packing tips

How To Pack Lightly When Hiking

Nothing beats a hiking trip when you want to unwind and get plenty of physical activity at the end of the week. However, you might have noticed that your weekends are not as much fun as you want them to be, and the cause can be that you’re packing way too many things you don’t need.

To increase your endurance when you hike, you need to pack lightly. Of course, it is not an easy process to eliminate everything you don’t need and stick to the essentials, but that is why this article will help you.

Cooperation is essential

Unless you’re a lone wolf, you probably travel with companions, and that means that you have others in your group that can carry things. Try to split the luggage evenly between the members of the party; this way, everyone will be able to keep up, as no one will be burdened by too much stuff.

Choose versatile clothes

Ideal hiking clothes are those that are multi-functional. They should have a base layer, capable of absorbing moisture and wicking it fast. They must also be warm enough for the type of weather you expect to face. It is definitely helpful to have clothes with a weatherproof and waterproof exterior.

Pack very few clothes. You can wear the same clothes for the days you are on your trip since no one will care that they saw you just the day before in the same t-shirt.

Essentials are exactly that

In a nutshell, you should leave behind anything that’s not essential for your trip. In other words, if they don’t serve an immediate purpose related to your hiking trip, they should be off the list. Also, it helps to pick items that are portable and take up little space in your backpack, like the ones reviewed in Optics & Lab magazine.

Think in terms of portability, whatever you need to take with you. Don’t pack a book to read when your phone can serve as an e-reader just as fine. What’s the use of a Bluetooth speaker, when you can listen to your favorite music on your earbuds?

Swap tent poles with trekking poles

Search for a tent that allows this switch. As you may well know, tent poles are heavy, and they can take up a lot of room in your luggage. Your trekking poles should be able to serve as substitutes. The more multi-functional every item you carry can be, the better.

Cooking supplies must be minimal

Another category of things that might take up way too much room when you pack is cooking supplies. Decide in favor of those things that fold down to a compact shape so that you can easily find a place for them in your backpack. From a small portable stove to sporks, you should think about everything in terms of portability and multi-functionality. You will be surprised to see how much room you can save in your backpack.

Focus on safety and health

While you want to pack as lightly as possible, don’t neglect anything that relates to your health and safety, as well as others’. Have all the essentials for hygiene with you, along with a first aid kit and all the necessary medications that might be needed by you or members of your group.

The last tip – get the smallest bag that can accommodate all your essentials

If you find no other way to force yourself to trim the fat and pack only what’s needed, here’s another piece of advice. Get the smallest bag you can fit all the things you need; the moment you take a look at a non-essential, you will know that it will have to stay at home.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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