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6 Lightweight and Practical Tips for Thru-Hiking

We started this company as thru-hikers who wanted to help other thru-hikers. We know a lot about thru-hiking and long-distance backpacking, so we decided to give you our top 6 lightweight and practical tips to consider on your next big hike.

Paul Bodnar       Educational       4/1/2021
Paul Bodnar
Educational
4/1/2021
bow drill

1. Use a bow drill to start a fire

Lighters can run out of fuel… but a bow drill always works if used correctly! 

A handheld portable battery

2. Carry a handheld battery as you hike

Take the weight off your back. Bring a lightweight battery that you can easily carry in your hand as you hike.

A woman wearing a big sun hat

3. Protect yourself from the sun AND the rain

Sun protection is important but it is also important to keep your pack dry from the rain. A large sun hat can do both!

plastic sextant

4. Use a plastic sextant for navigation

The plastic sextant is a reliable, lightweight, and an easy way to navigate that works without electronics. Use the artificial horizon when you’re not near a lake. 

khaki cargo shorts

5. Cargo shorts = worn weight

Wear cargo shorts on your hike so you can load up the pockets to reduce your pack weight and increase your worn weight.

A portable red and black grill
Photo credit for all photos above: Amazon

6. Don’t let the Grill Master inside you fade

A lot of hikers carry small stoves to boil water and cook their food, but if you bring a small grill on your hike, you can have it all! With this grill you can barbecue and boil water at the same time.

April Fools’!

We do not actually recommend any of these tips, unless you really like cargo shorts. Then you ROCK those cargo shorts! 

GIPH CREDIT: GIPHY – CBC

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As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association
A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Download our popular hiking and biking guides!
About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail again in 2010 to do research for his guide book Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the Pacific Crest Trail. Now with the help of a team of great people they have created over 50 guides for trails around the world.