How many times has it happened that you have had to unpack most of your essentials due to over stuffing? Many of us end up spoiling our hiking expeditions by messing it up while packing. With no knowledge of how and what to pack, hikers either tire themselves out by carrying heavy backpacks, or end up leaving behind the items necessary for a hike. It is always better to follow what a backpack-fit professional has to say about it.

A pro once guided me by laying out few guidelines, which are:

  • Always follow the body weight percentage ratio - just remember that the weight of your your packed bags should not exceed 20% of your body weight.
  • Consider the weather - it's always better to avoid winters for a thrilling hiking experience. Carrying warm clothes can add up to a lot of unnecessary weight.
  • Aim to cover your trek in a short span - a long-duration hiking or trekking adventure would mean having to carry extra clothing, food, etc.
  • Prioritize comfort and not luxury - trekkers should try to avoid carrying fancy, heavyweight hammocks, extra clothing, and heavy sleeping pads.

Important factors to keep in mind while packing for a trek

Managing your bag for a trek or a hike is easy if you maintain the balance of picking up just the important items without compromising on your comfort and well-being. Experience faster speed and high energy levels by cutting out on all the unnecessary items. However, make sure you carry extra food and your first-aid kit. Going light does not mean giving your companion on the trip a pain. Carry your own stuff but in an organized way.

Weighing is the solution: It is ideal to weigh what goes into your gear pack. Right from your jackets to your tent and sleeping bag weight, all of this can help you know where you can adjust and what needs to be reduced. Exclude the weight of food items, water, fuel etc. as this may vary from trip to tri, but I must ask that you include the weight of your tents, water filter, first-aid kit etc. A base weight of less than 15 kg is what you should strive to achieve. Weighing all that you stuff in your backpack can help you properly organise your hiking adventure.

Chuck out unnecessary items: The best way to arrange your pack is to make a list of items that were of no use on your last adventure trip and can be ditched. However, always keep your first-aid kit handy. Adopt tricks like packaging your food items and other newly packed items in one plastic zipper, instead of carrying them separately. You can even create a list for making the task of packing things convenient.

Look for multi-purpose items: Carry items that can be used for a variety of purposes. Be it your smartphone, your bandana, your first-aid kit, duct tape, backpack, baking soda, umbrella, etc. all these items can fulfill many of your needs.

Sharing is Caring: This stands true when you are accompanied by a hiking partner. Share each other's load and first-aid kits, that way you can carry a lot additional stuff without making your backpack heavy.

Plan your Menu: It is inevitable to feel hungry, especially when you are on adventure trips like trekking and hiking. However, what needs to be taken into consideration is the weight of all of your food items. Carry food that is easy to carry and gives you the right amount of energy to sustain yourself while covering the grueling hiking paths. Opt for dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, granola bars, meat jerky, first-aid kits, and salmon. In short, alternatives that do not add up to excessive weight. No more than a kilogram of food weight is what you should aim for.

Pack it right

There is a method of doing anything and everything. If followed religiously, one can achieve exceptional results. Gear packing is not a crazy task, unless you are someone who lacks patience. Get yourself a gear pack that has spacious interiors, along with durable construction. A bag that fits in all your clothing and food items without having to tie or bunch things to the outside of it, makes for an ideal pack. Hike through the mountains swiftly by going light this time!