re in a tight spot, like a sunshade or a pack cover. Not to mention, that if you’re thru hiking you probably have a passionate love for nature and its preservation. Hammock camping has one of the most minimal impacts on the environment.