How to Pack a Hiking Bag

After giving you 4 good reasons to lighter hiking, let’s see what strategy to adopt to alleviate his hiking bag.Indeed, I realized that making a simple list of essential things is not enough, must be a method to address our deep nature which is to add still more. In big lines, the strategy to reduce the weight of the bag is in a cycle (or a retro-active loop out) sort, weigh, adapt

  1. Take a less bulky hiking bag

It’s trivial, but it is the basis. We put more business in a 70L bag in a bag of 40L. Plus, 70L bag weighs more than the 40L bag already. Nature dislikes the vacuum and you either. More the bag, the more it will tend to fill it.Limit the size of your bag, it’s already limit the load of your backpack. I advise you to start you on a hike to the day, to test yourself against the available volume.

Because is not only the size of your hiking backpacks that must condition the business that you need to have but a fair prediction of equipment that will, says Elishui. If you go for a polar Trek in total autonomy one month and your bag weighs 20kg to 70L, it will be more justified than the same 20kg for a summer hike of 3 days with the possibility of refuelling.

2 Do Not Set a Limit Too High or Too Low Weight

“Machin made me 15kg it’s good, then I filled up to 15kg” fill it with what? Why 15kg and not 14.5? Do not adapt to a fixed weight that can be totally foreign to us. A strategy is needed to change this weight based on our experience of hiking. In other words, the but it isn’t wearing enough to satisfy a criterion guesstimates. The goal is to take the necessary by making sure it’s the lightest possible. So you do not acceptable limit in weight.Simply because this limit can evolve and set a minimum (too high or too low or to the % of our body weight, which is variable,) there is often tender. The optimal strategy is: less it weighs, better it is.

The strategy is to minimize the weight of your bag not to maximize the number of objects that you can insert because someone told you that “X kg, is good”

Avoid also transform your Christmas tree bag hanging outside elements under the pretext that it is possible.Already because it’s bad for the balance. However, a bad balance, IE a badly distributed weight, it means a bag that can swing, slide and then suddenly move your center of gravity (or keep it it is essential climbing or descending) can slip and fall (and therefore get lost), be damaged by friction, skirmishes.

On the other hand, say. “well I can always put it out (for a large object) frees up space in the bag.” And since you have read point 1, you know that it is quick to do with space empty… one large space not occupied in the bag, it’s the volume and more which will be occupied by other objects that weigh on your back.

3 Learn To Sort The Objects In 3 Categories: Essential, Useful, Superfluous

How to distinguish what goes in what category? Simple. I was a strict definition. It is also the best way to not forget anything.

  • Essential: absolutely essential to our security and the realization of our trek in basic survival conditions
  • Useful: element necessary for the realization of our trek in conditions of normal use
  • Superfluous: element making no contribution to the survival or security level under normal conditions of use

I’ll give you a personal example.

  • 1 underwear > essential. It is the minimum
  • 2 underwear > useful.A Speedo, a slip of market. If you lose a (this happened to me, the other)
  • 2 underwear and more + > superfluous (washing at least one of the two under clothing of that possible, all underwear and more to me is unnecessary.)

Another example, market sticks are not required to make a trek > indeed, one can walk without sticks. Same as the flip flops that I take more that I consider unnecessary comfort. The sticks are however highly useful to me because they save 30% of power and reduce the pressure on his knees on the descents and allow to work the upper body in the market by having, in addition, more than balance points. So I always take them. Useful but non-essential companions. I do take precedence here the ease of use (and therefore the pleasure of market) on a strict optimization of weight.

The jar of nutella which, in your opinion, is essential will be revealed here, in all the splendor of its superfluous.Compose your own excel table and insert the elements of the way in which you are currently composing your bag.Start slowly, must needs match your current hiking way. In other words, it must validate any change in the composition of your backpack on the ground. The goal is to be comfortable with your material, not to endanger yourself by taking too little because a blogger said you it’s better for you. It doesn’t help to compare themselves to others because “these other” there may be some hikers/trail runners who will compensate for the weight of their bags with great experience in the field and will be aware of the risks they take.

If, now, you feel more comfortable, with a composition of material thinking 13 kg 12 kg. Keep 13. It will be always possible to optimize the weight after the composition if at the moment you are more comfortable as well.The important thing is that your way of hiking is pleasant and that your strategy of optimization of the weight of your bag this goal. If this is no longer the case in clear, if less weight translates into less pleasure to market, return to the previous step.

