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How to: Use your rainponcho as a tarp

Multi-purpose is a great thing for ultralightweight backpacking. Using your rainponcho to cover yourself and your backpack during the day from rain, and using the same rainponcho to protect yourself from wind, fog, moist, rain etc. during the night saves a lot of weight.

Here I anchored it on a tree, but trekking poles or just a stick can be used as well. But the tree is the more steady option.

I have a guyline on each side to lift them up so air wont get trapped if the wind direction changes a little.

The rainponcho leaves plenty of space with this setup to keep your backpack and shoes dry too.

Here is the gear I used:


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Multipurpose: Olive Oil & Apple Cider Vinagre

Ultralight Backpacking has more things to it than just getting light gear. One of them is finding stuff with more purposes. Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinagre is some of them. I choose to put them in 33 cl and 25 cl water bottles because they are smaller and more leakproof than their original containers.

Here is a list of some of the purposes these two things can have …

Apple Cider Vinagre:
– Washing and conditioning hair and beard
– Body wash
– Washing clothes (wool, have not tried cotton and synthetics)
– Cooking
– Lowering blood sugar before going to bed
– Removing odour from shoes and feet

Olive Oil:
– Cooking
– Skin moisturising and cleaning
– Hair and beard pre-wash conditioning
– Softens hard or cracked skin on your feet

…so depending on what you have in your backpack, you can make a calculation on how much you can save and how many grams you can save by using this af multipurpose products.

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Why sandals are great for thru-hikes

Most people don’t really think about walking in sandals for thru-hikes. Except for walking in very wet or very cold conditions or you plan to climb …sandals most of the time prove as a better choice.

Here is what you get:

  • No blisters
  • No swollen feet
  • No moist feet
  • No inflammations caused by too narrow shoes
  • Less energy needed to move
  • Less weight (about 2 kilos)

Most people do not get any blisters in sandals. Blisters come from a combination of friction, moist and heat. In sandals all that is reduced to a minimum.

Furthermore sandals are a lot lighter and easier to move and you use a lot less energy.

You save weight …about 2 kilo compared to walking boots. In summer conditions with low expectations of rain you can even go without rain pants and gaitors if you are using a rainponcho to keep your torso, backpack and shorts dry.

The best sandals I’ve come across is Ecco Offroad and Teva Terra Fi Lite Leather.

Ecco Offroad is definitely the most comfortable and durable sandal I’ve come across with no comparison. Teva Terra Fi Lite Leather is Teva’s model that comes closest, without being too heavy or bulky.

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How to make: Cowboy Coffee

Great tasting coffee in the morning, during a picnic or at any other time is bliss for most people and giving you the energy to get up and do those extra miles.

Cowboy Coffee is probably one of the oldest ways of making coffee and very simple and requires very little equipment.

You only need a pot to boil water in, water and ground coffee. That’s all …no filters, machines, french press equipment etc. And that is the best way to save weight …to do without a lot of stuff.

Fill the boiling pot up half with water, make a steady boil and fill in the coffee ground. Beware it will create a lot of foam for a bout 30 seconds. Make sure you can take off the boiling pot from the heat as more heat gives more foam. After about 30 seconds the foaming stops and you can take off the boiling pot from the heat and let it rest for another 30 seconds till the coffee grounds settle on the bottom of the boiling pot.

And this great tasting cowboy coffee is ready for being served …,