1. Love your feet (with petroleum jelly)
Your feet are your biggest asset when it comes to hiking and backpacking. They are the vehicle that will carry you along your trail and the means for your exploration. It’s for this reason that you need to take care of your feet and a great way of doing that is with Petroleum Jelly. Massage your feet with the jelly when you wake up and before you go to bed. The jelly helps protect your feet from friction generated blisters whilst the massage tackles achy muscles and cramps.
2. Take your time
It seems obvious but it still needs to be said; give yourself enough time to rest and soak it all in. It’s understandably tempting to push your daily kilometre count up. You’ll feel like you can achieve your goal faster or fit more in. After a long day of hiking you might want to avoid an early start, but getting up as the sun is rising gives you not only an unique perspective on the world around you but also gives you more time to enjoy the journey.
Pack in this image: Aura AG 65
4. Re-pack your own foods to save space
Your food is the energy that keeps you moving and the pick-me-up when the going gets tough, but everything you carry comes at a cost of weight and space. By packing your own food into small bags and boxes you can remove the excess air from the packaging and therefore save space. Depending on the foods you carry, there is also an opportunity for small amounts of weight saving.
Pack in this image: Levity 45
5. Wet boots? This will help!
Wet boots are often unavoidable by the end of the day, but putting wet boots back on your feet shouldn’t be. Stuff your wet hiking boots with balls of old newspaper and place them somewhere dry and warm. The thin paper will wick away moisture from the inside of your boots, giving you a good chance of getting them dry before you set off the next day.
Pack in this image: Stratos 50
6. Hydration reservoir rather than bottle
Regular hydration is integral while hiking or backpacking. You’ll need plenty of water (which means additional weight) in order to stay safe and comfortable on your trip. A hydration reservoir, placed into the hydration sleeve of a pack, gives you an easily accessible, weight reduced way of carrying water. You’ll no longer need to stop and start to grab your water and you’ll be able to leave those clunky aluminium bottles at home.
7. Don’t just learn the route, learn the journey
It’s tempting to get wrapped up in the logistics of a trip, fine-tuning your itinerary and memorising maps. This is important to keep you safe and get the most out of your trip but there’s always more to a hike than the route itself. Take time to learn about the history of the area you’re walking. Learn a few basics about the natural environment around you. There is so much to learn on every trip and a little bit of homework ahead of time will make your experience so much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
What hiking life hacks do you use? Comment your hiking and backpacking tips below.