Are you an occasional day hiker, but want to take your trek to the next level and start backpacking, but you aren’t sure what gear you need?
After diligent research, we have composed a list of the basics needed to start your next exciting trek into nature. With the proper gear and planning, your only regret will be, “Why didn’t I start backpacking sooner?”
Your tent is more than a place to sleep, it also serves as shelter. The first thing to consider is size; how many people does it need to sleep and what is its weight? It should be lightweight, free standing, size appropriate and suitable for the weather you plan on hiking in. Clever Hiker provides a list of the best budget friendly tents available.
A proper fitting backpack is essential! Make sure it fits properly on your hips and shoulders, has adjustable straps and suits your frame. A good retailer will measure your back for fit.
Look for one with a breathable back panel and plenty of gear storage. For more in-depth information on getting the right backpack, check out Backcountry.com.
When choosing your sleeping bag, consider temperature rating and insulation type. For the budget friendly, synthetic is less expensive than down. However, down lasts longer and provides more warmth. REI breaks down additional factors to consider when purchasing your bag.
A sleeping pad is key to a good night’s sleep. Choices are air, self inflating and closed cell form.
When choosing footwear, a proper fitting pair of quality hiking boots is crucial. Break them in before hitting the trails and make sure they are lightweight and waterproof.
Avoid cotton clothing, including socks. Cotton is highly absorbent, making it heavy. It is slow drying and once it is wet, it loses insulation properties. Synthetics and clothes with wicking material are the best choice. Remember to plan for swings in temperatures.
- Watertight first aid kit
- Compass/Safety app (see last week’s blog)
- Headlamp with batteries
- Water filter
- Sunscreen/bug repellent
- Rain Coat
- Cooking gear/food
Do not neglect the details.
A backpacking trek is challenging, but with a little planning, it is a rewarding adventure.
Sleeping to the sounds of the nightlife and waking up to the sunrise, as the world comes alive around you is a magic few in this world get to experience. What are you waiting for?