Knowing what to bring backpacking can make your next hiking or camping trip fun, relaxing, and most of all safe and worry free. Now, when packing for a hiking or camping trip, it is important to realize that there is no one list that catches all. You should, basically, pack what you think you will need. However, there are few essentials that everyone should bring backpacking.
- The backpack is, of course, the most important item to bring backpacking. Just make sure you purchase a good one. You are going to want to spend some money here. It should fit you properly, because remember, you are going to be wearing this thing a lot. Also, you want one that is big enough to carry what you need, but not too big that you wind up carrying want you do not need. Basically, you do not want to wind up carrying around an extremely heavy backpack.
- Even if the projected forecast is for great weather the entire time, you want to make sure you have clothing suitably for drastic changes in the weather. When you are backpacking, the weather can and will change instantly, and drastically. Remember to dress in layers. In addition to what you wear, bring an extra pair of long pants, these should be loose fitting and preferably nylon. You should also bring: two pairs of wool socks and two pairs of light socks; a couple of extra pairs of underwear; pair of long underwear; a couple of long T-shirts; a couple of short sleeve tee shirts; and a fleece jacket.
- When you are backpacking, you also want to bring a sleeping bag. Do this, even if you think it is warm. The weather and temperature on a camping trip can change in an instant. There are great light weight sleeping bags available. These will keep you dry and warm. You also want to bring a tent and sleeping bag pad. A one or two man ten is large enough, and light enough.
- Bring food items that are light weight, easy to carry and nonperishable. Also bring a water canteens and a water purification system. Purification tablets work well, and are easy to carry.
- Bring a rope, sharp knife, compass, map, watch, mess kit, sunglasses, waterproof matches, lighter, backpackers trowel, two flashlights, and spare batteries. These are backpacking essentials that you simply can not live with out.
- For emergencies bring a first aid kit, which includes aspirin, bandages, gauze, sunburn cream, and tweezers. Bring a spare blanket. You should also carry a whistle and mirror for signaling purposes. Duct tape is another great tool that can be used for many repairs.
- Some nonessential to bring backpacking include a camera, watch, and binoculars. Also, do not forget your hiking stick and field guides.