Backpacking is a great way to get exercise, connect with nature, and see amazing sights. A few years ago, my husband and I backpacked through Europe, and we had the time of our lives. Of course, if you want to do the same, there are some very important things you need to bring on your hike. Check them out below:
Water and High Energy Snacks
Water is the absolute most important thing to bring on your hike. You never know if you’ll come across a safe, fresh water source while backpacking, so be sure to bring enough for the entire journey. It’s easy to become dehydrated while backpacking, and drinking plenty of water is the best prevention for dehydration. Bring more than you expect to drink while on your hike.
Snacks, like nuts, seeds, and dehydrated fruits make the best snacks for backpacking. Not only are they high energy, but they are also light, not bulky and non-perishable. If you plan to be gone over a meal time, a sandwich without dairy or meat products, like a peanut butter sandwich, is a good choice as well.
This might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to factor in this cost when going on a backpacking journey. You should choose one that’s high quality and feels comfortable to you. It should also be able to hold the amount of supplies you plan on bringing on your journey. When purchasing your backpack, try it on, adjust the straps and wear it around for a few minutes to make sure it will work for you and your backpacking needs.
First Aid Supplies
Another important item to carry is a small first aid kit. You can buy backpack first aid kits at most local grocery or hardware stores, but if you prefer you can prepare your own. Items to have in your first aid kit include antiseptic, aspirin, bandages, medical tape, hydrocortisone cream, hand sanitizing gel, lip balm, cotton balls or swabs, sunscreen, a small mirror, tweezers, and scissors. It might seem like overkill until you actually need it!
Extra Clothing and Small Supplies
If you’ll be hiking for a long period of time, taking an extra pair of socks can be a good idea, especially if your feet get wet. You will also want to dress in layers to be prepared for the weather, which can change quickly. Wearing or taking a light, wind and water proof jacket is also a good idea. You should wear supportive shoes and consider taking a hat for protection from the sun.
You may also need a few other small items, like: matches, a flashlight, a pocket knife, insect repellent, a compass and map, a watch, a whistle and ID in case you get lost. Also, be sure to tell someone where you will be going on your hike and what time you expect to be back.
Have you ever been backpacking before? What’s the #1 most helpful thing that you packed?