- 1 10 Best Backpacking Gear List Beginners Reviews, Tips & Guides
- 2 Top 10 Backpacking Gear List Beginners in 2022
- 2.1 Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack
- 2.2 North Face Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag
- 2.3 Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad
- 2.4 Jetboil Flash Cooking System
- 2.5 Adventure Medical Kit
- 2.6 BlizeTec Survival Knife
- 2.7 Mountainsmith Mountain Dome 2 Person Tent
- 2.8 Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filter System
- 2.9 Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp
- 2.10 Oboz Bridger Hiking Boots
- 3 Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Backpacking Gear?
- 3.1 1. EDC Gear
- 3.2 2. Base Weight
- 3.3 3. Capacity
- 3.4 4. Comfort
- 3.5 5. Frame
- 3.6 6. Hydration
- 3.7 7. Internal Vs External
- 3.8 8. Materials
- 3.9 9. Organization
- 3.10 10. Removable Daypack
- 3.11 11. Seams
- 3.12 12. Shoulder Straps
- 3.13 13. Sternum Strap
- 3.14 14. Top Lid
- 3.15 15. Water-Resistant Material
- 3.16 16. Compression Straps
- 3.17 17. Water Bottle Holders/Pockets
- 3.18 18. Ice Axe Loop
- 3.19 19. Lumbar Support
- 3.20 20. Hip Belt
- 3.21 21. Rain Cover
- 3.22 22. Hydration Bladder Compatibility
- 3.23 23. Pockets, Pockets, And More Pockets
- 3.24 24. Daisy Chains
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4.1 What Is A Backpacking Gear?
- 4.2 How to Use The Backpacking Checklist?
- 4.3 What Do Beginner Backpackers Need?
- 4.4 What To Bring Backpacking?
- 4.5 What Is Ultralight Backpacking?
- 4.6 Most Common Beginner Mistakes In Backpacking Safety?
- 4.7 Can You Still Go Backpacking With Kids?
- 4.8 What Are The Advantages Of Backpacking?
- 4.9 How Can I Prepare For A Backpacking Trip?
- 4.10 How To Select A Tent For Your First Backpacking Trip?
- 4.11 What Tips Are Useful When Backpacking?
- 5 Conclusion
10 Best Backpacking Gear List Beginners Reviews, Tips & Guides
Are you seeking the Best Backpacking Gear List Beginners for yourself? If yes, you may check out our list for more details.
Inventory planning is a really important process, you must never underestimate it if you want to have successful and comfortable backpacking trips. A proper load out of items would permit you to truly enjoy every aspect of the activity with no worry. Yet with so many brand and model around, it’s not easy to make up your mind on what to pick. In the case that you are new to backpacking and in need of hints, you come to the right place. Down below is a recommended backpacking gear list beginners, check them out and see if there is anything you should include in your inventory.
Since preferences and tastes vary a lot from people to people, not everyone offers the same opinion about a particular gear. Many may think it’s a must-have while the rest could feel it’s redundant at best. That is why you must incorporate your personal needs and situation requirements into the selection process. Feel free to make adjustments to the gear list in this article and prepare to improvise whenever it becomes necessary. Buying on a whim is ill-advised, it could cost you a lot of money for little gain so refrain from doing that.
if you are looking for Backpack Guide, we are here to help you understand in the better way.
Top 10 Backpacking Gear List Beginners in 2022
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack
You cannot have a good backpacking trip without having a quality backpack and Kelty Redwing 50 is an excellent choice. Generous capacity, compact profile and commendable airflow, the backpack is designed to maximize user comfort. With multiple zippered compartments at your disposal, it’s simple to neatly organize your item as you see fit. Sure enough, Kelty Redwing 50 is not a top of the line product but its robust performance and affordable price are quite attractive. Should you have a rather tight shopping budget then this backpack would not disappoint you.
North Face Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag
Able to keep you warm at – 7 degrees Celsius, North Face Cat’s Meow is definitely not a bad product to have. It could accommodate a maximum user height of 198 centimeters, sufficient for most people. The premium grade Heatseeker Pro guarantees consistent thermal protection throughout three seasons of a year. Due to the presence of the offset quilted bottom, North Face Cat’s Meow is good at eliminating potential cold spots. It’s a bit cumbersome though the bag price is really reasonable compared to other product. The bag should keep you warm even when it gets wet.
Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Sleeping Pad
A perfect item to supplement your sleeping bag, Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus would let you sleep and rest in peace. It provides you with excellent warm in the form of expanding self-inflated foam which makes the pad suitable for cold weather adventures. Due to the foam compressibility, it’s no big deal to pack the pad and carry it with you into the wilderness. Want to prevent those annoying rocks that lay under the tent from jabbing your ribs? Then you consider using a Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus the next time you head out.
Jetboil Flash Cooking System
When the temperature starts to drop, you want to have something to heat up your food and drink. Should you like to use a fuel-efficient design in such situations then you better take a look at Jetboil Flash. Compact and light, it could boil 2 cups of water in 2 minutes, a full fuel canister can process up to 42 cups. Cold climate would affect the system somewhat but it should remain good enough for average demands. Nonetheless, you have little control over the heating temperature so it’s inadequate for complex cooking.
Adventure Medical Kit
In a place that is far from civilization, a simple injury could get worse exceptionally fast of you don’t treat it at once. While you could make your own kit, Adventure Medical Kit should offer you an effective first aid solution. The kit is able to treat all average wounds often encounter on a backpacking trip.
BlizeTec Survival Knife
As an emergency tool, BlizeTec got everything you need to survive in the wilderness from fire starter to a sharp blade. Its humble profile means you could comfortably carry it in your pocket for the duration of the trip without fail. You may have to twiddle with the knife a bit to get the hang of its operation though.
Mountainsmith Mountain Dome 2 Person Tent
For multiple day trips, Mountainsmith Mountain Dome is an excellent option as a tent. Interior mesh pockets are available, you can use them to store and organize your inventory. The tent possesses a straightforward construction so you can set up and put away Mountainsmith Mountain Dome relatively quick.
Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filter System
Drinkable waters are fairly hard to come by when you are in the middle of nowhere. To keep yourself hydrated, throughout the trip, you have to look for other water sources on the way. Of course, you have to filter the water first and GravityWorks 2.0 is a popular tool.
Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp
In a low light environment, it’s handy to have a good light source like Black Diamond Cosmo. Its 160 Lumen beam is sufficient to illuminate your surrounding and guide your way in the dark. In term of energy source, it uses 3 AAA batteries which you can find almost everywhere from a gas station to a convenience store.
Oboz Bridger Hiking Boots
To get through the trip without being injured, a quality pair of hiking boot which would not blister your foot is essential. Bridger from Oboz is a product like that, it made from leather and got plenty of foam at the forefoot. It also uses breathable materials as well so sweat should not accumulate around your foot.
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Backpacking Gear?
1. EDC Gear
Every day carry items or “Every Day Carry” refers to the small everyday items a person carries with them such as keys, wallet, watch, cell phone (smartphone), and even sometimes a knife or pepper spray (check your state/local laws before purchasing). These are carried on you at all times in case of emergencies and for daily use; but could also be used in an emergency situation if need be (if stranded for example). You can find many great articles that go into depth about EDC and what you should carry on our site by clicking here.
2. Base Weight
Backpacking base weight refers to the total weight of all the gear carried minus consumables (food, water, fuel). This means that if you carried 10 lbs of gear but had 2 lbs of food and 3 lbs. of water, your backpacking base weight would be 7 lbs. Some people like to calculate their net or “pack” weight but for simplicity, it is best just to use your backpacking base weight so as not to confuse yourself with other variables during planning/training/outdoor activities, etc.
- Note- The lighter your pack (backpacking base) the better! Heavier packs mean more fatigue meaningless enjoyment out on the trail; so keep your backpacking base weight as light as possible.
The capacity of a pack refers to the difference in liters between your total gear weight + consumables and the maximum recommended load for the backpack’s capacity (or comfort) rating. For example, if you have a 65-liter backpack and are carrying 20 lbs of gear/food/water, your pack capacity will be 45 liters even though it is rated for 65 liters or more. In this case, you would want to consider either a different pack or reduce some of your gear/food/water until you reach an acceptable load range within that pack’s upper limits.
- Note- If possible always carry less than the stated load limit on any pack; since it is better to have an under-packed pack than an over-packed one.
Comfort refers to how well you pack fits your back and how it feels when wearing the backpack. Packs with frames, waist straps, load lifters, air mesh, shoulder straps, etc. help maximize comfort but also cost a bit more! So for a good comfortable cheaper pack look for a large capacity bag with a padded hip belt and padded shoulder straps.
