Who doesn’t love good hiking hacks?! Personally, I’m always a fan of simple things that make life a little easier. Some of these have saved my butt in the past, so I’m passing on the knowledge. Hopefully you already know most of them, but if you don’t then this is for you!
1. We deal with a lot of rain out here on the wet coast, and nothing is worse than a soggy backpack and gear. Keep your stuff dry by lining your backpack with a garbage bag and keep the rain out! Bring another for an emergency poncho, it may not look super stylin’ but it works in a pinch.
2. Use a thick ziplock baggie to keep your phone dry, most of the time you can still use it through the bag as well. Ive even taken some decent pictures through a new one. Or spend the money and invest in a proper waterproof case.
3. Even if you are going for a short hike, bring duct tape!! It can save your feet from blisters or allow you to make emergency repairs. Store it on a flashlight, lighter, hiking pole, water bottle, or bring one of those little travel rolls. Duct tape, the answer is always duct tape!
4. Bring binder clips so you can hang your wet items on your back pack to dry. No point in letting them stew in the bag. They also come in surprisingly handy for a lot of random things.
5. Bring a bandana! No one likes to see tp flowers on the trail, it’s gross!! Use it as a pee rag then fold it so the dirty is on the inside. You can either dry it in the sun (the UV rays will kill the bacteria) or rinse it in the next clean water source you find. Or if you want to keep trekking, store it in a plastic baggie until you can deal with it later.
6. If you are travelling for a while, reinforce plastic baggies with duct tape. They will last much longer, are super light, and are much cheaper than going out and buying all the fancy bags. Plus they look really cool if you have fancy duct tape! Woo hoo!
7. Learn how to estimate remaining daylight, and always bring a flashlight. I can’t tell you how many times this comes in handy on a lake or on a trail. If you don’t know then study up!
8. Have a pair of sacred socks! Sacred socks are clean, dry socks that live in your sleeping bag for sleeping purposes only. To keep your sleeping bag cleaner and less smelly, consider keeping a full set of sleeping clothes as sacred as well.
9. If you have wet shoes or boots remove your insoles and stuff a dry shirt or some newspaper in your boots overnight to help them dry.
10. The ol’ match behind the ear trick. Keep a match behind your ear when you head out on the trail. If you happen to get lost, your bag gets soaked, or your lighter bums out at least you will have one good dry match. This is a super old school trick that I can’t remember who told me about way back in the day.. Luckily I’ve never needed it, but it’s a good one to remember. No pics for this one! lol!
11. Butt Pads! They literally save your butt! At first I thought they were stupid when I first heard of them, butt I bring mine everywhere now. It’s super handy to be able to sit anywhere even in the rain or on soggy logs or rocks. If you don’t have a butt pad then grab a regular plastic bag to sit on and you won’t get your pants wet! I also sometimes bring a bag for my butt pad to keep it dryer. Yes to dry cushiness!
12. Bread bags are the perfect size for holding most water bottles. Slip your bottle inside, twist the top, secure with something like a clip or elastic band, and you are slightly safer from spills in your pack.
13. If your feet start to get sore in certain areas, sometimes the pain can be alleviated by lacing your boots differently. Learn lacing techniques to keep you on the trails.
Have fun out there!