Over a rural rail crossing on the trail from Lyon to Le-Puy, France 2009
Over a rural rail crossing on the trail from Lyon to Le-Puy, France 2009.

Making Light ~ Sharing the Load

It’s nice to have a friend…

I’ve started planning a long walk for 2011, probably through France. This time, I’ll be joined by my wife for part of the walk. Until now, I’ve always walked solo, so I’ve been looking at ways we can share our total load and still have everything we need.

Other than clothes, personal medications and some toiletries, it turns out that a lot of the gear can easily be shared. Of course, we’ll probably choose to each take a camera, but quite a bit can be left behind by one or the other of us. Here are some examples of things that might be shared by two people walking together on the grande randonnĂ©e trails of France, and the caminos of Spain:

  • Battery charger (If you use the same type of batteries.)
  • Cell phone
  • Guide books
  • Knife
  • Maps
  • Razor handle
  • Scissors
  • Stuff sacks
  • Tripod

Other items, many of them common expendables, can be at least partially shared. Since many supplies are for emergencies, insurance or other contingencies, you might choose to carry more for two than you would for yourself alone, but you may not need twice as much for supplies like these:

  • Blister kit
  • Duct tape!
  • First Aid kit
  • Non-prescription medical kit
  • Repair kit
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, floss, soap, etc.)

I took a look at my 2009 pack list, and quickly found over 1,100 grams (30 ounces, nearly 2.5 pounds!) of gear and supplies that I could potentially share with a companion. If each of us split that load it would reduce our individual pack weights by a pound and a quarter. My knees are feeling better already!

And just think if you’re one of those intrepid, socially advanced group walkers, who could possibly share between 3, or, 5, or 10! Wow…!

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