Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#200539 - 03/26/18 05:18 PM Your Best Hacks/Tricks
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I thought it'd be fun to share a few tips and techniques that have really made things easier for me and see what other tricks people have come up with over the years.
  • Ditch the syringe and tube that comes with the Sawyer Mini, along with whatever you carry it in, and use a Smartwater flip-top cap on the top of your clean bottle to back-flush your filter instead. I learned this one from Youtube.
  • Forget about carrying a wind jacket; just use your rain jacket instead. This one I learned from an article or forum too long ago to remember where exactly.
  • If you hike in trail runners, instead of carrying separate camp shoes, just change into your dry socks and cover them with roasting bags before you put your shoes back on to keep the socks dry. I got this tip from a fellow member of this forum (thanks BrianLe!).

What about you? What are your not-so-obvious time, space, weight, and convenience enhancing tricks?


Edited by 4evrplan (03/27/18 08:12 PM)

Top
#200567 - 03/27/18 10:14 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: 4evrplan]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 391
I once used my spare underwear for a hat to keep my head warm on an unexpectedly cold trip. My 12 year old niece, who was backpacking with me, was not too impressed however. "Oh gross!" I think she said. Of course she is the same backpacking buddy who came up with the idea of using her hair for floss some years later.

Top
#200568 - 03/27/18 10:45 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: bobito9]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 391
...I also use my down vest as a pillow, my pack towel (when I bring it) as a scarf, socks for mittens. Plus I have a fleece lined stuff sack that doubles as a pillow case and a pretty warm thermal cap...though I admit it's a heavy stuff sack and a very goofy looking cap.

Top
#200572 - 03/28/18 09:40 AM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: bobito9]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By bobito9
...Of course she is the same backpacking buddy who came up with the idea of using her hair for floss some years later.
laugh

Top
#200579 - 03/28/18 03:30 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Consider using dental floss for repair thread. It's a lot stronger than thread (or hair)! Just make sure you take a needle with a large enough eye.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#200581 - 03/28/18 04:36 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: bobito9]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
I think I would ditch the spare underware and always take a fleece hat - the weight is about the same. Never understood the need for spare underware-I simply go without when I wash my underware. My husband goes totally "natural", thus saving the weight of underware altogether!

Just think of double duty for every item. Since I usually take a dip at the end of each hiking day, and wash my hiking shirt anyway, I simply dip first, and then use the shirt for a towel before I rinse it off.

Think hard- do I really need that? I used to alawys carry a compass. After years of never needing it I simply quite taking it. GPS? - no I just do maps. Maps? - if I am really familar with the area I go without. Headlamp? Leave it home mid summer when there is more daylight than I can effectively use anyway and do not take it when there is a full moon. TP- I have cut this in half by using a "pee rag" (mine is a baby washcloth). Frying pan? Unless I am cooking fish every night I just fry fish in my 1-qt titanium pot. Electronics?- just say no. Group gear? If going with a group or someone else, bring one stove, share what you can in emergency gear. Down sweater? A luxury item (not a 100% insulating layer because if it gets wet is is worthless). Sometimes do not take it and simply hop into my sleeping bag early if it is cold. "Extra" anything? just be careful not to lose anything and only take gear that is in good shape to begin with.

I limit non-essential stuff to one pound. Sometimes that means taking fishing gear, but not the down sweater; or the thicker sleeping pad instead of fishing gear; or camp shoes instead of a book.

Top
#200583 - 03/28/18 06:07 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: 4evrplan]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 901
Loc: Torrance, CA

  • if you are boiling the water for dinner, you don't need to treat it first
  • just use a bit of gravel to scrub out your dirty dishes and leave the cleaning stuff at home
  • If you find the night time temperatures dipping lower than expected, pour hot water in your water bottle, seal it tightly and throw it in your sleeping bag with you
  • replace your book, reference material, camera, gps with a smart phone

Top
#200589 - 03/28/18 07:50 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: BZH]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6518
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
After trying to learn how to use a smart phone, I gave up. The dumber, the better!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#200603 - 03/29/18 03:17 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: 4evrplan]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 37
Loc: Lakewood, CO
I like to carry either a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman Squirt in my pocket because I'm always using them for little tasks. So, to keep them from falling out when I sit down, I add one of those ubiquitous accessory carabiners to the key ring and hook it inside the edge of my pocket.

