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Hiking: Is Your Crap Too Heavy?

Light And Safe Are Key Points For Hikers

Now that the summer is finally arriving in the northern hemisphere, countless people all over the world will be taking advantage of the warmer weather to experience nature and to get away from the rat-race of the cities.  Some will be going to rustic cabins, some will be going to luxurious campgrounds where one can live in an apartment-like caravan, and yet others will be going on hiking excursions and sleeping far away from established campgrounds, in natural clearings in the forest.

Each type of camping has different requirements, but for the hiker or traveler who needs to carry all his or her equipment on his or her back, the main requirement for all gear will be weight.  While the idea of sleeping in a vast, multi-roomed tent in the middle of the woods, isolated from all civilization may sound like a good one, it will be horrendously difficult to hike, canoe, or kayak to one’s envisioned camping spot carrying the extra load of unnecessary luxury.  Therefore, when the adventure camping enthusiast embarks on a bare-bones camping excursion, his or her sleeping gear must be lightweight and extremely compact.

Hikers May Sacrifice Weight For Rain

A two-berth tent officially fits about two sleeping bags with no wiggle or storage room, which actually makes it ideal for one person and their gear.  The simplest of two-berth tents are single-walled and may or may not have noseeum netting to keep insects out. They may leak if it rains.  Sturdier and more weather-proof double-walled tents will naturally weigh and cost more; so unless one can be assured there will absolutely no rain forecast during one’s planned travel dates, a backpacker who is hiking or canoeing to a campsite will have to contend with the extra weight and needed storage space.

Hiking And Food Storage

A hiker who is planning on spending a few nights out in nature must also always remember that a tent is not an area to store food.  Food must always be stored away from a tent and sleeping areas; the smells will attract insects at best and hungry bears or other carnivores at worst.  When one is thinking of purchasing a tent, one must remember that the tent is for sleeping purposes and gear storage only; separate storage gear must be purchased for food.

Food storage can be easy:  it can simply be put in a sealed plastic bag and hung from a tree with a cord.  Experienced campers also recommend that one’s toothpaste should also be stored away from sleeping areas and tents; some old hands at camping claim that bears love the minty smell and taste and will rummage through anything to get at it.

Backpacking campers, while sacrificing some sleeping comfort in order to carry a lighter load during the traveling times, will find that the experience of being close to nature will more than make up for any of the inconveniences and will return from their trip refreshed, happy, and unable to wait for the next one.