Backpacking trips have been in trend for quite a while as they prove to be an excellent way to get a quick escape from the everyday routine. And one of the most important things to do before leaving for a trip is packing, for obvious reasons. Packing can be a little tricky because you don’t want to overload your pack with unnecessary items, but at the same time, you don’t want to miss out on things.
Your trip may turn out to be a disaster if you don’t have all the essentials packed. And that is why we are here to guide you about filling your bags with all the necessary items efficiently. Let’s get started!
First Aid Kit
Before anything else, you need to have a first aid kit in your backpack at all times. Make sure that the kit has these items:
- Adhesive Bandages
- Medical Roll Tape
- Safety Pins
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Safety Razor Blades
- Skin Rash Cream
- Sticky Tape
- Distilled Water
- Eye Wash
- Antiseptic Cream
- Any Other Medical Emergency Gear On Hand
You never know when you need one of these items to protect yourself, promote recovery, prevent an illness or relieve pain.
This is just as important as a first aid kit, particularly when traveling alone and in remote areas. In this kit, make sure that you have items such as:
- Fire Starter
- Map And Compass
- Water Filter
- Signal Mirror
- Ready-to-eat Food Items
To make things simpler, keep in mind that your survival kit should be full of items to address issues related to food and water, navigation, signaling, and basic shelter. Following these aspects, you can quickly figure out the what’s and whys.
If you plan a trip to the mountains, you cannot miss out on a hiking kit. Now, we know that hikers generally have their essentials sorted before every trip. Still, if you’re new to the hiking world, you need to pack things like hiking boots, quick-dry hiking socks, trekking poles, and hiking clothes that are good for all situations. Know that these things are essential irrespective of whether you are going to hike or not. You should have a hiking kit if you are going to be anywhere near the mountains.
You can carry as many ready-to-eat/packaged food items as you like, but still, you cannot compromise on having a cooking kit because you never know when you end up in an unwanted situation and run out of the food you packed. This is when cooking kits come into the picture. You can readily get a cooking kit from Amazon, which usually comes with fuel bottles, cooking pots/pans, fire starters, stove, pot holder/lifter, knives, etc. Carrying a cooking kit can genuinely prove to be a lifesaver.
Now, this goes without saying but let’s just put it out there for the sake of it. Your cooking kit is of almost no use if you don’t have some basic food supplies. We recommend carrying food items such as rice, oats, nuts, veggies, fruits, sandwich-making material, oil, salt, and pepper, etc. Make sure that whatever you carry makes up for a nutritionally sound and filling meal. The best way to ensure this is by having foods rich in fiber and proteins as they are quick sources of energy and easy to digest.
The human body cannot keep up without water, so it is an absolute compulsion to ensure that you carry some water source. Traditionally, everyone brings a couple of bottles of water. But what if you are in the middle of nowhere, and the water you had is gone? Drinking naturally occurring water is the next typical step at such times but is it safe to drink? This is why you should always have a water purification system/water filter in your backpack.
We all pack a generous amount of clothes while traveling, but it is always better to carry a couple of extra pairs in case of emergencies. It may so happen that you have washed your clothes but fell short of time, space, or convenience of drying them. Therefore, you must always carry extra t-shirts, pants, and even a jacket. Most importantly, pack extra pairs of undergarments to ensure intimate hygiene while traveling. A piece of advice would be to avoid cotton clothes as they take a long time to dry. .
Carrying a toiletry kit is a must, and we don’t even need to explain why. You may purchase a ready-made portable kit packed with all the essential toiletries, or you may create your own. Just make sure that you have things like:
- Toothbrush And Toothpaste
- Dental Floss
- Body Wash
- Shampoo And Conditioner
- All-purpose Balm
- Sun Protection
- Facial Wipes
- Nail Clippers
And for women, make sure that you have enough menstrual hygiene supplies packed too.
Stuff sacks may seem unnecessary, but they prove extremely helpful in keeping things in place and storing them efficiently. A stuff sack is a drawstring bag to store random items, which hikers generally use. But we recommend every backpacker to have a couple of these. You can keep a pair of wet shoes, wet clothes, small items such as quilts, outerwear, food, etc. If not these things, you can also compress your sleeping bag and store it inside the stuff sack.
Never forget your medicines or prescriptions for any reason, and make sure that you have a few of them in every single bag that you take while traveling. It is always wiser to carry a couple of extras if any circumstances such as a delayed return journey. When we say medicines, it also includes your skin and hair care products, in case you have a dermatology treatment going on. Apart from your regular medication, carry some of the generic ones for fever, body pain, cough, and cold, etc.
People often think that boots are the only essential footwear when backpacking. But, what they fail to realize is that you can’t wear boots all the time. First of all, boots are too heavy, and wearing them all the time can cause leg pain. Other than that, they may also cause shoe bites and general discomfort. And lastly, they are not convenient enough to be worn for your short trips to the nearby store, or even a simple walk for that matter. Due to all these reasons, a pair of high-quality walking sandals are a must.
This is yet another ignored essential item. Having a repair kit will assure you that if anything breaks down, you have the tools and gadgets to fix it, with basic repairing skills. You can quickly get a repair kit from your nearby hardware or general store. These kits usually have items such as:
- Duct Tape
- Stretch Cords And Hooks
- Sewing Appliances
- Safety Pins
- Utility Cord
If you look for a more comprehensive one, you can even get tools to fix vehicle issues.
Now, we know that your phone can take over the navigational aspect, but there is no guarantee that your cell phone will work all the time. It may run out of battery, break down, or there may not be any network for internet-based apps to work. At such times, a map can genuinely come in handy and will keep you from being stranded in an unknown, isolated area. Ensure that you keep the map in a waterproof sleeve to keep it from ruining, and if possible, carry a couple of extra copies if you lose the original one.
Other Items To Consider Adding To Your Pack
- Satellite Messenger
- Emergency Shelter Kit
- Toilet Paper
- Sun Hat
- Raincoat, Rain Boots, Umbrella
- Reading Material
- Compact Binoculars
- Night Sky Identifier
- Microfiber Towel
- Compact Stainless Pot
- Fleece Pants, Gloves
- Energy Food (Protein Bars)
- Energy Drinks
- Bear Spray, Pepper Spray
- Adjustable Bungee, Etc.
We assure you that this packing list will help you pack better so you can have a harmless yet adventurous backpacking experience every single time. Before you start packing for your next trip, make a comprehensive list of all the items you feel are necessary to have in your bag. Over time you will determine what other things you would like to add for the next trip.