Our Five Favourite Life Hacks for Trekking
Aktualisiert: 5. Feb 2019
Saving weight and still be prepared for every challenge.
Doing multiple day hikes is of course about enjoying nature at its best. For us, part of the fun is also the preparation, especially the “weight-saving-game” as I call it. Before heading out we love to spend hours and hours thinking about how we can pack our stuff more effectively, how we can save more weight and also what comes in handy while being in the mountains. During the last years, we’ve met lots of like-minded people, read through many blogs and picked up surprising ideas. Using zipper storage bags for protecting food, money and all kinds of stuff is certainly one of the best-known trekking life hack so far, and we carry lots of zipper bags every time we go on a trek. But we’ve also discovered some other – of course very brilliant :) – ideas, we now want to share with you.
We hope you’ll find some new ideas for your next trip here. What do you think about it? Do you have any other truly brilliant ideas? Please share them in the comments!
1. NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT DUCT TAPE!
In Germany, we have a saying that “duct tape keeps the world together. Working in the film industry, I can tell you that is absolutely true. Duct tape always is a reliable companion and it really can save your trip.
Imagine, a wild boar sneaks into your tent at night to steal his brother or sister - the salami - from your food bag. Unfortunately the boar did not know how to use the zipper and your brand-new lightweight tent has a big hole (happened to our tent-neighbour in Korsika/ GR 20). If your rain jacket/rain cover has a small tear or if you simply want to mark the gas cartridge you're using at the moment – duct tape always comes in handy. What is absolutely not handy about this super duct tape is that it usually comes in a very big size or is ridiculously expensive in smaller sizes. Our tip is to wrap a few metres around a plastic container you will take on your trip anyway - for instance a small bottle of mosquito repellent or sunscreen. Yes, we have also tried to save money but don’t go for the cheap option, buy the quality product!
2. A SEWING KIT KEEPS YOU HAPPY
It can always happen: Even if you start checking all your equipment, buying new things and planning every detail months before your trip - you may miss taking a glance at your all-time favourite trekking pants. After the first few days you’ll have your surprise. This happened to me at one of our adventures in the Pyrenees. I had to sit down almost every evening sewing my shorts (I counted 28 stitchings in the end)!
I use the sewing kit on almost all of our longer trips and even if I don’t need it myself, we usually meet someone on the track who is really happy about it. Especially when you’re trekking a lot and not all your stuff is brand new, there is always this one thing that will fall apart – a hole in your tents mosquito-net, the obligatory hole in your merino wool shirt or a tear in your sleeping bag. We even sewed a backpack once. Oh, and don’t forget to practice before! ;)
3. SELF-ADHESIVE PLASTER TAPE AKA WONDER TAPE
We just recently discovered this one, because it was a gift to us before our big trip to Nepal from our PE teacher-neighbours. What can we say - it truly saved our trip! When hiking up and down these beautiful mountains for hours and hours, it's perfect to prevent your hard-working feet from blisters. No breaking news to you, I’m sure, but we never came across any better tape than this one. Besides blister prevention you can also use it to cover up small cuts on your fingers or toes or safeguard your nail scissors etc. The best about it: Its self-adhesive and it doesn’t stick to your skin/the wound. From our experience, we can tell that it lasts up to a week on your toe/finger. Perfect for longer trips. Big recommendation!
4. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE VIEW! MICROFIBRE GLASS-POLISHING CLOTH
This brilliant idea comes from our friend Marianne (who also took that picture). Just buy two microfibre glass-polishing cloths at your local discounter, sew them together and - voilá - here comes your brand new travel towel, which is the perfect tool to clean your glasses/sunglasses/camera lenses at the same time! It will only cost you about 5 Euros, far less than the fancy travel towels you can buy in any outdoor shop. I know that many people don't like the feeling of that material on their skin, but especially for hikers who wear glasses this really is eye-opening.
5. LAST BUT NOT LEAST - THE FABULOUS COUPLER-KIT
This is maybe more a tip for couples. We, of course, don’t only love mountains, but also enjoy the romantic part of trekking: spending cold nights close together after sweaty days of climbing mountains and days without the possibility to take a proper shower. Haha. But seriously, this will make your nights much more comfortable. Inflatable mattresses are comfy and a good night’s sleep is great. But everyone using this kind of mattress also knows that they are not very romantic: two mattresses tend to move apart during the night, leaving a big uncomfortable gap in the middle. The coupler kit combines two mattresses to one big one and despite the fact that Lukas is counting every gram we are taking with us, this one always has a place in our backpack. We bought it together with our mattresses, but you can also make your own with Velcro (which would be the “real” life hack-solution).