Hiking is a wonderful thing. The fresh air, the sounds of nature, the feeling of being completely stress free. Yes hiking is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it’s not as simple as we had hoped. There can be a lot of planning that goes into hiking, depending on the type of trail you’re pioneering or your skill level. Sometimes we pack too little, sometimes we don’t pack enough. And sometimes, we have to be a bit creative with how we package things. Thankfully, you now have 10 hiking hacks to assist you in your hiking needs!
1. Recycled Supplies
You’re going hiking, why would you need new stuff anyway? It’s just going to get dirty! Recycle your old backpack from school and wear those somewhat ugly but unbelievably comfortable boots you have stashed in your back closet. Luckily for you, hiking isn’t a fashion show; it’s about comfort and practicality, so feel free to look a little ridiculous!
2. Essentials Before Frills
Skip the “frills.” Don’t bring anything you know you probably won’t use. Instead, pack the essential items first so you know you have room for them. For instance you’ll need: shelter (depending on the length of the hike), nutrition, first-aid, fire starters, hydration, a flashlight or candles, sun protection, compass, extra clothing, and some basic tools. This sounds like a lot of stuff, but thankfully there are a lot of creative ways to bundle all of your essential items.
To save room in your backpack, wear a jacket with multiple built in pockets. You can store a whole collection of things in your jacket pockets leaving plenty of room for other items in your backpack. Keep matches in an old tic-tac container for easy release and convenient packaging. Add a key ring to the zipper of your jacket for an extra place to hang items. Also, you should always have duct tape with you when you hike whether it is for quick fixes or to conceal blisters! That’s a secret of the pros. For more room, wrap duct tape around your flashlight or lighter.
3. Down to your Skivvies
Even something as simple as wearing pantyhose under your pants can make a huge difference when you hike. Wearing pantyhose keeps ticks off of your skin! They also minimize rubbing so you have less of a chance of getting painful blisters. Another word on blisters, a helpful trick to avoid getting them is to rub a little petroleum jelly on the areas where your feet tend to blister the most. Trust me, your toes will thank you!
4. Solar Power is your Friend
If you’re planning on spending the night somewhere on your hike, make sure to pack solar powered lights. It’s really easy to find cheap solar power lights at the dollar store. With these, you won’t have to worry about packing batteries and adding more weight to your pack!
5. Protect your Phone
For some, bringing your phone is a must, especially if you want to capture all of those picturesque scenes you’re sure to encounter on your hike. If you must bring your phone, bring it in a plastic sandwich bag to save from water and grime.
6. Sage will Save the Day
You’re tired. You’d like to take a break and rest for a while, but the bugs won’t stop swarming you. Have no fear! Light a campfire and throw a bundle of sage into it. The sage will naturally repel those pesky insects.
7. Easy Fire starters
For an easy (and free) fire starter, use the lint from your dryer and a toilet paper roll and stuff the lint inside. Walla! Instant fire starter.
8. Instant Light
If you’re ever in need of more illumination, attach a flashlight to a clear water jug with duct tape. Instantly lights up any small space!
9. Crayons are for More than just Coloring
A lit crayon can burn for nearly a half hour. If you’re desperate for light, burning a crayon will work like a candle.
10. Cloak your Cash
If you want to bring cash for emergency purposes instead of bringing a big heavy wallet, pack cash inside a hollowed out lipstick tube. It’s easy to hide and lightweight!