Three Items To Help Make Hiking and Camping More Enjoyable
Kevin Felts 05.23.18
Regardless if someone is counting ounces, there are three pieces of gear which can be justified for a lot of people. These are comfort items which could help make the trip more enjoyable.
There is an old saying which goes something like this: “Ounces equals pounds, and pounds equals pain.” With that term in mind, a lot of people look for ways to reduce pack weight. I have heard of backpackers cutting tooth brushes in half, using only the most ultralight gear, and weighing every item going in the pack.
However, with the weight also goes some of the comfort. So here are three of my favorite items to help making hiking or camping trips more enjoyable.
While a sleeping pad and sleeping bag are nice, a hammock provides a level of comfort which is difficult to deny. There is something about laying in a hammock in the middle of the woods, with nothing but the sounds of birds and wind to keep you company.
There have been several times when I stopped for a rest break, strung up a hammock, took a short nap, then continued on my way. On one such trip my nephew, my son and I strung our hammocks up next to a swimming hole in the middle of nowhere.
Getting off the ground and taking a nap make the whole trip more enjoyable.
This would apply to a camping trip that than a day hike. A nice small pillow can make a world of difference on a camping trip.
For more than a decade my pillow was a spare pair of pants stuffed inside a shirt. The older I got the more uncomfortable the pants and shirt became. Eventually I caved and bought a small pillow that is around 12 inches across. Just that one little item made a world of difference.
In an effort to reduce my pack weight the size of the cook pot was reduced. The current pot is a 550ml Toaks pot, which is too small. It is too small to cook a bag of ramen noodles. All the pot is large enough to do is boil water for freeze dried meals. Even for boiling 12 ounces of water the pot is a little small.
To be able to cook noodles, and other items, the 550ml pot is being upgraded to a 750ml pot.
Besides cooking larger meals, the cook pot provides a physiological aspect of knowing someone can cook enough food to satisfy a hungry appetite.
There is a line when we cut so many items from the pack the trip quality starts to go down. Take my mesh hammock for example; it is around 24 years old and weighs just 8.7 ounces. The parachute hammock weighs 1 pound and 1.2 ounces.
I can justify 8.7 ounces on a day long hike. Being able to stop for a rest break, get off the ground, cook a good meal, and take a nap would greatly increase the overall trip.
Question to the reader – what are some of the times you simply can not leave home without?