Part 5 of our backpacking feature: A few little luxuries won’t add much to your weight but could add heaps to your enjoyment of a trek.
1) Primus eta lite coffee press £13 primus.se
This “plunger” turns the aluminium pot on your Eta stove into a cafetiere so you can brew a proper coffee to kick start your day. Simple and ingenious.
2) Lifeventure printed trek travel towel £19.99 lifeventure.co.uk
Just because you’re in the depths of the back country doesn’t mean you can forget the basics of human hygiene – especially if you’re trekking with mates! This microfiber towel can absorb nine times its own weight in water and dries eight times faster than a cotton towel, so there’s no excuse for not washing, regardless of how cold the stream.
It’s treated with an antibacterial formula to combat odours.
3) GSI Spice Missile £10.99 rosker.co.uk
If the pun doesn’t make you grin every time you see the Spice Missile, the prospect of three waterproof compartments to carry your salt, pepper and spice should bring a smile to your face.
4) Granger’s Fabsil Gold £17.99, grangers.co.uk
So you’re going camping in the UK. It might rain. So make sure your tent doesn’t leak by giving it a new lease of life with this water repellent designed specifically for fabrics exposed to the environment for longer periods of time.
5) Helinox TL130 Adjustable £139 helinox.eu
A decent pair of walking poles can boost your balance when carrying a heavy rucksack and lift weight off your ankles, hips and knees by sharing the burden with your arms and shoulders. These very light poles (just 360g) fold instantly into three sections, and re-assemble with a locking system similar to the intersections on a tent. The result is a failsafe lock on the lower two joints, while the third joint which shortens or extends the pole from 115cm to 130cm locks super securely with a simple twist.
6) Trek’n Eat chicken and curried rice £6.50 trekneat.com
We enjoyed the flavour of this chicken and curried rice dish, although it proved harder to re-hydrate than expected. Each 200g pouch packs nearly 800kcal, including 28g of protein and 116g of carbs, which makes it a really easy way to restore your energy levels. Just pour in 520mls of boiling water and wait 10 minutes before eating.
7) Terra Nova Titanium Peg, 6 X 2G £16 terra-nova.co.uk
If you really want to minimise the weight of your pack for an adventure race or long distance trek, these tiny tent pegs will shave a few grammes from your load. Just watch you don’t lose the orange painted pegs in yellowing grass. You could halve the weight to 1g pegs, but these are significantly stronger.
8) Light My Fire titanium spork £16 lightmyfire.com
The foon (fork/spoon) and even the kung foon (chopstick plus fork/spoon) are trying to muscle into the camp cutlery drawer, but the Spork remains king, and in titanium it’s light, strong and simple to clean.
9) Exped Airpillow Ultralight £25 exped.com
Whatever combination you try of fleece, down jacket or even socks in a drybag, it will never create the comfort of your pillow at home. This AirPillow is about half the size of a domestic pillow and at 10cm deep offers the chance of a decent night’s kip.