The weight of your hiking backpack should be around a fifth of your weight. If you weigh 160 pounds, your luggage should be 35 pounds on the high end.
But how can you achieve that when you have too much to carry?
Enter multi-functional products.
Multi-functional hiking products are a good option if you want to reduce your backpack's weight.
But what are some examples of these multi-functional products?
We cover that in this article. In today's post, we discuss nine multi-functional items you should carry on your next hiking trip.
Let's dive in.
The Nine Best Multi-Functional Hiking Items
#1. Packing Cubes
With food, personal effects, gadgets, and cords all in one bag, how do you trace any item in your bag?
Here's where packing cubes come in.
As a hiking enthusiast, packing cubes should be a must-have. These bags help you to arrange your backpack neatly, making it easy to find items when you need them.
Bet you're wondering, "How's this a multi-functional item?"
Other than helping you arrange your backpack, packing cubes can also be used as a makeshift dresser. This is especially important if you travel most of the time and only stay in one place for a short period.
If you're a packing minimalist, these bags could also come in handy.
A list of multi-functional products wouldn't be complete without the mention of multi-tools.
Multi-tools combine several different functions into one product. Some of the best hiking multi-tools come with a knife, screwdriver, bottle opener, wrench, removable bit carrier, among other tools.
With such a tool, you don't have to carry all these items.
However, it's important to note that a multi-tool doesn't replace a single tool's functionality. For example, a multi-tool knife could never perform at the same effectiveness as a hiking knife.
#3. Solar-Powered Multi-charger
Solar power is revolutionizing almost every industry, and hiking is no exception. You can use solar-powered chargers to charge your phone, GPS device, headlamp, to name but some.
Apart from that, this device also comes with a flashlight which you can use to light your path or chase away wild animals.
Unlike power banks, you only need sunlight to recharge your gadgets.
#4. Consider Multi-functional Apparel
Reversible and convertible apparel will help you to pack fewer items but still have enough for the hike.
You can have one change of cloth but wearable in different forms.
An example of such apparel is the Northbound 2-in-1' Zip-Off' Waterproof Cargo Pants. These pants have a zip-off for conversion into a short, depending on your hiking trail.
The pants also come in a water-resistant fabric that doesn't compromise breathability. What else could you ask for? You have a short and a pant all in one for different weather conditions.
There are also ladies’ apparels which are convertible into beddings.
#5. Expandable Backpacks
Do you have several backpacks for different kinds of trips? You know, a small bag for everyday use, and a larger one for hiking.
This shouldn't be the case.
With an expandable backpack, you don't need to have several bags. This is because these bags can be adjusted to accommodate more luggage.
One such bag is the 'Voyager' Expandable Backpack 26L / 38L. This 16-pocket backpack is great for both everyday use and for your hiking trips.
And that's not all!
This waterproof bag also comes with an inbuilt raincoat meant to keep you dry in case you're caught in a storm. With this bag, you also save on the space you'd have used to pack a raincoat.
#6. Universal Travel Adapter
If you're like most people, you probably don't have a solar-powered multi-charger. If investing in a solar charger isn't an option, consider buying a universal travel adapter.
These adapters come with different plug-in options for multiple devices.
With a universal travel adapter, you don't have to carry several cables and charging heads for all your devices.
#7. Money Belt
If you're like most hikers, you don't like to carry stuff in your pockets. You prefer having everything in your backpack.
However, it's essential to have some of your gear at arm's reach if you need to access it in a hurry and conveniently.
This is where an anti-theft money-belt comes in.
A money belt allows you to stash your passport, credit cards, and cash without cramping your pockets. Other than acting as an alternative pocket, a money belt also helps to fasten your pants.
#8. Pack a Neck Buff
You can hold this apparel in your palm, but its uses are immense. From shielding your neck and head from cold or dust to protecting you from harsh sun rays, we can't underestimate it.
It is an excellent alternative to scarves which might take considerable space in your backpack. You can also use it as a head wrap, bandana, or balaclava.
Are you planning your next hiking expedition on a chilly trail? Then a neck gaiter is a must-have hiking item. To learn more about neck buffs and other clothes to wear on a a chilly trail, check out our article on what to wear for cold weather camping.
#9. Bungee Cords
What do you do when some of your essential survival gear doesn't fit in your backpack? Leaving them behind is not an option. However, getting another backpack is also not an option.
Enter bungee cords.
Bungee cords allow you to secure additional gear on your backpack. With bungee cords, you can secure your sleeping bag, helmet, cooking pans, or any clothing that may require clothing.
Reduce Your Load with Multi-Functional Products
You should aim to keep your load to at least 20% of your body weight when hiking.
With the above multi-functional products, achieving such weight shouldn't be impossible.
Which of these products will you add to your hiking gear? Tell us in the comments below. If you know of any other multi-functional hiking products, please share them in the comments below.
And if you need to purchase a multi-functional bag or apparel, you can check our online store here.
Until then, happy hiking.
Onwards and Upwards-Your Friends at Northbound Gear.