- Note – The best way to find out which package is most comfortable for you is to simply go hiking with it on (and possibly loaded)! Just be sure to take breaks every once in a while (and drink lots of water) since hiking can get pretty exhausting especially when carrying weight; plus it gives you a chance to get out of the pack and feel what it is like without all the weight!
Packs that have frames are generally more comfortable to carry than frameless ones but they also cost more. Frameless backpacks are easier to compress, weigh less, and are sometimes cheaper but can be difficult to carry heavier loads with comfortably.
- Note – Make sure your frameless backpack has padding for your hips otherwise expect some serious discomfort when carrying heavy/large loads! Some people do however prefer frameless packs since there is no metal bar inside them so extra care must be taken with organizing gear so nothing gets damaged by rubbing against each other in transit. Check out our article on frame backpacks here if interested.
Hydration refers to the capability of a backpack to carry water (and sometimes food). Backpacks with hydration pockets and ports allow for easy attachment of a bladder/bladders whereas others require more creativity.
- Note – If you plan on going hiking or backpacking in a consistently dry area a hydration pocket is not necessary since it will be difficult to find/get water on longer hikes if needed. However, If you are going on a trip that includes alpine hiking where you may need to melt snow for water then definitely consider investing in a hydration pocket!
7. Internal Vs External
Packs with internal frames have some sort of frame inside them that allows the pack itself to stay rigid and keep some shape; whereas packs with external frames do not have this and are instead made of mesh or another material. External pack backs are generally cheaper, lighter, able to carry larger loads, and usually more comfortable than their internal counterparts. However, they tend to be less breathable (hot/sweaty), can be difficult to organize gear in, allow for more sway when hiking, don’t last as long (frame breaks easily), etc.
There are various types of materials used in backpacks these days so it can get pretty overwhelming trying to find one that suits you! Some common ones are nylon Cordura, nylon oxford, ripstop, denier (D), Dyneema (formerly called cuben fiber ), polyester (Dacron), VX-21 (reinforced ripstop, very durable), and X-PAC (reinforced nylon). The last three mentioned are normally only found on super expensive packs! Basically material choice should depend on length/type of trip taken, weather conditions expected, desired weight to price ratio, etc. However, the most important thing is that your pack doesn’t tear especially since you will likely be carrying most of your gear in it!
Packs with more pockets and compartments allow for a better organization which is crucial for maximizing comfort by being able to effectively disperse weight evenly throughout the pack.
- Note – Regardless of what type of backpack you have had a case or container inside your bag to put your main items in (like a laptop, food, water bladder, etc.) is very advisable. It prevents them from getting damaged and makes it easier/faster to find things especially if you have a top-loading pack. This also allows for a more efficient distribution of weight since heavier items are kept at bottom of the bag rather than being thrown all around inside! You can see what we use to keep our gear organized here.
10. Removable Daypack
Packs with removable daypacks allow you to carry large loads without having to worry about taking the whole thing on short trips/day hikes which is helpful when going on longer treks or wanting to leave your bulky backpack somewhere safe while traveling. Having a separate pack that is much smaller and lighter is also very useful for day hikes/climbs since the gear you usually pack is part of your overnight kit and not required!
- Note – these packs usually come with their own backpacks as well so they may end up being more expensive than a standard one.
These are extremely important especially if you plan on bringing any kind of waterproofing like this for example which we highly recommend! It must be taped properly to ensure no leakage occurs. A good idea would also be to line the entire inside of the bag with trash bags or similar plastic sheets before applying stuff sacks etc. This way, even if something leaks through seams nothing will get wet! Also, note that most waterproof liner used in actual backpacks is silicon impregnated nylon which is much more durable and easy to work with than the plastic stuff sacks you can buy!
12. Shoulder Straps
The most important aspect of a pack’s shoulder straps is that they are comfortable. Having them too narrow or curving inward in a way that presses on your shoulders/back can be extremely uncomfortable especially when carrying large loads. In addition, it would also probably be smart to go for packs that have chest straps since it stabilizes load better, distributes weight evenly, and allows you to carry up to 30% heavier load!
- Note – fit is just as crucial as comfort so make sure your pack fits properly before buying. You should be able to tighten the hip belt enough so it’s snug but still leave a little room to move around. It’s also advisable to go for packs with air mesh instead of foam padding since it circulates air better and doesn’t make your back as sweaty!
