> Hillwalk Tours Blog > Hiking Equipment > What NOT to take on a hiking vacation!
POSTED BY August 19, 2021

There are plenty of lists on the internet, including our ultimate hiking packing list with all the necessary items of hiking gear required. What can be just as useful, however, is an anti-packing list: a list of items that should not be taken on your hiking vacation. So, these are our recommendations for what to leave at home when you take your next hiking holiday.

West Highland Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Walking the West Highland Way to Loch Lomond, Scotland

1. Bath towel

A large towel obviously takes up a lot of space, but that is not even the most annoying thing. After using it once, carry the wet rag with you to the next destination is definitely not recommended. Avoid this suffering and don’t take that huge piece of cloth with you on vacation.

Then what? A compact and quick-drying travel towel is perfect for a hiking vacation. Usually these towels are made of microfiber, which makes them absorbent and dry quickly. If booking a hiking tour, towels will be supplied in your B&B or hotel.

2. Books

A bulky travel guide or a heavy novel: books quickly contribute to the weight you have to carry while walking. While it is wonderful to be able to read after a long day of walking, packing three heavy paper bundles is not a good idea.

Then what? Copy some useful pages from a travel guide, download a digital book, or bring one thin book or magazine with you.

Hiking Dingle Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Slea Head, Dingle Way, Ireland

3. Jewellery

It may seem obvious, but many people still habitually wear their precious watch, necklace or earrings when they go on a hike. But what goes on holiday can of course be lost. Moreover, a hiking trip is not the time to worry about the fashion coordination of your outfit.

Then what? A waterproof outdoor watch is a good alternative for those who like to keep an eye on the time.

4. Gadgets

Phone, tablet, laptop, camera with three lenses and of course a separate charger for each piece of electronics: those who love gadgets will immediately recognize the issue here. During a walking holiday we have the opportunity to experience nature up close. Every lens and screen in between makes the experience less memorable.

Try to surrender to the destination and give yourself a digital detox by not taking as many gadgets as possible on holiday at all!

Then what? Try to use a universal charger for the devices that really need to go.

Sycamore Gap on Hadrian's Wall
Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall

5. Jeans

Jeans are the enemy of hikers. Denim fabric dries slowly and is not flexible. In short: this garment is absolutely not suitable for a long hike.

Then what? Choose pants made of soft and quick-drying material, such as nylon or polyester.

Find out more on our What To Wear Hiking – Hiking Clothes Guide.

6. A litre bottle of shampoo or shower gel

A litre of liquid weighs one kilo. Why bring enough shampoo for several months when the trip is only a week?

Then what? Travel packs for shampoo, shower gel, deodorant are a lot smaller and lighter than the bottles that are in your bathroom at home. Only take the things you use almost every day with you. Unless you are traveling to a very remote place, there will always be the option to buy something along the way.

Walkers walking along the Great Glen Way
Hiking along the Caledonian Canal, Great Glen Way

7. Thick sweater

That super warm, thick wool sweater may seem like an essential piece of clothing in hiking gear, but nothing could be further from the truth. Thick sweaters take up much more space than necessary and often turn out not to breathe properly while walking.

Then what? Layers, layers, layers. If you expect it to get cold, bring as many layers of clothing as possible. Two underlayers, an intermediate layer and a fleece sweater together take up about the same space as a thick sweater, but offer many more possibilities!

8. Anything your travel buddy takes with you

Five of us traveling with five bottles of sunscreen – sounds familiar? Those who hike together can travel even lighter by dividing out required hiking equipment.

Then what? Consult with your travel companions in advance and cut back on items that can be used together, such as first aid kits, shower products, cameras and chargers.

Hiking The Kerry Way Hillwalk Tours Ltd.
Hiking The Kerry Way

We hope that you enjoyed this guide to what not to take on a hiking vacation. If you’re interested in finding out more about our range of hiking holidays, just get in touch.