Walking Across Europe is superb so get on your walking boots to see the region at its very best and really get away from it all.
Let us congratulate you: there is no such thing as the only one way of how we should backpack, i.e., there are no universal rules how to do it. Every single hiker is different. It is what makes his trip unique and full of different ways to overcome upcoming challenges. We all have our own needs, motivations and different levels of experience.
However, something upon which everyone can agree is that walking is relatively easier and more enjoyable if your back pack is as light as possible. By making a conscious decision to adopt an approach of simplicity, you are already going lighter.
Here are 5 basic principles and tricks of how can you Go Lighter.
1. Leave Non-Essentials. Again, review each and every single thing in your pack, asking yourself several questions: Do I really need it? What would possibly happen if I don’t have it? Can it be replaced? Hikers tend do get amazed at the amount of redundant things they have been carrying out of habit rather than necessity.
2. Smaller Essentials. Innovative designers and lighter materials make it easier than ever before to lower your pack weight. All the magic comes from lighter versions of your essential items. Those essentials include a sleeping bag, a shelter, a sleeping mat, a backpack itself. You may want to consider lots of factors if you want to avoid the weight that is simply not necessary. Do some thorough research of the conditions (e.g. weather) you are very likely to encounter. Think of possible solutions, so that you are safe and feel comfortable whilst hiking in those conditions. You don’t actually need a sleeping bag rated -10° Celsius if you are hiking in summer.
3. Multi-purpose items. Keep in mind that most of your items in backpacking kit, such as hiking poles, sleeping mat and cooking pot, can serve more than one purpose. Think innovative. Keep things that serves as multi-function equipment. Keep thinking of how you can extend those functions. By doing so, you will eliminate duplicate or simply redundant items. Thus, you will decrease overall pack weight.
4. Simplicity. All peoples around the globe, being ancestors or native inhabitants of the Americas, Australia and Africa, were all covering extended distances without the aid of fancy shelters, footwear or packs. They did it in a very simple lightweight fashion which emphasized the practicality over unnecessary luxuries.
5. Put safety first. If you are thinking of going lighter, please keep in mind that doing so should be a gradual process. It should correspond to a continuous improvement of a hiker’s backcountry skill set. For example, transitioning from a tent to an uber lightweight tarp.
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