When preparing to venture forth on a hike, you want to ensure that you remember to bring a variety of essential and potentially life-saving items. However, if your pack is too heavy, you take the fun out of the journey by being uncomfortable all day. You also run a greater risk of suffering from an unnecessary injury. A few tips might help you rethink your preparation methods.
Ideally, the pack should not weigh more than 20 percent of a hiker’s body weight. For a 160 pound adult, that would be 32 pounds. But, then again, consider a 100-pound person going on the same hike. Their pack should weigh no more than 20 pounds. So, how do both people take all that is needed for the same journey? They must take stock of all that must be carried and try to distribute the weight as efficiently as possible.
You might have cooking utensils, shelter and sleeping accessories that have been around for years. However, given the latest technology, some of these items might be replaced with updated versions that are decidedly more compact and weigh less. The backpack, sleeping bag, pad and tent should each weigh three pounds or less.
Necessity vs. Luxury
Gather everything you think you might need on the hike. Then, re-evaluate their necessity. Consider the length of your journey. Do you plan on being gone two or more days? Also take elevation and weather reports into consideration. What can you make do without? Will there be an opportunity to replenish any supplies along the way?
Dehydrated or dried meals and snacks require far less space weigh considerably less than canned or whole foods. Calculate meals and snacks that offer a minimum of 2,500 calories per day. If planning on drinking fluids besides water, consider powdered substances that can be reconstituted. Consider whether your intended destination lends itself to foraging opportunities. You might also consider using travel-sized personal care items or come up with dry alternatives.
Choose Multipurpose Items
By selecting items that can be used for more than one situation, you have the chance to significantly lighten your load. A mobile phone is an excellent example. The device acts as a calculator, a flashlight and a GPS along with enabling communication.