13. Sternum Strap
A sternum strap goes over the chest and helps bring shoulder straps together and make a load more stable/comfortable by keeping tension on both shoulders/chest. This is especially important if you have a heavy load or plan on going for longer treks since it prevents chafing, allows weight to be distributed evenly, etc.
- Note – It is extremely easy to come up with an improvised one yourself so it may be best to skip this feature unless you really feel the need for it since they are usually not included in standard packs anyway!
14. Top Lid
For day hikes/climbs it’s not very advisable to take everything you might need with you since it would make your load extremely heavy and cumbersome. A top lid allows you to keep some of the stuff that you might need on the go accessible without having to open the entire pack which will save time, energy, etc.
- Note – Some packs come with detachable lids so if yours doesn’t have one but still has a couple of straps across the top it may be possible to use them as makeshift ones!
15. Water-Resistant Material
Although most backpacks are made out of water-resistant material this is mainly for preventing stains and keeping gear inside dry. If you plan on using it in rain or through lots of water a pack with a waterproof lining is highly recommended since it will keep everything inside dry and compartments separate so you can organize your gear better. If you want to use a regular backpack simply line the entire interior with trash bags or similar plastic sheeting before using stuff sacks. This way, even if the water-resistant layer fails nothing gets wet!
16. Compression Straps
These are used for keeping load stable when there isn’t much in it(or at least not much bulky) and also help reduce the volume of the empty pack by bunching up extra fabric from sides. In addition, compression straps across sides help secure the sleeping bag/mat by avoiding shifting around while walking or going uphill!
- Note – these are must-have features especially if you plan on going for overnight treks since it will prevent contents from shifting around, provide room for more equipment, etc., so check to see if the pack has them before buying!
17. Water Bottle Holders/Pockets
This is self-explanatory but just in case- you should check how many places are there to hold water bottles and which way they are angled for easy access without taking off the pack. Also, it’s good to have one or two mesh pockets outside of the bag that is easily accessible so you can store things like food, sunblock, toilet paper, map (if not included in the top lid), etc. while walking instead of having to take out entire pack every time.
- Note – Ones against the back help prevent weight shift moving downhill while ones on sides are good for easy access to water, map, etc.
18. Ice Axe Loop
If you plan on going for longer hikes with snow its advisable to get a backpack with an ice axe loop which will make it much easier to attach the axe when not using it and also provide a better balance since there is one less thing dangling from outside of pack!
- Note – It’s often possible to rig up a way of attaching it yourself though if your pack doesn’t have one.
19. Lumbar Support
A cushioned pad that rests against the lower back helps distribute weight more evenly and provides stability by keeping hips from swaying side to side as well as reducing the load on the spine by almost 2/3rd which makes treks significantly easier!
- Note – Check to see if it has any cushioning before buying since most backpacks will either have no lumbar pad or a very minimal one.
20. Hip Belt
Although not necessary for day hikes it’s advisable to get one with a padded hip belt since it helps tremendously in reducing strain on your shoulders and upper body by taking weight off and provides even more stability than shoulder straps! Even though these days internal frame backpacks provide good support them they are still great features to have.
21. Rain Cover
If you plan on going for longer treks during rainy seasons its very advisable to get a backpack with an integrated rainfly/cover since they protect all of your equipment from getting wet, prevent contents from shifting around, and also provide an extra compartment to store wet/soaked things or simply keep them separate from other stuff.
- Note – Check if the pack has an integrated one before buying since it’s impossible to rig up a way of attaching one yourself.
22. Hydration Bladder Compatibility
Although not an option for everyone it is possible to get hydration bladders that fit inside backpacks and come with tubes that you can use as a mouthpiece to drink water while walking, etc. This is much easier than fiddling out water bottles and helps avoid low blood sugar symptoms (hypoglycemia) by providing quick access to liquid! If your backpack doesn’t have this feature make sure to carry two three 1L canteens at least since staying hydrated is crucial.
- Note – If you are using a hydration bladder it is advisable to carry 1L extra so that if the bladder leaks/breaks you have two full canteens at hand!
23. Pockets, Pockets, And More Pockets
Besides being much easier to organize your equipment it’s also much easier to find things in separated compartments instead of digging through the entire bag for one item which can literally take hours! So look for as many pockets as possible before buying since not only do they help tremendously with the organization but also provide alternate carrying options like strapping sleeping mat/bag on the outside, etc.
