A lot of thought goes into how to pack for an overnight hike in camping. Knowing exactly what to pack can be a tricky thing and is often only learned by experience. Packing too much stuff can lead to exhaustion on the trail. In contrast, not packing enough can leave you without an important piece of equipment. Follow these rules for a effective way to pack for an overnight hike.
- Pack a light weight tent. Sleeping out under a starry sky may seem like a good idea. Especially when you think about how much a tent can weigh down even a strong hiker. But just one night caught in a torrential rain with no shelter can turn anyone into a unhappy camper. The best idea is to pack a very light weight tent. Lightweight tents tend to cost a bit more than regular tents and they are worth every penny. If you cannot afford a lightweight tent, talk to people and see if they may have one you can borrow. Weather can change quickly; it is not worth trying to weather out a storm with no shelter.
- Leave the camping stove at home. If you are heading out on the trail for just one night, it is possible to eat only ready made food. Without the weight of a pot and camping stove your backpack will be more comfortable. Freeze-dried food comes in a lot of different options. Some actually taste pretty good. Pick up a few different varieties of the freeze-dried foods to bring with you as you pack for an overnight hike. Granola is a great light weight option for a late night snack.
- Determine your proximity to a water source. Water is one of the must haves when you pack for an overnight hike. If you are sure you will be near a source of water you can pack iodine tablets or a filter to ensure the back country water is safe to drink. If you are not positive you will be near water you must take bottled water with you. Take as much as you think you will need to drink after exerting yourself on the trail, approximately 2 liters per day minimum. Do not sacrifice water to make room for any other camping essential.
- Pack the first aid kit. A small first aid kit may seem like something that will add unnecessary weight when you pack for an overnight hike, but it is not. Hopefully, it will not be needed out on the trail, but you can never be certain when you will need a painkiller or bee sting ointment.
- Check to make sure these items are in your pack. There are a few other important items you need to take when you pack for an overnight hike. A change of clothing and two extra pairs of socks can be a life saver if it gets colder than expected or you get rained on. A flashlight is needed to see at night at the campsite. If you will be at a campsite that allows a fire do not forget matches or a lighter to get it started. One more important item is a good quality sleeping bag. See if you can tie your sleeping bag to the outside of your backpack when you pack for an overnight hike; this will save room for other things.
The hardest thing about packing for an overnight hike is that you have to figure out what you can live without. If you are planning to hike for more than one day or night than you will definitely need more things. Camping equipment is being made with better and lighter materials these days. It is a good idea to purchase such good quality items. The more comfort you have while camping on a trail, the better you will feel in the morning.
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