Keep in mind that there are some psychological barriers that jump and disappear as we acquire experience in the mountains. This point in rushing things. Once one has begun and understood the method of reduction of the weight of his bag, the latter is changing. My survival kit will not be your survival kit and will not be the survival kit of Ueli Steck (whether he has one).

In a future article, I will give the composition of my bag. You will see that you will have a few surprises because, in the category essential I… a camera (and Yes, if not, how do you want that I share my stories of ascents, treks and walks as part of my basic  work conditions  )

But later, you will see that you can combine lightweight backpack AND his passion for photography in hiking without too suffer. (to read, How to reconcile photo and hiking)

  1. Making a Table Excell With The Weight of Each Item In Each Category

Sort the items to define a basic composition, that’s good. But that’s not enough, we hit sooner or later a limit.Now optimize the weight of each element.

Why a table excell with the weight of each element?

Because it’s Visual, automatic (in the sense where change the weight of an item automatically adjusts the weight of the bag). Clearly this is effective. With a table Excel setting individual performance of the elements composing your hiking bag that you will be able to track down the unnecessary grams. There will come a time where the hardware you use for your excursions will be fully optimized in its composition. Need you, then, if you want to decrease the weight of the latter, certainly more expensive but lighter hardware.

There are three main components of the basic material, which weigh heavy, and on which it is easy to earn more than 1 kg

  • the tent
  • the sleeping bag
  • the elements of the system 3 layers

In general, the material is light, more expensive it is. Quality and, particularly, lightness, has a price because it is more performance or security but personal notion of comfort. You can imagine that a sleeping bag thinking 460gr and one that weighs 1 kg and which has the same characteristics will not be at the same price.

The Excel table will also be useful if you aim the purchase of a light material and performing accurate. Indeed, it will be easier to write down the name, reference, feature, price of the range top material in order to track down the promotions of outdoor products coveted or equivalent. With features in mind, you will go into the stores more confident being certain to target your exact needs in terms of material, without – normally – succumbing to a buying frenzy. Each its balances not?

Keep in mind weight optimization, not the weight compensation. Spend a fortune to optimize an item will not necessarily bring you an equivalent gain optimization of several elements with the same budget. So there is no point buying a ultra-light tent you saving 400 g so, next, the budget allocated to this purchase would have allowed you to buy a tent, a sleeping bag and a hardshell allowing you to win 900gr. Similarly, to offset this gain of 400g in taking 1 kg more food (or additional photo equipment, Yes, we got all of our through  is also absurd.) In this case, you are not yet at the point in the composition of your bag. I repeat once again, the final goal is that each optimization, your bag weighs less and your trip is enjoyable. There is no minimum weight as long as the pleasure of walking is always present.

  1. Prepare For The Realities of Your Hike

Is not acting in function of the ‘just in case’ but stay pragmatic. Inquire about the weather conditions that may occur in 90% of cases on your hike. Is to know his course, the difficulties that may be encountered. It does not have the same material in the day for a hike of several days. Similarly, is not the same material for a hike in total autonomy from a hike in the refuge. Not the same material for a hike in the summer for a hike at the end of autumn to the hazardous conditions, etc…. you get the point.

The ideal is to have a composition of bag of base is adapted according to the needs, the situation on the ground. Of course, more experience, the better we’ll adjust the specific needs for each output.

  • Your knowledge of the field.Why pick on you 3L of water, so 3 kg, at each step, if you know that you will come across many sources of drinking water along your route? Isn’t it better to have 1 L (and drink this water) to constantly wear a weight dead. In trek, by strong heat, it is important to stay hydrated but that doesn’t mean by carrying water we don’t drink! (How many people arrive at the shelter with even their full canteens, well beyond their limit of security) Why wear if you have the means to purify that which is available?
  • If you know you will sleep and feed in bivouac, why burden you with a stove, gas, utensils “in case”assume – your choice is better to enjoy your hike. ” In writing / advertising, it is sometimes said “less is more”. Clearly, better is worth to do less and do it well, it brings more value. But for the strategy of his backpack, less is less  less is less. Either you leave independently, or you sleep in a shelter. Leave alone won’t prevent you choose to eat and sleep in a shelter but you can’t go on a hike in a shelter, take material “in case” superfluous for a trek in autonomy AND moan on weight. “

In the name of security, we often take too to be prepared for everything. A snowstorm in Corsica in summer?This can happen, let’s go, I take gloves, beanies, scarves, “in case? If never conditions deteriorate, even without this, you should be ready to go down in the Valley or find you a shelters (or build you a). The goal is to not set up camp under the storm. It is to react before to avoid it.

