The Ultimate Guide to... Slackpacking?

Hiking the spectacular Flinders Island coastline | Lachlan Gardiner
Hiking the spectacular Flinders Island coastline | Lachlan Gardiner

What is Slackpacking?

Out of all the terms within the hiking and trekking world – slackpacking might be our new favourite, even though it's something we think has been around for a long time.

Slackpacking requires another person, host, or porter, to carry or drive around the majority of your gear while you hike the spectacular long-distance trails of the world unburdened by a heavy pack. Nepal treks anyone?

The load carrier will be carrying your tent, sleeping bag, clothes, food supplies… and you’ll only need to carry a lightweight daypack with your snacks, water and everything else you need for the day (sounds a lot like what we offer on our trips).

After your hike, you'll meet back up with your luggage and enjoy all the comforts without sore feet and shoulder aches. So, slackpacking can apply to both guided and self-guided hikes.

Views from the Salcantay Pass |  <i>Mark Tipple</i>

Why go Slackpacking?

Slackpacking can save you from tedious and mind-boggling logistics and expenses if there are particularly difficult sections of the trail. In addition, for those looking to reach a personal best, lightweight packs mean you can reach your goal faster.

It's perfect for anyone who wants a little extra support when achieving a goal. If you’re trying to reduce the stress on your body, or if you've been injured, this mode of hiking is for you. Reduce the load by outsourcing the burden. 

And finally, if you just hate carrying a heavy pack, then Slackpacking is a great alternative.

Passing through historic postal towns on the Nakasendo Way

How does one Slackpack?

Some trekkers recruit a relative or good friend to drive their gear around to and from locations. Doesn't really take the slack out of Slackpacking.

Another option is to travel with a company that handles these arrangements for you. Porters base their livelihoods on the income from this service, and in places like Nepal, Kilimanjaro and Peru, this is a great opportunity to support locals and get to know the people who live in the spectacular places we travel to.

Companies may also have support vehicles that shuttle your luggage for you – which can be an added reassurance while you’re out on the trail.

Trekking in Nepal's Annapurna region |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>

Our Top Slackpacking Destinations: 

Everest Region - Nepal

Home to some of the most incredible mountains and trekking adventures in the world, this region can be quite intimidating for some travellers. Slackpacking is a great alternative to regular backpacking through the Everest Region.

Supporting local Nepalese porters is one of the best ways to meet the people of this spectacular region – but do your research beforehand. Not all companies treat their porters equally, and some are not provided with adequate working conditions – like suitable clothing and first aid care.

Before you head to Nepal, you should learn more about our Porter Protection Policy.

Our highly trained team will add another level of comfort to your adventure in Nepal |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Buddhist Stupa beneath towering mountains |  <i>Kelvin Law</i> Perfect weather crossing the Renjo La |  <i>Angela Parajo</i>

Transcaucasian Trail – Armenia and Georgia

The freshly mapped Transcaucasian Trail is still relatively unknown in mainstream trekking, which is a great thing if you prefer some privacy on your hike – but getting someone to shuttle your luggage could be a bit difficult.

Luckily, our guides ensure your luggage is carted between your accommodation – so it will be waiting for you each evening at your guesthouse or hotel.

Haghpat village hike |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i> Haghartsin monastery near Dilijan, constructed between the 10th and 13th centuries. Transcaucasian Trail markers guide hikers through the Caucasus. |  <i>Breanna Wilson</i>

Larapinta Trail – Australia

Desert trekking can get a bit sweaty, even if you do it in winter. Taking a daypack instead of a full-pack can make the difference between reaching the top of Mount Sonder or giving up halfway.

On our award-winning Larapinta program, travellers have the option to stay in our Eco-Comfort Camps each night – our guides will shuttle your belongings to the next camp. No stress. No worries. No heavy packs.

The Larapinta Trail is Australia's most popular desert walking experience |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i> Enjoying the views on the Larapinta Trail |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i> Standley Chasm |  <i>Luke Tscharke</i>

Flinders Island – Australia

Hidden just off the unassuming coast of Tasmania is one of the world’s best coastal walking destinations – Flinders Island. With a population of under 900 residents, it’s no easy feat to find someone willing to cart your gear around – so camping at a central location is the best option.

Try our Eco-Comfort Camps, just a hundred meters from the beach, with all the creature comforts you could possibly need. It kind of takes ‘slackpacking’ to a whole new level.

Hiking on Flinders Island |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Sleep comfortably in our spacious tents on Flinders Island |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i> Shelby Pinkteron |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>

All in all - is it better to go Slackpacking?

The answer is different for every traveller. Some hardcore hikers will prefer the challenge of carrying their gear with them, while others prefer the weight taken off their shoulders.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual. If it’s something you’re considering – learn more about destinations that we think are perfect for Slackpacking.

Slackpacking, Trekking, Walking

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips