View Full Version : Backpacking with Friends/Partners

02-05-2009, 11:35
So this is something that has been kicking through my head for a while… When you go on a trip with friends how do you break up gear? Do you bring larger cook pots and split food? Do you have one of you carry the stove and the other the fuel? Do you divide the tent and poles? Do you even share a tent?

For me I will break out the larger pot and larger tent when I go with my wife, but normally when I am doing a trip with friends I am under the opinion that to each their own… treat it like a solo hike with company.

So I am not talking about your wives/husbands/signficant others... but other people...

Curious about other people’s opinions.

Lone Wolf
02-05-2009, 11:37
everybody carries their own stuff

02-05-2009, 11:42
When I go with a friend we usually just split everything along the lines of they carry one giant pack the first or longer day and I carry it the other day.

Really though, one person carries the tent fly and poles, the other carries the body and stakes. One person carries the water filter and the carries the stove and cooking pot (mine are equivalent weights). We usually divide the food.

I haven't done the "hiking partner" thing yet but I imagine I'd everyone to carry their own stuff. However when it comes to someone you're friends with, I don't see the point in not splitting things up.

02-05-2009, 11:44
Depends on who...

When I backpack (even on weekends) with many of my friends, we do indeed take our own gear. Many of my backpacking friends in Colorado are also veteran thru-hikers of various trails. (I am going to go out on a limb and say the Front Range of CO has the highest concentration of Triple Crowners anywhere. :) ) As such, we are all used to doing our own thing.

On social backpacks (where there is more camping than hiking), many of my friends split tents and share stoves.

The only time I ever share gear with friends is when I backpack with my buddy Tim. But, I've known him for almost 30 yrs. He even joined me for the last week of both the AT and the PCT. If we can survive Catholic school together, we can split a shelter. :)

So...it all depends. Easier to not share gear, but less weight to share gear. Just make sure it is someone you know well. :) Comes down to personal preference.

(For LD hikes, unless you are in a committed partnership (couple, close friends, etc.) , I would NOT share gear in case one of you bails.


02-05-2009, 11:50
Hike with spouse - share gear.

Hike with hiking partner - carry our own gear.

02-05-2009, 11:55
on a long distance hike carry all your own gear.

02-05-2009, 12:00
When I hike with my dad we share the water filter and stove+cookpot. I end up carrying it them both and he carries a small bottle of bleach for water treatment and a small cookpot that he can put over a fire. This way if for some reason we get seperated we both have all bases covered.

We share some stuff like baking soda for toothpaste since it is a non essential. He has become addicted to sleeping in one of my hammocks so we each carry our own on that as well. Even if he slept on the ground I would not wan't to share a tent with him because he snores, I practice kung fu in my sleep, ect.

02-05-2009, 12:20
Hiking buddy-Tent gets split, one person carries the stove, the other the water filter. That's just with my one hiking buddy. None of that really helps though, because all my solo stuff is lighter vs. the split weights.

Spouse-We split using the tent, stove, and water filter, and I get to carry them.

02-05-2009, 12:29
When hiking with one other, I find it nice to do own breakfast and lunch and to take turns making an evening meal for two--nice to have someone else's cooking sometimes. But gear, yes everybody all their own--it is nice that you have back-up in a sense. Have not done much of it, but have always thought it would be a good opportunity to swap for a day, and try a different pack or tent or stove type. I have never tried a hammock for example, and it would have been nice to try an alcohol stove prior to buying one, etc. Seems like a nice way to gain from hiking with someone else.

02-05-2009, 14:18
Everyone on their own, shelters, food and gear. We sometimes share "food tastings" if they have something that looks/smells interesting. But self supporting is the goal.

02-05-2009, 16:26
Make sure you carry the Jim Beam in case you get seperated. :D

02-05-2009, 16:42
when i go i have everyone carry there own stuff becuase i feel that if we share stuff then the person will take more then they need and make me carry it.

02-05-2009, 18:41
My friend Gypsy and I carry our own stuff. She had the stove in her gear this year as I hadn't ordered mine yet. Next time we go out overnight we'll both have our own stove.

02-05-2009, 19:30
I would say--even when hiking with a spouse--everyone should carry their own SEPARATE shelter system, stove, food, etc.---especially on long distance hikes. (I know some other people will STRONGLY disagree with this). My rationale: There are times when one person will quit the trail or need to take a break from hiking due to an injury or a crisis at home. Yet, they will want the other person to "keep on hiking". Suddenly, the one person has all of this large (heavy) 2-3 person gear (and possibly not even enough pack space to carry it). Furthermore, even persons who are a "couple" will sometimes decide to hike at two different paces during the day and meet at a certain point later in the day. If one of them gets lost, they might suddenly find themselves with no shelter, no cooking items, no food, etc.---because "the other person has it". Finally, if everyone has their own stuff--and some piece of equipment fails--you can possibly share your hiking partner's stove, food, or shelter until the next resupply point. BOTTOM LINE: It is simply safer and wiser for everyone to carry their own stuff--especially on a long distance hike.

02-05-2009, 20:16
One more vote for everyone carrying his or her own stuff.

02-05-2009, 20:29
One more vote for everyone carrying his or her own stuff.


We only split things because we were family.

But I saw several hikers start with a friend and that friend promptly quit a week later.

02-05-2009, 21:54
When our hiking group goes, we split stoves and filters and gas. The sister sets (we have two sets of sisters) split tent and poles and share. The rest of us have our own tents. We also split suppers in groups of dietary preference. Meat eaters fix one and the vegetarians fix one so we split the food up and the food goup plans its menus to work in the ingredients of the other group. For our section, we had a blast planning the menu before we went, usually trying it out at someone's home over beer..ie: Mexican dinner night, International noodle night, It was a fun competition with the vegetarians and we all ended up sharing everything but the meat. We ate really well. One person has the libation duty on an assigned evening. On drink for all. We had everything from airplane vodka with crystal light to hommade wine. I have done this with two different hiker friend groups and it has worked out great. These people are like family and there have been no problems with clenliness, gear abuse, etc. On a long distance hike I would want to carry all my own stuff for all of the reasons stated above.

02-05-2009, 22:22
Another vote for "to each, his own" gear.

My best friend and I will each cook our own breakfast and lunch, but we will separately cook a dinner piece and then combine them for a potluck dinner concept. Last time, I made Sweet Corn and Bean chowder (http://www.bentgear.com/product_info.php?products_id=191) and she made potato-foil-packets and corn roasted on the cobb. Then we each had a portion of all three. Mmmmmmm.

She's much more of a foodie than I am. This is why I take her with me.

02-05-2009, 22:29
I don't do a lot of hiking with other people, but even when I do, carrying your own gear makes for self-sufficiency.

02-05-2009, 22:33
bad weather and tough conditions is when groups tend to spread and that is when you do not want to be without critical gear shared books or luxuries should be fine

02-06-2009, 08:53
It is reassuring, to say the least, that the consensus seems to agree with my viewpoint rather than pointing a finger at me and calling me a jerk.

Then again, I've been called worse:eek: