We’ve talked before about how packing light can enable spontaneous adventure when traveling. One perfect example is hiking. In Australia and New Zealand we think of hiking (or tramping for you Kiwis) as trudging through the bush and camping under the stars. But in many parts of the world hiking is a more civilized affair. There’s some amazing multi-day walks in Europe and Asia that follow country trails between small towns, historic cities and offer some amazing outdoor scenery. They’re all accessible without needing a tent or heavy duty hiking boots and can make for the perfect adventure when traveling light. A few of the more famous examples include the:
- Camino de Santiago, an epic 900km pilgrims trail in Spain
- Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail in the UK
- Lycian Way in Turkey
- Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage in Japan
- Annapurna circuit in Nepal
- Inca Trail in Peru
These walks can all be done with minimal preparation and a decent level of fitness. In most cases the walks pass through villages meaning that hotels or hostels are available for accommodation. Of course packing light is essential. The last thing that anyone needs on a long walk is to lug around kilo’s of extra weight. Indeed, 7kgs is right about the perfect weight (excluding food and water) that should be carried on a long distance hike. As nights are spent in hotels, home-stays or hostels, carrying a tent is unnecessary. Even for a long walk like the Camino the packing list won’t be too different from an ordinary trip. The mantra of “less is best” still applies. Just pack a few extra bandages and blister ointments.