I am still a newbie to all this hiking, putting up a tent without prodding somebody in the eyes with a tent pole and packing my backpacker properly. Victor is still eye-rolling at me when I carelessly just throw my stuff in the backpacker randomly but I got to admit: It gets right back at me when I need to find something and I need to take out all the shit to find it in the bottom of the bag! No, I am not a very organised kind-of-person. I am still learning and from both Victor and other experienced hikers I have written down 6 useful hiking hacks that I want to share with you so we all get more success outdoor and look cool as well 😉
1. Never leave food inside your tent! Rats dont care about your expensive tent and neither your backpacker. If they are hungry enough they will find your delicious food and eat it! Keep it in closed containers (e.g. the pot) and or/ leave it outside. If you have the opportunity to hang the food in a tree, do it. Bring some robe with you for that purpose.
2. In windy areas like in Patagonia it can be a challenge with the stove. You can buy these metallic wind covers to cover up the stove, but if you have a non-inflatable mattress you can use this to cover up the stove as well (see picture).
3. Protect your mattress from puncture. Especially in Patagonia you will get familiar with the plant calafate. They have some really nasty spines and they can even puncture bicycle tires. If you have an inflatable mattress it is recommended to put something underneath to protect the mattress from contact with the spines. It could be footprint for tents or a big plastic bag.
4. Keep balance in your backpacker. Try to avoid putting too much stuff on top of of it. If your backpacker is stuffed with things that are higher than your head it can be harder to control it when walking, especially with a strong wind. Bring the heavy stuff closer to your back. Put your sleeping back in the bottom of the backpacker.
5. Bring some plastic back for garbage and toilet paper. I have seen too much toilet paper in the forest and I understand its not nice to carry around, but you should bring a plastic bag with you and when you find a garbage bin you can through it out. I remember one place where I was looking for a “hidden spot” and no kidding; the forest floor was filled with used toilet paper everywhere!
6. Instead of using a rain cover for your backpacker put a big plastic bag inside the backpacker as a shield and then afterwards put your stuff inside to keep it dry. If you want to organise your things in the backpacker you can as well put them in smaller plastic bags; one for underwear, toiletries etc.
Best of luck on your next outdoor adventure! If you have any hiking/camping/backpacking tips, please share them!
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