A secondary advantage is that it carries vertically in my pocket, which keeps it from turning sideways and pressing into my leg or potentially wearing a hole in the lining --another way to lose your knife.

When I want to use the knife, I just rotate it out over the top hooked portion and completely off of the carabiner. Or in the case of the Squirt, I leave the carabiner on and use that as additional handle space.

Top
#200604 - 03/29/18 09:10 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1510
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I’d rather hike with a smart hiker with a dumb phone, than a dumb hiker with a smart phone. smile

Top
#200605 - 03/29/18 11:44 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: DustinV]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I miss my squirt. I misplaced it along with the first aid kit it was a part of.

Top
#200606 - 03/29/18 11:46 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I’d rather hike with a smart hiker with a dumb phone, than a dumb hiker with a smart phone. smile
I probably fall into the latter category. laugh

Top
#200659 - 04/03/18 02:54 AM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: 4evrplan]
Bill Kennedy Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/18
Posts: 99
Loc: Portland, Oregon
If you use a water filter with a hose at the outlet, like a Pur (I mean Katahdin) Hiker, slip a small binder clip over the end of the hose and clamp it to the lip of the bottle you're filling to prevent the hose from slipping out. Patent pending smile
_________________________
There are two kinds of people: people who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

Top
#200665 - 04/03/18 09:11 AM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: Bill Kennedy]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I like it!

To be fair to everyone, I like a lot of these tips!

Top
#200666 - 04/03/18 09:17 AM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: wandering_daisy]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
...I used to alawys carry a compass. After years of never needing it I simply quite taking it. GPS? - no I just do maps. Maps? - if I am really familar with the area I go without. Headlamp? Leave it home mid summer when there is more daylight than I can effectively use anyway and do not take it when there is a full moon...

I'm impressed how many of even the "essentials" you can comfortably do without in the right situation. I wouldn't recommend that to a beginner, but knowing what and when to ditch something comes with experience, and I know you have it.

Top
#200724 - 04/12/18 12:54 AM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Most of my best tips I got here.

I use a piece of "Bubble Foil" under my sleeping pad and folded up as a seat pad and back rest when sitting.

That's really the best multi-use hack for lightweight gear I can say I've came up with. It provides both protection and additional warmth for a sleeping pad and makes a great sitting pad that keeps your buns and back warm and comfy. I also used it under my bag in my hammock in some pretty cold weather and it worked great. I'd say probably better than a down quilt. I can't say for sure, but I did test it with and without it and the difference was amazing. It's not enough padding for me to ditch the sleeping pad, but it might be for some.

_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#201130 - 06/07/18 02:02 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: billstephenson]
SQWIB Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Not really a hack but how I carry my Filter setup.






It dont look like much but there is a scoop at the bottom of the smart water bottle from a 1 liter soda bottle.
The piece of innertube holds a few Aqua Mira Tablets and doubles as a firestarter (trim off a bit)
My fresh water bottle has a sports cap that can be used to back-flush the sawyer mini.

Top
#201131 - 06/07/18 02:06 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: SQWIB]
SQWIB Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 25
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
For hydrating on the trail I have a water bottle holder from zimmerbuilt, a sports cap with a silicone food grade hose inserted.
I also keep propel in another zimmerbuilt pouch on the other side or in my hip belt pouches.


Top
#201143 - 06/08/18 02:48 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: SQWIB]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 717
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Clever setup.

Top
#201203 - 06/17/18 04:06 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: Glenn Roberts]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
8-)

I imagine the smart hiker with a dumb phone is harder to find than a dumb hiker with a smart phone...

Top
#201204 - 06/17/18 08:23 PM Re: Your Best Hacks/Tricks [Re: CamperMom]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1510
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Of course, there’s probably less chance the smart hiker will need to be found... wink

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
DWR and Trail Runners
by Bill Kennedy
07/01/18 03:19 AM
Montrail hiking shoe replacement???
by Keith
06/30/18 11:11 PM
Help neede with clothing
by SQWIB
06/07/18 01:41 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
Maximizers vs Sufficers in backpacking
by Pika
06/29/18 12:34 PM
Alice Pak
by Capt hook
06/21/18 01:13 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
drying socks while hiking
by AtlantaBill
06/28/18 03:28 PM
Quilt question
by PaHiker
06/28/18 12:14 PM
New Pack Finished
by Bill Kennedy
06/27/18 05:39 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
2 registered (), 108 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
CWalkerNC, Nadini, itsBella, AHeff, Sharbear
12600 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum