10 Hiking Hacks
to make your Hike Better!
Hiking hacks can go a long way to make your hike better. Hiking hacks are little tricks to make hiking easier for you to focus on enjoyment of the hike. Most hiking hacks we tend to learn on our own – I know I have over the years. However, some of the hiking hacks that we do learn can really benefit other outdoorsy people and make their hiking experience a lot better. The hiking community is an awesome community that really tries to help one and other. I hope you enjoy these 10 hiking hacks and please leave a comment below telling me other hiking hacks that you have discovered.
Hiking Hacks #1 – Duct Tape
Duct tape is among those hiking hacks that can really make a difference during your hike. Duct tape can be used to pull tiny seed ticks from your skin. Duct tape can be used to cover a blister on your foot. You can repair gear and tents with duct tape. Duct tape truly is a really great invention. However, carrying a roll of duct tape in your hiking pack can be a pain because you’re probably not going to use it all. Make life easier by wrapping duct tape around your drink container, hiking stick and even your lighter. Then you can peel it off and use the amount you need if the moment ever comes up. Talk about a light way to pack around some duct tape.
Hiking Hacks #2 – Trekking Pole Tent Pole
Your trekking poles can be hiking hacks without you actually knowing it. One of your tent poles breaks and that trekking pole can be a good replacement even if your tent isn’t as high as you want it to be. If you just day hike and carry an oversized poncho for those flash rain events, you can use your trekking pole to turn that poncho into a makeshift shelter in an emergency situation or in case you want to do some ultra-lightweight camping. One trekking pole can really go a long way but two of them can go even further. You might consider spending some money on some good carbon fiber trekking poles to help ensure they are lightweight.
Hiking Hacks #3 – Waterproof Spray
Invest in some waterproofing spray for your gear and footwear. I try to buy waterproof gear and footwear but when I spray some waterproofing spray, it just makes it even more waterproof and it tends last a little longer. Waterproofing spray can be useful for a number of things including your rain jacket, your footwear, your backpack, your tent rain-fly, your emergency poncho (see hack #2) and any cases that you’re carrying gear in to not get wet. Waterproofing spray is just extra protection for your outwear, gear and footwear.
Hiking Hacks #4 – Drier Lint
The next time your drier produces lint – don’t toss it in the trash. Put it in a waterproof container or bag and toss it into your backpack. Home insurance companies always recommend you free an area of drier lint in case of a spark or open flame. That lint is highly flammable. That is a good thing for us hikers. If we need to build a fire quickly or if conditions are wet, drier lint can help us accomplish our fire management needs. And drier link is super lightweight so you can pack as much as you want to take with you.
Hiking Hacks #5 – Garbage Bag Liner
Take a large garbage bag and line the bigger space area of your backpack before loading up your gear in that space. The garbage bag will serve as extra waterproofing and protective material for your gear. Garbage bags are also extremely lightweight, and you shouldn’t ever really notice it. As a plus, if you want to help clean up trash you see while hiking, you’ll have a garbage bag with you – A huge thank you to you if you help clean up trash out there.
Hiking Hacks #6 – Sleep in the Wind
Mosquitoes can be an issue for hikers especially when they congregate around your tent. Trying to sleep with mosquitoes or fighting them off all night will ruin a backpacking trip for sure. However, there is a hack for this as long as there is a breeze. When setting up your tent, set it up facing the wind as mosquitoes tend to avoid congregating in the wind because its hard for them. Don’t forget to pack insect repellent though in case the wind is not enough. I’ve heard Skin So Soft is a good alternative which can be purchased at Avon. I’ve also had good luck with Lemon Grass as an alternative to DEET.
Hiking Hacks #7 – Layering
Layering is one of those hiking hacks that not too many people have been able to master. However, layering is very easy. We layer to stay warm! Follow this 3-step layering system and each colder hiker you take shouldn’t be so miserable. 1) Base layering – your base layers (underwear) should be next-to-skin moisture wicking materials such as compression shirts and running tights. 2) The next layer is your insulation gear such as hiking shirts and hoodies and hiking pants. 3) The third layer is the outer protective layer which includes hats, scarfs, face coverings, puffy coats, raincoats, etc. Focus on that layering system and your hike should be crispy warm while allowing you to shed layers if need be.
Hiking Hacks #8 – Supply Stashing
Stashing supplies along your route is going to be a lifesaver if you are able to do it. For example, there is a road that your trail crosses and you can drive to the trail and stash some water – this might make life a lot easier. This can’t always happen but if you are able to, this can really make your hiking experience a lot better. But please make sure you retrieve whatever you stash and always leave no trace and make sure you leave an area better than you found it.
Hiking Hacks #9 – Spare Clothes
Pack an extra outfit in your car so that when you get done, you can get into some new clothes. If you’re like me, then you’re covered in sweat, spider webs and dirt after a long day hike. Having a change of dry and clean clothes is really a lifesaver. My girlfriend has also been bringing a small cooler of ice and drinks for when we get back from hot hikes as well and that has really made a difference.
Hiking Hacks #10 – Pillbox Spice Rack
You have one of those Monday-Sunday pillboxes? If not, you can buy one very cheap and they don’t weigh very much at all. If you cook a meal while you hike or backpack and want spices – the pillbox is your perfect spice rack. You have seven containers to add spices to. Each container has its own lid. Each contain if big enough to get your fingers in there for a pinch of spice. It is really a great way to carry the ingredients to ensure what you cook is going to be absolutely tasty.
Well that is it for my 10 hiking hacks to make your hike better! I hope you enjoy reading about these hiking hacks. Please comment with your hacks below and share this article on social media if you’d to see more articles like this one. Find Hiking with Shawn on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more articles, videos, photos and other exclusive resources. Consider supporting me buy snagging an Official Hiking with Shawn t-shirt from my Online Merch Shop. Thanks again for reading another one of my hiking articles and until next time, I’ll see you on the trail!
Shawn J. Gossman
Shawn is the founder and host of the YouTube Channel, Hiking with Shawn as well as Hiking with Shawn LLC. Shawn hikes, backpacks and visits various forested areas in the Shawnee National Forest, local state parks and other areas promoting outdoor recreational activities to obtain video to show to locals and non-locals alike. Please support Shawn’s efforts by sharing this post and leaving a comment below.