When I’m hiking I like to keep moving – I hate breaks. I will eat and drink while walking and will usually only stop for lunch, for a toilet break and to quickly check the trail. I hate to stop to get something out of my bag or to put garbage back in my bag. So to be able to keep moving and stow away my garbage conveniently while moving – using an IKEA plastic bag as a liner for your pockets.

Until recently, I would just use one of the pockets of my pants to stow away small garbage (e.g. wrappers of my power gels or nut bars), but after one too many times my power gels would leak and cause a sticky mess in my pocket (yeah, that pretty much sounds as bad as it actually was), I decided to line my pocket with a simple IKEA bag. I would use the IKEA plastic bag as a liner for my pocket, pretty much like you would use a liner for your sleeping bag. So from now on, you’ll find one on my packing lists, like the one for the Jordan Trail.

Several benefits of IKEA plastic bag for hiking garbage:

  • It prevents the power gels wrappers from leaking.
  • From time to time the ‘pointy’ side of the wrappers would hurt my leg (this is now prevented by it being in the bag).
  • Emptying my pocket is now super simple: in the evening I just have to take out the IKEA plastic bag, empty it into my larger compression trash bag and put it back in my pocket as a liner bag for the next day.

On purpose, I will typically bring only one bag (why add to the plastic soup even more), which I can re-use for my whole thru-hike. And obviously, I will bring the larger compression trash bag to keep all my garbage for the duration of the trail.

So, what are your favorite travel hacks for hiking?


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