Time to plan for a trip in the great outdoors? Make sure you pack light to maximise your hiking experience. Slimming down the contents of your backpack makes all the difference to how much you enjoy your hike.
And there are a wide range of extremely lightweight products available now. This means that, if you have the right budget, you can end up carrying less than half the weight of your normal backpack.
These days, you no longer need to skimp on comfort when you choose a lighter, thinner sleeping pad. There are several models that weigh less than half a kilo but which will still give you a great night's sleep.
Forget about the bulky sleeping bag you had as a kid. Modern sleeping bags can be ultra-light while still keeping you warm, even on a chilly spring or summer night. And yet they still only weigh about half a kilo!
Of course a one man tent weighs less than a tent for two people. But then again if two of you are hiking, you can take it in turns to carry the tent. A good lightweight tent for two people can weigh as little as just over 2lb.
Lightweight backpacks often have a smaller capacity before they become uncomfortable, so you have to remember that the low weight is relative to the volume and comfort of the backpack. But for day trips there are great backpacks that don't weigh much more than a standard milk carton.
If you're going to take packing light to extremes, freeze-dried food and the ability to boil water can be the ultimate solution. But if you want to treat yourself to slightly more advanced food preparation, you can still do that without weighing yourself down. A camping stove can weigh as little as 0.4-0.7 kg.
Of course you set off on a spring or summer hike hoping for good weather. But it can be cold at dusk, and in bad weather you may find you've only brought the wrong clothes with you. Fortunately a good, warm jacket needn't be too heavy for your backpack -- in some cases lightweight down jackets weigh only 300-400 grams.
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