Over the last year I have been experimenting with reducing the weight of my hiking pack when out on track.

Reading books on ultralight hiking, has left me with some great strategies for doing so.

As a result has made hiking more enjoyable for me. Not only do I have more energy, I can walk further, my body doesn’t feel broken at the end of a big day, meaning I can just enjoy the journey that much more.

Stacked packing system

This stacking method, I discovered on the amazing Darwin Hikes - 35L how to pack walkthrough, is a modular system, that involves stacking components up in a specific sequence.

Some benefits:

  • Dry things stay down the bottom.
  • Easy access to rain jacket, food and tent.
  • The food bag is often the heaviest item. Locating it in the centre of the pack, keeps the pack squared securely on your back.

packing system

Inner pack

  1. Sleeping pad folded up against the back of the pack (great for providing some structure to frameless packs)
  2. A bag liner (garbage bag is best)
  3. Quilt
  4. Clothing
  5. Puffer jacket - at this point seal the bag liner off
  6. Food bag
  7. Tent
  8. Rain jacket


Using a 35L pack, its essential to maximise the outer pockets.

Side pockets

  1. 1L water bottle on bother side (to balance the pack out)
  2. Cold soak container
  3. Snacks
  4. Water filter

Front pocket

  1. Tent stakes
  2. Trowel and toilet paper.
  3. Ditty bag.
  4. Empty 1L platypus bladder.

Cold soak meals

A method for rehydrating meals using just cold water, over a couple of hours. The plus side, not having to carry out a cook system (i.e. weight savings).

Refried beans

Dehdrated refried beans (or Quinoa) Seasoning Corn chips Olive oil

Pinto beans

Dehydrated precooked pinto beans Taco seasoning Corn chips Olive oil

Cous Cous

Couscous Sun flower seeds Pine nuts Raisins Vegetable soup mix Olive oil Curry powder Sun dried tomatoes Tuna packet


Dehydrated vegetables Cous Cous

Oil wrap

Almond butter Dried fruits Tortilla

Potato Bomb

Powdered potatoes Corn chips Summer sausage

Rice Bomb

Knorr rice side (mexican or spanish) Tortilla Corn chips Refried beans


Oatmeal Protein powder Dried fruit Paleo mix


Cereal (ex nutri-grain) Protein powder Dried fruit