Coach Jacq's Hiking Must-Have Is Heavy But 'Worth It'

By Sophia Hatzis | Digital Content Producer

When you're packing for a multi-day hike or a week-long adventure, it's easy to go overboard on the packing front. Trek Training coach Jacq Conway has been a Wild Woman for 13 years and even she's still perfecting her packing skills. Along with her usual hiking staples of salty snacks and a first-aid kit, there's one item she swears by for longer adventures.

When you've been hiking all day and it's time to sit down by the fire for dinner, this item is worth it's weight in gold. 

What hiking gear are you loving most right now?

My Helinox Camp Chair One. I don't use this on every hike, but on those multi-day treks there's nothing better than having a proper seat to plonk my butt on and soak up the evening sunset and vibes! It's worth every bit of the extra 800g in the pack. It's pure luxury. The guides on our recent Jatbula Trail thought we were all a little crazy for carrying them, but they were soon eyeing them off with jealousy at dinnertime. 

If the Helinox Chair One is out of your price range, or you really can't manage the weight, you can keep your bum dry and comfy with one of these ultralight camping mats.

What’s the key to an epic adventure?

The team you are with! A team of like-minded, focused, fit, and fun group of girls is the ticket to getting the most out a walk. When everyone achieves together, the joy is multiplied ten-fold! 

What are five things you always have in your backpack when hiking?

Lip balm, first-aid kit, water, phone for taking photos, and a salty snack like tamari almonds. Yum! 

What’s the most common hiking mistake you see?

The most common hiking mistake is overpacking. There's an art to packing light and it takes practice and experience. I’m yet to perfect it myself but the easiest way is to go on a “big-pack” trek and you’ll soon work out if that massive toiletry bag is worth carrying! Trekking certainly gets things back to the basics. Survival items like food, water, and shelter come first. Then, and only then, add some little luxuries if you can squeeze them in.

What's the best hiking advice you've ever been given?

Remember to take time out to enjoy special moments by yourself on your trek. It’s fun hanging out with a team, but your 'own moments' are super special. It's your time to free your head, reflect on the beauty of Mother Nature, and recharge your batteries. All the other stuff back home will probably be there when you return so make the most of your trek, which you have trained hard for and made time for, in the busy lives that we all lead!

Feel like joining us in the wild? Find your next adventure now.

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