If you’ve been setting off for overnight or multi-day hikes for a while, you’re hopefully well aware of the 10 essentials. No doubt you’ve also developed a whole list of tips and tricks of your own, too. I have, so that’s why I was surprised the other day when I stumbled across a Reddit thread, where one commenter came up with a few ideas I hadn’t thought of (or at least wouldn’t have thought to share).
In some countries when you buy snacks like nuts they come in a plastic zip lock bag. This bag is way more durable than the regular sandwich bags you use at home. Keep them and use them to organize and protect things like electronics, food, and toiletries. They still weigh almost nothing and come in various sizes (and as a bonus, they usually are sold with food suitable for hiking!).
This is a great one. When I’m in a rush or just feeling lazy, I buy seasoned nuts from my local supermarket. They usually come in a very sturdy zip lock bag, which can be reused over and over.
Carry a couple long zip ties. They are duct tape’s wacky cousin.
How good are zip ties / cable ties? If gaffa tape won’t fix it (I’m guessing this guy meant gaffa), you can be pretty sure they will. If you need to attach something to the outside of your backpack, or even trap an animal, you’re covered. Not to mention in a worst case scenario you can use them to tie someone up.
If you don’t use LED lighting, get some. Incandescent is dead.
It’s not something I use as a rule but, now that I think about it, I only use LED torches, head torches and lanterns. They’re cheap to buy and cheap to run. Why wouldn’t you?
Disposable water bottles are better than Nalgene bottles for many purposes. Maybe carry one sturdy bottle and for the rest use disposables. They last for weeks and weigh much less.
As much as I hate disposable plastic water bottles, I always end up with one or two lying around because I buy them in an emergency every now and then. This guy has a good point, though. There are times when I end up with a Nalgene or Camelbak bottle, even two of them, lying empty in my pack. Why take up all that extra space and carry all that extra weight?
Asymmetry is a blessing. Look for packs and clothing with mismatched pockets. E.g. one small pocket and one large one are more useful because you rarely have two medium size things to put inside. Likewise one zipper plus one velcro. You’ll more often find the perfect place to put something.
Or more to the point, buy equipment with as many freaking pockets as they could possibly fit on them… POCKETS, POCKETS, POCKETS. I used to have a pair of shorts that came complete with nine different pockets. NINE! They were amazing for hiking, but they’re sadly no longer with us, and I’ve never been able to find anything like them again.
Got any tips of your own to add? Please let us know by commenting below.