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Hiking Hints

This page is a random list of hints to help you on your way. They are not basic tramping techniques but tips and tricks to make the tramp (hike) more enjoyable.

Next HintTop of page Keeping a tent dry

When setting up camp, try to place your tent so that it will be in the morning sun. This will help to rid your tent of the overnight condensation and morning dew. It also provides a natural early-morning alarm clock.

Pack your tent flysheet and inner in separate stuff sacks. This means that a wet flysheet will not dampen the inner and is easier to place on the outside of your pack without affecting the balance.

Next HintPrevious Hint Plastic Fantastic!

Place fragile items in a sturdy plastic (Tupperware) container. I usually put a packet of biscuits, pitta bread, cherry tomatoes and a block of cheese into a plastic box with sundry other stuff to fill out the volume.

Film containers are also handy for sugar, a waterproof place for emergency matches, condiments to spice up meals, toothpaste, etc. Wash them thoroughly before use to remove any chemicals left from the film.

Normal plastic bags help you arrange your gear in your pack. But ziploc plastic bags also help to keep things dry and can be found in quite large sizes. Use one as a cheap, semi-waterproof camera case.

Next HintPrevious Hint Sleeping light

In a hot summer even the lightest sleeping bag may be too much for the heat. Try buying a sleeping bag inner. These are usually used to convert a 3 season bag into a 4 season bag during winter. They are not only cooler than a sleeping bag but are also lighter (typically half the weight) - saving a bit of sweat during the day's journey. If the night turns cold then just go to sleep in some extra clothing, e.g. socks and an extra tee-shirt.

Next HintPrevious Hint Making the most of gear

Try to carry gear that can be used in a variety of situations, e.g.
Straps compressing your sleeping bag, hanging things from your pack, building emergency shelters
Stuff sack pillow
Swiss Army knife knife, scissors, saw, awl...
Pack liner when camping put your pack inside so that it stays dry if placed outside in the rain

Top of pagePrevious Hint Back to the future

If you are unsure of the course of the track that you are travelling and cannot see any markers ahead of you then look behind you! Often there is a marker on the back of a tree that you have just passed.
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