- Note – Look for mesh ones on sides especially since they are good for small items like sunblock maps, snacks, compass, etc.
24. Daisy Chains
These are strips/loops sewn into the sides of a backpack that allow clipping carabiners or other equipment onto them so that either item can be easily attached or simply used as an extra grip when scrambling over rocks! They come in very handy especially while rock climbing and scrambling over rocks which you will be doing a lot of on longer treks.
- Note – Make sure to check where on sides they are located since it’s inevitable that some packs have them only on the sides with a sleeping bag compartment while others have them all around, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Backpacking Gear?
Backpacking gear is a piece of equipment or apparatus carried by an individual to assist in the carrying of personal items during outdoor activities. This may be used to support weight, provide warmth, shelter against inclement weather, enable easier transportation over rough terrain, and/or protect the carrier from wild animals.
The typical backpacker’s gear consists of a tent, sleeping bag, stove/cooking system (e.g., pots & pans), water filter/purification implements (e.g., bottles/filters), tools for maintaining equipment (e.g., poles for tents, screwdriver for stoves) and lastly food supplies. Other common pieces of additional equipment are footwear appropriate for given terrain e.g.: hiking boots or approach shoes, backpacks, waterproof/breathable external garments (e.g., jackets & pants), navigation e.g.: map and compass, first aid kit, etc.
How to Use The Backpacking Checklist?
The list below is a general guideline for organizing your equipment in an easy-to-find manner. It may be used to help pack at home or when boarding an airplane that will carry passengers’ luggage.
- Sleeping Bag – preferably down insulation that compacts into small loads and lofts up quickly after being stuffed for use, keep it away from sharp objects in most cases they are inside the stuff sack, also prefer lightweight material if possible
- Shelter – in this case, a tent, the weight of the shelter is inversely proportional to its size and ease/speed in which it can be erected.
- Sleeping Pad – used underneath the sleeping bag, cushioning the individual from hard surfaces, if using an inflatable mattress try to buy one that compacts into a small pack and self-inflates.
- Backpack – provides a structure for hauling gear and distributes weight across body via straps & hip belt, also serves as storage for smaller items.
- Cookware – boil water or melt snow with pots/fry pan/pots/spoon/fork/knife (gathering firewood may be needed), if doing so choose metal utensils over plastic ones
- Stove – most backpacking stoves in the US-run on a 100% liquid petroleum gas or a canister of pressurized butane/propane, they will have an ignition source and fuel level indicator, compact models are preferred when possible
- Water Purification – there are several ways to achieve this via chemical treatment, filters or boiling is one of the most common methods to do so
- Hydration Bladder – for carrying water without having to carry an additional container (e.g., bottle), make sure it is fitted with a bite valve and insulated if staying out overnight in cold weather
- Lighting – headlamp offers hands-free lighting and leaves your hands free while moving and performing tasks, also preferable for cooking to keep both hands free.
- Clothing – lightweight and warm in the case of cold weather travel, rain gear is a must if staying out during wet weather conditions.
- Footwear – choose footwear that provides warmth, protection from harsh terrain and fits well with insoles (preferably closed-cell foam to soak up moisture), waterproof outer boots are useful when traveling through snow/wet areas.
- First Aid Kit – bandages/gauze pads, disinfectant ointment or wipes, antiseptic spray or powder, adhesive bandages/wraps/cotton balls/tweezers, medical tape & scissors (if you have a prescription bring it with you), pain reliever, an antihistamine for insect bites/stings, personal medication if necessary.
- Repair Kit – this includes paracord or rope, duct tape, zip ties, safety pins & needles/threads.
- Navigation – map & compass are two common things to bring along with GPS handhelds as a backup (in case the batteries die), don’t forget to download an offline map set for your device before departure.
- Food Supplies – try to pack foods that do not require any preparation and will last long in the outdoors without refrigeration e.g., dried fruits/nuts & oatmeal packets (be mindful of food allergies and dietary restrictions), instant soup cups (no need to carry a can opener, just a spoon), hard cheese/crackers, candy bars.
- Hydration Pack – if going on a multi-day trip consider bringing a hydration pack as an alternative to the bladder as it will not run out of water and allows for extra storage capacity in addition to staying hands-free.
