The mountains of Santa Barbara offer miles of trail to explore, but if you’re the average outdoor enthusiast cramming trips in between work and spending time with the family you probably only have a limited amount of time. How do you make the most out of this time? Travel light.
The lighter your pack is the more miles you can cover and the less strain you put on your body when moving over rough terrain. Plus, going light makes picking up your backpack after a lunch break on the trail far more enjoyable. Here are some useful tips for travelling light in the back country.
Carry a small backpack. While that monster 70 liter with the multiple pockets may look awesome, it is far beyond necessary. A smaller 30 or 40 liter pack will suffice for most excursions over an extended weekend, and eliminating those extra pockets will remove the temptation to add unneeded gear.
Tip # 2
Cut down on clothing. Only pack one base layer, one mid layer, and one shell layer. The mid layer and shell layer will most likely stay dry in your pack all day long, and if your base layer gets wet you will be amazed at how fast just your body heat can dry it off. Also, with Santa Barbara’s mild climate a mid layer and a shell layer combined will work just as well as a single heavy jacket to keep you warm, but will pack easier and typically weigh far less.
Pack items that have multiple uses. A nalgene can not only carry your water during the day, but can hold that hot drink at night as well. Also, a tea bag can both provide you with delicious refreshment and be used as your kitchen scrubber to clean off that cooking gear.
Consider leaving the tent at home. Unless you are trying to avoid bugs or are expecting heavy rains the warm climate around Santa Barbara often eliminates the need for a tent. I tend to take a single tarp with me in the summer months. The tarp will keep any equipment clean and if there is a slight drizzle of rain in the night can be folded over a sleeping bag to keep it dry.
Size your supplies according to what you need. The toothpaste tube sitting on the bathroom sink at home can stay just where it is. Most companies provide travel size products that are perfect for short trips. Similarly, if there is food that gets packed out at the end of the trip, then too much food was packed in at the beginning. Only pack what you will need.