What to Take Backpacking
So you’ve decided to take a trip backpacking. This is quite the adventure and you are going to have to be well prepared for such a time away from home and in the wilderness. You are going to want to make sure that you have covered all of your bases so that you will have the most easy and worry-free trip. The important thing to remember is to plan well and then follow the plan.
Creating a good list is your first step. Think about where it is that you are going and what it is that you are going to need while backpacking. Are you going hiking? Are you staying overnight? Are you going with friends and sharing the burden of the food preparation? Knowing the general sweeps of your itinerary is a really good start, and then following this general formula will ensure success.
1. Outdoor gear: Will you be sleeping in a tent and will you be needing warmer clothing for cooler weather? These considerations will be very important in order to ensure that you will have everything you need.
2. Indoor gear: Will you be spending time indoors? You may need to pack lighter clothing for times that will be spent indoors or in restaurants along the way.
3. Swimming gear: Will there be lakes or rivers along your route? If so, you will need to make sure that you are bringing a bathing suit and towel.
4. Technical gear: Are you responsible for bringing a tent or for bringing a sleeping bag and mattress? If you are, you will have to be sure to pack that (if you are backpacking, be sure that it is compact).
5. Food: Are you bringing food with you or eating along the way? Will you need to bring a stove to cook your food or will you need to bring materials to start and keep a fire going? These are all things to consider.
Whatever your trip is, be sure to know exactly where it is that you are going, what kind of weather is expected, what your friends are bringing, what kind of terrain is expected and where you will be staying. Knowing these things in advance will help you to pack well and be efficient with your use of space.
A last consideration is to remember that sharing space with your friends is essential. You need to communicate with them so that you don’t end up all bringing the same thing. If you need to bring a stove, one person should bring it – not everyone. If you need to bring pillows, you may need to decide that you will bring only one or two pillows and share them, alternating people who get the pillow each night to save space in your backpack. If you are bringing food, make sure that you have discussed who is bringing what and that you have enough for each day and night. Planning and communication with your fellow backpackers will be your keys to success.
Above all, enjoy your trip and stay safe!