But what if? When we hear that statement, we can almost guarantee your pack is going to be heavy. Let’s look at some basic truths about backpacking.
- Unless you are on an Alaska Expedition into the unkown parts of the Tundra, you are probably never that far away from a trail head, town, water, or a road. So why are you caring 10 days worth of food?
- If you are backpacking the Appalachian Trail, you are never more than 4 days away from a town and constantly crossing roads. (Exception is the 100 mile wilderness in Maine) So why are you caring 10 days worth of snacks?
- If you are backpacking alone. Why are you caring a 3 person tent?
- Animals love smelly stuff. They don’t know the difference between deodorant, apple pie, and cherry lip balm. They will eat through your tent for a nice smelly item you just HAD to bring. Your cosmetic bag should have 3 things. Toothpaste, toothbrush, and any medication you may have to take. Being smelly is a part of hiking. Embrace the suck until you get to a shower. No body cares anyway. Leave your “fresh scent” deodorant at home.
- duct tape fan? Great, us too. wrap it around your hiking poles. We’ve seen enough duct tape to make a house with.
- Food and snacks. PLAN YOUR MEALS. Don’t just grab food and pack for….but what if….Generally humans can go a long time without food. If your lost, figure out how you are getting home safe rather than, what I will be eating the last few days of my life.
- Look at a Food Dehydrator. Dehydrating your own food will make your food tastier and much lighter.
- multi use gear. Rain jacket makes a great wind breaker. Hiking poles makes great Tent poles.
- Water. If you are hiking in the Southeast for example. Do you really need to carry 3 liters of water? Can you “dip and go” instead? Lot’s of water filtration systems now let you grab a drink out of the stream quickly and easily without unpacking your pack. Carry less, drink more.
- Trust the Trail. There are more resources out in the wilderness than you think. We are not even talking about “Survivor Man” either. But real recourses that are in front of you all the time that you can use once out there, instead of caring them on your back….up hill….both ways.
Remember, it’s your weight. You can have everything you need in the backcountry without actually caring everything in your pack.