One of the wonders of today’s camping and backpacking world is the advancement of light, sturdy, well-built backpack tents. These tents make your grandpa want to reach across the table and smack you silly because in his day, he had to pack a heavy-duty-canvas backpacker tent, which wouldn’t have been much of a problem except that every other guy had to carry their own tent, carry food, and carry supplies as well or go through the trouble of bringing a horse.
Today’s spoiled (I prefer advanced) hikers have the advantage of very well-built backpack tents, yet it still may be wise to bring a bit heavier tent. Does this mean we should all throw away the old Eurekas and Keltys in favor of a tarp? Of course not. It means we should learn to group hike smarter instead of just lighter.
A typical 1-person, ultra-light, 3-season tent weighs anywhere from 2.5 to 4 pounds. A typical 3-4 person tent can be around 6 pounds. It may seem outrageous to lug around a big old backpacker tent like that, but what if you actually were lugging that tent around for 4 people? That means you would be carrying around a tent for between 1.5 – 3 times the weight for 4 times the use. This also means one of your hiking partners wouldn’t have to worry about the shelter and could carry extra food. I like to call this hiker’s outsourcing.
While it may seem like this is common sense, why do so many group hikers not use group-size backpack tents? Recently, I went hiking in the Wind River Mountains in Western Wyoming with a cousin and a buddy. We agreed to use hiker’s outsourcing with the major shared items we would be using. I hauled a 3-person tent. My cousin hauled the cooking equipment, and my buddy hauled our navigation equipment and the bulk of the food. Halfway through the first day of our hike, our buddy was acting very fatigued, more than usual. We couldn’t figure out why until that night when he revealed that he wouldn’t be staying in the tent, but brought a camper’s hammock. We decided to alleviate his fatigue by spreading some of the weight around which slowed all of us down.
What a waste of effort. Just because you are trying to hike as light as possible doesn’t mean you have to go and buy the lightest tent on the planet. Using hiker’s outsourcing by using a larger backpacker tent will save a lot of pain and allows you to experience the fun of group backpacking. I don’t think my buddy will be carrying extra, unneeded weight in our future backpacking trips.
Wherever you are going to travel, you should bring flameless lighter in anticipation of an emergency, besides that lighter is also very necessary under any circumstances. Given its simple but elegant and easy to carry shape, it is a futuristic lighter without gas.
Backpack tents have evolved and improved so much over the years, that many have forgotten the benefits of using a little bit larger tent to accommodate a group and lightening the overall load. See how using hiker’s outsourcing can benefit you on your next hiking trip.