- Map & Compass – these are useful when navigating long distances between waypoints or from point A to B
- Knife – lightweight backpacking knives have a blade that is no more than 4 inches in length and made from stainless steel or carbon steel (s30v is a popular brand), any added features such as fire starters, gut hooks, serrated edges serve little purpose except making them heavier.
What Do Beginner Backpackers Need?
If you are new to backpacking, then you would want to buy gear that is both functional and affordable. Begin with the basics of a backpack, sleeping bag/pad, tent, stove & cookset, etc. You don’t have to spend money on expensive hiking boots or tents until you are sure about what your needs are. Hiking boots should be chosen for comfort & support rather than weight. If possible try them out in person before buying- this will save you lots of money! The same goes for all other pieces of equipment e.g.: backpack selection – find one which fits your torso length & has good lumbar padding, no fancy bells and whistles! For gear that is quite an investment like packrafting boats, you can rent them first before buying.
What To Bring Backpacking?
Here is a list of backpacking gear for different weather conditions:
- Backpack Gear For Warm Weather Conditions
Backpack- 30-50L; Clothing to be light and cool; rain jacket; headlamp; sleeping bag (or summer sleeping bag); sleeping pad (closed-cell foam or inflatable); tent.
Gear To Be Carried: Day pack with 1-2 liters of water, sunblock/ sunglasses, hat, map & compass. Minimum cooking equipment which includes stove, lighter, and fuel canister. Carry 2-3 days’ worth of food as per the length of your trip e.g.: 3 dinners and 5 breakfasts + snacks like granola bars etc. Guidebook to plan the route.
- Backpack Gear For Cool to Cold Weather Conditions
Clothing for layering i.e.; wool shirts, fleece pullover, wind & rainproof outer layer, waterproof shell jacket, and pants; good hiking socks & gloves/mittens depending on the weather conditions backpacking boots with ankle support and insulation (optional if going in summer). If you intend to swim at a lake or river then bring a swimsuit. Keep your backpack contents light by only bringing the essentials e.g.: map of area + compass, water bottle(s), food bag that can be hung from a tree, the cooking system which includes stove & fuel, lighter, pot set, etc., extra clothes like warm hat/gloves/socks depending on the season, sunscreen, camera & toiletries.
What Is Ultralight Backpacking?
Ultralight backpacking is a modern style of hiking or trekking that involves carrying minimal gear and using lightweight equipment to minimize the overall weight carried. The philosophy usually involves traveling with as little as possible by maximizing multi-purpose items, replacing consumables with durable alternatives, and carrying only essential items.
- Choosing Essential Backpacking Equipment:
Backpack- 30-50L; Clothing to be lightweight and easily removable/washable; waterproof jacket & pants with good venting or convertible pants & jacket. If you intend to swim then bring a swimsuit, if the weather looks bad then carry an ultralight rain shell.
Gear To Be Carried: Headlamp; map of area + compass; water bottle(s); food bag that can be hung from a tree (e.g., biner and cord) cooking system which includes stove + fuel, lighter, mug, bowl, and spoon, etc.; extra clothes like warm hat/gloves/socks depending on the season; sunscreen toiletries; first aid kit.
List Of Essentials: Includes a map of the area with a compass, water bottles or hydration pack, food bag that can be hung from a tree (e.g., biner and cord), a cooking system which includes stove + fuel, lighter, mug, bowl, and spoon, etc., extra clothes like warm hat/gloves/socks depending on the season, sunscreen, sunglasses, toiletries.
Selecting Essential Backpacking Equipment: In addition to clothing, one should carry extra food e.g.: lunch bars & gels, etc.; first aid kit; emergency shelter if going solo e.g.: space blanket plus whistle for signaling help; matches or lighter plus a fire starting kit in case you need to make a fire at night i.e.: a lot of paper and dry twigs, etc.
Waterproof Backpacking Gear: You must have a backpack rain cover in case the weather turns bad, also carry a lightweight compact rain jacket/poncho. Instead of carrying a bulky waterproof jacket you could choose an ultralight breathable fabric or make one from silnylon or similar material to keep out the wind and light rain/snow if not heavy snowfall.
Most Common Beginner Mistakes In Backpacking Safety?
