Camping Backpack Trip - How To Plan Yours

Hiking Bag contents for your weekend camping trip, where to go, how to prepare can seem overwhelming. You may want to give it a try but may not know how to get it all together. Are you worried you won't pack the right things in your hiking bag and be stuck in the wild without something crucial? Are you afraid of nature?  What exactly is keeping you from enjoying the Great Outdoors overnight?  Here are some ideas and pointers to consider that will alleviate your anxiety allowing you to simply kick back and get your zen on.

Backpack Bag Selection Is Crucial

Outdoor backpack choices provide a means to carry the necessities you will need for a few days of overnight hiking. You will need a hiking pack that stands up to the elements of rain or moisture in the air, a sturdy material that will endure the weight of your camping equipment and essentials, plus one of quality workmanship. If you are new to hiking and camping and have never experienced the extreme hassle of broken zippers and hiking backpack straps, do yourself a favor and stay away from cheap department store backpacking backpacks.  You won't be just carrying a few books and a lunch bag; you're not headed off to school. Also vital is a quality pair of waterproof hiking boots that you have worn a bit to break them in. Trust me, blisters are not fun.

Camping Equipment Can Be Minimal

Your camping rucksack, which is just another name for a hiking backpack, will need to carry certain camping gear such as a backpacking tent, either a one man tent or a 2 person tent depending on whether this is a solo hike or not. Try to keep it around 3-4 lbs for ease of carry. It's wise to have a camping mat to put between the floor of the tent and your sleeping bag for warmth and dryness, and for sitting at the campfire to keep you dry from ground moisture. You'll need a sleeping bag that is lightweight but provides insulation from the cold ground. Some folks use a camping pillow. I often use my hiking pack as a pillow. A battery-powered lantern and a flashlight with extra batteries, plus matches in a waterproof container are must haves. If you plan ahead, you can save some dryer lint and pack that for an excellent lightweight fire starter.

Camping Backpack - Tools For The Trail

Your outdoor backpack should always contain a waterproof map, compass (learn how to read it before the trip) and your phone with GPS. Never count on just your cell phone alone because some remote areas may not have cell service or your battery could die with no way to recharge it in the wild.  Carry some basic tools such as a Swiss army style knife, a headlamp, and zip ties. Even if you are not a cook, you may want a lightweight (less than a pound) backpacking stove that can boil water fast for dehydrated food, coffee or soup. You will need to consider the fuel type you will be using and what equipment comes with your stove as an all-in-one option or if you need separate pans and cups. I love my MSR Pocket Rocket. It's compact, lightweight and inexpensive. Bring a Spork with you , which is a combo spoon/fork, or some plastic forks and spoons since they are light weight. Using that idea you risk them breaking in your hike bag.

Backpack Hiking Food To Bring

Backpack bags carry your essential food and water for the entire length of your excursion. You shouldn't laden your hiking pack with heavy canned goods. Hiking|camping is different than driving your car to your camping spot where you can bring all kinds of dishes, pots and pans and silverware along. You need the minimal stuff. Dehydrated food that only requires boiling water is as simple as it gets.  Lightweight non-refrigerated breads, granola bars, ramen noodles and beef jerky are popular. You need a good combination of protein and carbs for nourishment while hiking. I like the brand Good-To-Go since it tastes like real food, not cardboard. Individual packets of peanut butter, cream cheese, mayo and jelly are lightweight food options, as well as packets of tuna, chicken and salmon. It makes sense to keep your food in a bear canister (even if you are not in bear country) to not draw any critters to your camping area.

A hydration backpack with a sleeve for a hydration bladder can holds a day's worth of water.  For carrying your water in bottles in your backpacking backpack, you can refill them IF you know there are water sources along your hike that you have verified on your map. In that case you will need water purification tablets to make sure the water you drink will not make you sick. That would surely ruin your trip.  Plan on consuming at least 2 liters of water per day you are hiking.

Backpacking Packs - Clothing And First Aid

Your trekking backpack will also be your "luggage" for the clothes you will need. Depending upon the time of year you are hiking, it's always a good rule of thumb is to dress in layers since you may begin hiking in the early morning when it's chilly and end up sweating in the afternoon, so you can remove pants while you wear shorts underneath and a flannel shirt while wearing a tank top beneath. Suggested material is moisture-wicking pants like you might wear at the gym. Shirts should be of the same material. For a weekend, take 3 pairs of wool (never cotton) socks, 2 pair of underwear, a warm jacket, a hat, sunglasses and a bandana, which can be worn backwards as sun protection for your neck.  An extra pair of pants and T-shirt are always a good idea in case you get wet from a sudden rainfall.

A camping bag should always carry first aid items for cuts, scrapes or blisters while hiking. A must-have is duct tape, which is excellent when applied to blisters or cuts and has countless other uses.  For a weekend you shouldn't need a whole roll, so you can wrap several yards around a pencil for a lighter load. Include bandages, triple antibiotic gel like Neosporin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol, Benadryl or similar anti-histamine in case of allergic reactions to plants or environment, plus an anti-itch medication and hand sanitizer.  Sunscreen is an absolute must, and you should reapply every 90 minutes. Antacid tablets, bug spray and any medications you take should be in a waterproof container.  This may sound like a lot, but some of these items you may not use very time, however, if you need them you will be darn glad you have them. Small sized tubes and bottles should be lightweight and not take up much room.  This list would actually have many more things added if you were hiking for longer than a weekend.

Backpack hiking and camping overnight is an experience well worth every second. Good planning and preparation will insure the most pleasant of excursions. Whatever you may forget to pack the first time, I can pretty much guarantee you will remember on future hikes. Experience is always the best teacher.  Feel free to comment below if you have a tip or suggestion for new hikers. We were all new at it one time, so help is always beneficial.  Happy hiking!


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