Unlike your average vacation, a hiking holiday requires packing light. Why? Because unless you’ve got a regular pad to leave your stuff at, you’ll most likely be carrying it all on your back. At the same time however, hiking requires a certain kit in order to stay comfortable and know where you’re going. Here’s how you can pack all the essentials, whilst keeping the load light.
Packing for all weathers but also packing light may not sound like a simple task. Fortunately, there are many specialist brands of clothing out there for the outdoor adventure that are multi-purpose. For staying warm, but minimizing sweating, thermal gear such as Minus 33 Merino wool clothing can come in handy. Similarly, there are plenty of water-proof materials out there that are light but also provide ventilation such as Gore-tex. Try to avoid denim, as this can be heavy and take up valuable packing space. Also think wisely about your shoe choice – a good pair of hiking boots can ensure grip, keep your feet dry but also stop them from getting too hot.
You don’t want to be packing too many bulky electronic gadgets – if you can try to get away with just using your smartphone. You can load GPS apps, flashlight apps and even first aid guide apps onto here (and for entertainment you can store audio-books and music). You’ll want to keep your phone charged up, so bring a charger and take a universal plug adaptor if you’re going abroad. Solar battery chargers can be a great gadget for keeping charged on the go, especially useful if you’re hoping to use lots of apps.
Toiletries are another essential you’ll want to bring with you. Keep these in a sealed plastic bag, if you have any leaks your clothes will then not be ruined. If you’re travelling somewhere by plane first and taking your bag as hand luggage, remember that you’ll have to abide by various airport security rules – it may be more worthwhile buying toiletries when you arrive at your location. A travel towel may be useful for drying off yourself – these are much lighter than average towels and will take up less space in your bag.
If you’re planning to camp along the way, other kit may be needed. A pop-up tent can save you a lot of hassle, allowing you to pitch up quick and offering a lighter solution to your average pole tent. There are also many light sleeping bags that you can buy (even if you’re staying in hostels, these may be useful to have, as hostels may not always provide their own bedding). Cooking equipment can be bulky, but some may wish to bring this along too to save money. Look into travel pans and invest in a decent camping stove that will stay alight and not use up gas too quickly.