It is useful to have, for example, all the components of your system 3 layers in double? Seriously, you do use 2 t-shirts, 2 fleeces, Gore-Tex 2 jackets at the same time?
And if the fleece feels bad? You will wash her back.

The important thing is what your hike in the nicest possible.

Some will talk about hygiene. Yes but I’ll be dirty? If I don’t have a change of clothes, I feel bad! A trek for me is not a fashion show. I prefer that my clothes smell worse a few days (if the conditions make it impossible to wash) and take a shower on arrival but don’t end up with shoulders crushed to concern myself with what the marmots will think of me, while I sleep alone in my tent. For me, it is more important to be clean to have clean air.

I do not think that sweat more because you pay more, walk longer, is best for your personal hygiene. Also, what’s the point of wearing the superfluous that makes you move forward at a pace slower, you so happen later and brings you to jump, sometimes – cool – shower for the shelter because, precisely, there is more hot water wherever you are too tired? I’d rather have a good personal hygiene that carry extra clean clothing with a questionable personal hygiene. In fact, often, as I can’t not tired to my camp, it is often early, I have time to wash and wash my clothes. But don’t think that I am of those who carry their rancid smell of sweat as a trophy. I wash as often as possible. Indeed, the cold water is very good to soothe muscles and joints after exercise. That is frozen on the Gr20 showers or streams-10 out on The Chadar Trek and the Stok Angri in North India, I misses no opportunity to feel clean. The ladakis looked at me with amusement as I was the only one among the trekkers have this hygiene. I must say that it shouldn’t be cozy no more…

6-The Return of an Exit, Analyze Your Hardware

This is the phase adjustment of the composition before the yard.

  • Material I took a me t-it was useful?
  • Y’a t-he of the elements that made duplicates?
  • Y’a t-it items I found, at the bottom, superfluous, whereas I had ranked them useful?
  • Y’a t-he of the items that I have not used, if so, why?Under what conditions them I used before and why have not they been useful on the spot?
  • I consumed my whole nature?Keep me t-it? How much does it weigh? Is that what this is in my brand of security?

Then you can use a color palette in your Excel table to improve the composition of your bag. Green, it’s optimized, in orange, this can be but too expensive or not yet certain as part of my current use, in red: to optimize.

See also the composition of the bag of light hikers you meet (by asking the question right, not by searching their bags , ask for their advice, tips… also they went through this phase of reflection.)

7 If You Leave More, Optimize The Complementary Equipment

I walk most often alone, so my minimum equipment in total autonomy is my basic equipment. Has several, you can distribute the items so that each equipment are complementary to have basic equipment of group larger and lighter than the basic equipment for a single trek.

Let me explain with an example.

For a group of 4:

  • Essential: 1 spoon
  • Useful: 2 teaspoons (each will be so on average the weight of half a spoon)
  • Superfluous: 2 tablespoons +

1 fact meals on, 1 install the camp, the 2 go to wash. Eat those who are clean, the other 2 wash. Everybody cleans.Yes it is radical (but it’s to illustrate) and nothing you can still sing all together in front of the fire.

4 Tent weighs t-she is less than the sum of 4 tents for a person? If yes then one of you will be responsible to the tent. The other will be the pot for 4 (which will have to be lighter than 4 individual pots OR whose gas consumption will be necessarily less great and requiring less time to prepare than 4 small pans).

8 Cut Even More Fat.

At this level, it’s the details… but we can take a certain pleasure to perform a kind of ruthless hunting of grams. There is no small victories.

He comes here to reduce the weight of items that can not be optimized by replacing while keeping ease of use. This example will be:

  • cut the tip of the toothbrush that exceeds
  • take just the necessary weight in Marseille SOAP that will be used as a body SOAP, cleaning SOAP and toothpaste
  • delete useless pieces of lanyard
  • test shoes trails instead of touring high-soled shoes and see if this fits your market
  • plastic bottle rather than gourd (lighter but less stronger)

All these tiny optimizations should be initiated once the composition of his bag is already advanced. It doesn’t help to reach such extremes (which can, moreover, did not correspond to the trek you make for fun) if beside it, you decrease in advance the weight of the main elements (tent, sleeping… bag) who are, in most cases, the heavier elements of your bag.

In addition, once your bag is optimized, it is interesting to look at the benefits of stretching . (A read when and how to practice stretching)