Backpacking Essentials For Beginners – Tips to Make Next Adventure Safe

Posted on Nov 28, 2017 in Activity

Beyond the busy and chaotic scenery that we all see during our commutes from home to work and vice versa, there are stunning sceneries to be enjoyed on our planet. Backpacking is one experience that offers you the possibility to truly appreciate the beauty of the natural world and sink in what the surrounding environment has to offer. However, those who are new to backpacking trips have to take safety aspects into consideration when they go hiking or camping in the great outdoors as there are many dangers that could await them. Mother nature might be nurturing, but it can become a cruel mistress very fast. Thus, you have to leave home properly prepared when you go on this trip for your safety and well-being.

Carefully Choose the Backpack

Obviously, the first gear that you need when you go on a backpacking adventure is an appropriate backpack. It should be fitting enough for what you plan on carrying with you on the trip, impermeable so that a sudden rain won’t ruin its contents, and designed to sit comfortably on your back. After packing everything you round up in it, check for the weight to be bearable and give up on whatever you can if it’s too bulky. Otherwise, you won’t make it too far on your trip.

Pay Attention to Footwear

Footwear must be chosen carefully as you are going to walk a lot, all while carrying substantial weight. The boots or trail hiking shoes that you pick have to fit you comfortably and offer proper support. Take the element of surprise into consideration as well – what you wear on your feet should be waterproof. Even if it means that you must sacrifice breathability, it’s best to be properly protected than end up having soaking wet feet after only a few hours.

Proper Clothing

When it comes to clothing, avoid cotton at all costs as it can cause blisters and chafing. Dress in wool or synthetic materials, taking the current weather into consideration. Check the forecast to see if heavy rain or any type of harsh temperature change is due during your trip, and pack a few thick clothing items to be ready in case any shift occurs.

Be Cautious – Pack a Tent

Pack a tent too, even if you don’t plan on spending the night outdoors. You never know what will come up, and it’s best to be prepared for sleeping in the woods overnight rather than being caught off-guard and having to improvise or force yourself to go back. Besides the obvious consideration that the tent should be spacious enough to fit you and all of your buddies in case you don’t leave alone, you should also opt for a waterproof tent that won’t get flooded if it rains during the night.

Hydration

While the average person can resist without food for at least a few days, no one can survive without water. Thus, you must make sure to pack sufficient water bottles for the trip so that you won’t find yourself in the situation where you have to find a river to refill on this essential liquid. There are other things that you can skip on, but water is definitely not one of them, so do your best to pack enough.

Eating and Cooking Essentials

Before you start focusing on the food list that must be gathered for the trip, stock up on food-related essentials. Bring utensils with you to make serving food possible. Essential utensils for a backpacking adventure include cups, knives, forks, spoons, and bowls. To make heating the food or even cooking possible, take a backpacking stove with you as well, the compact stove fits perfectly in backpacks and it allows the luxury of proper food preparation even in the middle of the wilderness.

Food Recommendations

Now that you have the right cooking and meal serving gear, let’s see what food you must pack. To keep the backpack light, we recommend that you bring freeze-dried meals with you. Pack high-protein, high-calorie energy bars and snacks as they deliver exactly what your body needs without requiring any cooking. Of course, you can even take some fresh fruits and vegetables with you as long as you don’t add too much weight to the backpack.

Don’t Skip on Hygiene

Regardless of the trip’s intended length, you have to take hygiene into consideration as well. The two most important hygiene-related items that you must take with you are toilet paper and soap. It’s more than obvious why you need both items, so there’s no point to debate their usefulness. In addition to soap and toilet paper, we recommend that you pack a toothbrush and toothpaste as well, just in case you end up prolonging the trip more than you initially thought.

Be Prepared for any Emergency

Whatever you do, you mustn’t leave home without proper emergency gear as you never know when you’ll need to start a fire or cover a wound, and your departure from civilization is going to make it impossible to find the needed items for these tasks. On a backpacking adventure, you must pack the following emergency situation gear:

  • First aid kit;
  • Waterproof matches;
  • Pocket knife;
  • Bear spray;
  • Mosquito spray;
  • Snake bite kit;
  • Map of the area;
  • Compass;
  • Iodine tables;
  • Signaling mirror;
  • Headlamp;
  • Batteries.