Backpacking trips may last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Whether you are going for 4 days or 8 days, there are some items that every backpacker should consider bringing along. Different climates will require different backpacks and clothing, but there are some general guidelines that every backpacker should follow.
The first thing to consider is what type of climate you will be going into. If it’s a warm and dry area, then your clothing should reflect that fact. On the other hand if there are chances for rain or snow, bring along some clothes specifically designed to protect against those elements as well as cold weather gear.
You should be prepared for two types of temperatures; daytime and nighttime. The most important thing to consider is that your clothing will get wet while hiking, including rain gear if you are in a rainy area or snow gear if there’s the chance of any precipitation at all.
Bringing extra clothes with you can help you stay warm, even when it’s not raining. In addition to extra clothing for the trip itself, bring along an additional set of clothes in case your backpack is lost or destroyed while traveling through a dangerous area such as war-torn country (this happens more often than people think).
Here’s a list of the top 5 most essential items in your pack, brought to you by our friends at Planet Camping:
- Water Filter or Purifier
Staying hydrated is essential to your health and safety! Without fresh water, you can get dehydrated quickly in hot weather. If there’s a chance of getting drinking water from natural sources like lakes or rivers while hiking through the wilderness then using filtration methods are much safer than boiling.
Filtering options like pump filters or gravity filter systems allow you to get the water into a clean container where it can be used safely. Pouring untreated creek, river, lake and pond water directly from its source is not advisable due to contamination by wildlife (raccoons & deer etc.) as well as human activity (trash, sewage etc.).
- First Aid Kit
You should always have a first aid kit with you on the trail and in your backpack when traveling to different countries overseas as well. It may not seem like it’s something that would happen, however there are many people injured every year from hiking accidents or wildlife attacks.
In addition you may have the chance to help strangers or other hikers in need along your journey and it’s always best to be prepared for anything that might happen while outdoors!
- Fire Starter
Starting a fire is one of the most important survival skills when traveling through areas where there are no shelters and no one to help if something goes wrong.
Having a source of heat and light can protect you from dangerous wildlife in the dark while also helping to keep you warm on chilly nights when there are chances for hypothermia or frostbite.
There are many ways that people have come up with over time, but having at least one of these items in your pack will ensure you can get a fire going quickly if the situation calls for it.
Having a knife on hand is essential when camping, hiking or backpacking to have around and use as needed! You never know what might happen while traveling through unfamiliar areas so a knife is an important item to always have with you.
In addition, a survival or tactical-style knife can be used as protection from wild animals and even humans if necessary!
- Waterproof matches
It’s best practice to not rely on fire starters such as lighters alone when it comes time for a fire. Lighters can run out of fuel and you never know when they will quit working!
Waterproof matches are a must have because even if the lighter gets wet, it’s still possible to light them with a little patience and effort from rubbing two sticks together or using something made for striking your match such as flint or steel.