Packing Small Essentials: 4 Ways to Downsize and Make Items More Compact

Packing Small Essentials:  4 Ways to Downsize and Make Items More Compact
It can be a surprise to discover that we need to bring a lot of little things with us on most hiking trips.  Tape, lighters, matches, first aid supplies and backup lighting options are just a few things that come to mind, and all of them need to be packed and organized.  Let's take a look at some popular tricks that can help you condense items in order to save space and keep things more accessible at the same time.
Duct Tape Lighter
Most of us know about the importance of having lighters as well as a good amount of duct tape on hand.  However, rolls of tape can be bulky and heavy.  One great way to solve this problem is to take some strips of tape and wrap them around your lighter.  You can easily wrap up a couple of feet of tape while also making the lighter easier to grip, especially in the rain or when your hands are slippery. 
Altoids Tin First Aid Box
You'll be surprised to see how much stuff you can cram into an Altoids box, and they are the perfect size for creating a mini-first aid kit.  Bandages, gloves, tape, sutures, scissors, ointment, gauze, antiseptic, medicine all kinds of other small, basic essentials can easily fit inside of a tin.  Storage is easy, and you can also cover the tin with a condom or latex glove to protect it from getting wet. 
Tic-Tac Matchbox
Take an empty Tic-Tac box and place it on top of the backside of some sandpaper.  Trace a line along the side of the box, from the bottom to just below the lid.  Trace a line on the other side and along the bottom as well.  Cut it out and glue it to one of the sides of the box, but make sure that the gritty side is facing out.  Fill the box with sturdy matches, close the lid, and you now have a portable match dispenser with a durable strike pad.
Can Lantern
Take an empty aluminum soda or beer can and place it on its side.  Trace out a fat H, placing the vertical lines about an inch from the top and bottom of the can.  Carefully cut the aluminum along the lines, and you'll end up with two “doors” that can be peeled back.  Light a small candle and place it inside of the can.  The reflective surface of the metal will make the light brighter, and you can close the doors when you're finished in order to safely store the can for next time.
Try these space-saving ideas for yourself, and see how easy it is to stay organized at the same time.  You'll be surprised at how using little tricks like these can make life easier once you hit the trail.