5 Packing Tips for Hiking

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Packing efficiently for your hike is essential, as no matter how fit you are, that pack that felt so light when you packed it at home will start to feel heavier and heavier as the day goes on. Read on for our top tips to pack efficiently for hiking.

The right pack

Choose the right size pack – even not filling a larger pack will be heavier than completely filling a medium sized one due to the weight of the bag itself. You also want to make sure it’s sturdy and comfortable to carry. Even on a day hike, you will likely be on the move for several hours. There are a great range of backpacks at The Adventure and Outdoor Store, ranging in size from 8-30 litres.

Think about accessibility

Pack with the things you might need soonest on the top or in an easily accessible pocket (while still thinking about weight distribution!). It’s no use having your water bottle buried at the bottom of the bag. A first aid kit is well placed in a side pocket so it can be accessed in an emergency.

Weight distribution

Put your lightest items such as sleeping bag or rain gear into the bag first and heaviest items in the middle/middle top so you can centre them for even weight distribution. If all the heavy things end up on the bottom or one side of the bag you will end up with sore shoulders and a bad back! If you have a sleeping mat, fold this up so it’s along the back part of your bag that will be nearest your back for extra back cushioning.

Make sure you have enough room for the essentials

Sure, it might be nice to bring that comfy blanket to sit on while you have your lunch, or that video camera to capture the view at the top of the mountain, but if you have to sacrifice bringing your lunch, or a first aid kit, is it really worth it? Make a list of the absolute essentials, and only after you have that sorted, should you consider what else you might have space for.

Food

Bring light, energy dense foods. Consider a space saving freeze-dried camping meal or our self-heating meals, which means you don’t need to cart about a stove or other cookware. Simply use the water in the pouch provided to activate the unique heater and you can have a hot meal anywhere you travel to. Each pack also includes a food tray, knife fork and spoon, salt and pepper and a napkin. Bring other small snacks in sealable bags rather than containers to save space. Don’t bring tins! They are heavy and you can get a better weight to nutrients ratio from other items.

Hopefully these tips will give you a few things to think about, and make your next day out or camping trip a little easier. Happy hiking!

Fun ideas for camping with your family

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Taking kids away from the comfort and safety of home to go camping together can be stressful, but it’s also important to remember the fun side of things. Family holidays can be some of the strongest memories we have from our youth, so make your next camping trip one to remember with these fun ideas!

Car activities
Kids can easily become bored on a long journey to a campsite. Older children could enjoy an audio book or playing some car games together such as eye spy can help keep them entertained. A new toy can hold a little one’s attention if they have to be in the car for a while. Breaking up the journey with rest stops to stretch their legs can break up the monotony and help keep everyone happy.

Rainy day options
If you’re camping you probably have lots of plans to be outdoors, but if the weather does turn bad, it’s useful to have a backup plan. You could check out indoor things to do locally, and bring a few colouring books and games they can play with in the tent.

Enjoying nature
Take advantage of your surroundings to enjoy the great outdoors. Nature walks can be exciting for kids, especially if you live in a city. To help keep their interest why not try a scavenger hunt, or a nature bingo card. You could even bring cheap or disposable cameras and see who can snap the best picture. Get a family shot and you’ll have a lovely souvenir of your trip.

Try something new
There are some activities that you might have done as a child but would be a first for your children. Why not try singing campfire songs and toasting marshmallows together?
Have you thought about trying one of our self-heating meals? Kids will enjoy the novelty of a meal which gets ‘magically’ warm by itself, and if you come back tired after a long day of adventures, you might be glad of an easy meal with no preparation or mess, which is ready in 10 minutes!