Packing efficiently for your hike is essential, as no matter how fit you are, that pack that felt so light when you packed it at home will start to feel heavier and heavier as the day goes on. Read on for our top tips to pack efficiently for hiking.
The right pack
Choose the right size pack – even not filling a larger pack will be heavier than completely filling a medium sized one due to the weight of the bag itself. You also want to make sure it’s sturdy and comfortable to carry. Even on a day hike, you will likely be on the move for several hours. There are a great range of backpacks at The Adventure and Outdoor Store, ranging in size from 8-30 litres.
Think about accessibility
Pack with the things you might need soonest on the top or in an easily accessible pocket (while still thinking about weight distribution!). It’s no use having your water bottle buried at the bottom of the bag. A first aid kit is well placed in a side pocket so it can be accessed in an emergency.
Put your lightest items such as sleeping bag or rain gear into the bag first and heaviest items in the middle/middle top so you can centre them for even weight distribution. If all the heavy things end up on the bottom or one side of the bag you will end up with sore shoulders and a bad back! If you have a sleeping mat, fold this up so it’s along the back part of your bag that will be nearest your back for extra back cushioning.
Make sure you have enough room for the essentials
Sure, it might be nice to bring that comfy blanket to sit on while you have your lunch, or that video camera to capture the view at the top of the mountain, but if you have to sacrifice bringing your lunch, or a first aid kit, is it really worth it? Make a list of the absolute essentials, and only after you have that sorted, should you consider what else you might have space for.
Bring light, energy dense foods. Consider a space saving freeze-dried camping meal or our self-heating meals, which means you don’t need to cart about a stove or other cookware. Simply use the water in the pouch provided to activate the unique heater and you can have a hot meal anywhere you travel to. Each pack also includes a food tray, knife fork and spoon, salt and pepper and a napkin. Bring other small snacks in sealable bags rather than containers to save space. Don’t bring tins! They are heavy and you can get a better weight to nutrients ratio from other items.