Not taking essential items with them. Getting lost in the backcountry because they are not carrying a map of the area + compass, which is an absolute necessity for navigation. Carrying too much gear or foodstuff e.g.: stove, fuel, oversized backpack & tent, etc.; is another mistake that people often make when going on their first backpacking trip. Selecting inappropriate footwear for the weather conditions is another common mistake that most beginners tend to make while trying to do ultralight backpacking especially in winter conditions when there is heavy snowfall or during monsoon season in areas like Northern California or Oregon where trails are flooded during the months of November through June.
The Basics Of Finding A Campsite: Choosing a site for your tent involves picking an appropriate location on flat ground that is free of rocks, vegetation, and other obstructions. Avoid places with a high risk of flash floods or mudslides. Camp away from animal paths or water sources to avoid conflicts with wildlife. If you are camping above the tree line make sure there are no dead trees that could fall over in heavy wind conditions.
Choosing The Right Location For Your Tent: When choosing a good campsite make sure the area is relatively level but also elevated enough so that it does not flood during heavy rains or snowmelt which will be running downhill towards your tent. A proper site should have at least three dry outs i.e.: different directions where water will run downhill if it starts raining. Check for roots and rocks that could damage your tent floor or be a trip hazard especially when you are entering/exiting the tent during heavy rain conditions. There should be vegetation around where you can get firewood without causing environmental damage.
Choosing The Right Location For Your Fire: The area of the campsite where you build your campfire should be clear from potential hazards such as dry, combustible material which could catch fire if a spark lands on it or dead branches with low hanging boughs overhanging your campsite that might drop embers onto the roof of your tent. During the autumn months in areas like Northern California, there is a lot of dead lying around due to wildfires which could cause a potential risk of starting another wildfire if you build a campfire there.
Pick Appropriate Firewood: When building your fire choose the wood that is as burnable as possible because it will allow the fire to be sustainable for longer periods of time especially in wet conditions when finding dry tinder or kindling can be challenging. Avoid using wood from evergreen trees like pine, juniper, and sequoia unless you know how to identify which parts/branches are safe for burning and which aren’t because the sap can drip onto your fire causing it to hiss and put off large amounts of noxious smoke. The bark on these trees contains flammable oils which don’t tend to combust fully causing problems such as creosote build-up in chimneys which can lead to potential fire hazards. Alternatively, you can use wood that is already dead and lie on the ground (not freshly cut tree branches) because dead wood contains less sap than greenwood.
Selecting The Right Fire Starting Tools: Having the right tools for starting your campfire will make it easier for you to get a sustainable flame going during windy conditions or wet weather. Depending on where you are backpacking having this equipment with you could be challenging so some people leave their fire starting kit at home preferring instead to find dry tinder and kindling while they are out in nature which is also an option if you prefer doing things the old-fashioned way of “hunkering down” for the night using alternative methods of staying warm.
Can You Still Go Backpacking With Kids?
Yes, you can! Backpacking is a fun family activity but requires a bit more planning than going for a day hike. A first aid kit, personal medications, etc. should be taken along whether it’s a family trip or an individual one. Plan your trip well in advance and keep children entertained on the trail e.g.: fun games/puzzles/crafts during rest stops e.g.: collecting leaves/flowers/shells etc. for the identification or making trail marks & taking ‘before’ & ‘after photos’ of the camping spot, hiking off-trail to see things from a different perspective, etc.
What Are The Advantages Of Backpacking?
– Freedom to go where you want
– Disadvantage is the risk of getting lost in the woods with no one around for miles! So know your area and plan your day trips well.
– You can pack light – which brings its own benefits like comfort & agility. Keep bulk to a minimum e.g.: tarp instead of the tent if the weather is good, sleeping bag instead of the sleeping quilt if it’s warm enough, etc.
– One learns about their body’s needs especially if they are out there alone without anyone else to rely on aside from themselves so hiking within ones’ limits is very important. If possible avoid solo backpacking and try to go with a friend or group.
– You get to see nature and wildlife more closely than on a trail.
– Disconnect from the habituated world, unplug and reconnect with nature & self.
How Can I Prepare For A Backpacking Trip?
First check our local weather conditions and the average temperature of the destination you are going to hike. Next, wet test your gear if possible so that you can fix any issues before setting off: this includes stove for gas leaks, etc., sleeping bag and tent by spending a night sleeping outdoors with it so you know what to expect from them when actually backpacking! To ensure everything is working properly pack everything up, load it in your car and drive to a nearby trailhead. Then hike for 1 mile or so before unpacking/setting up etc. If wet testing reveals any problems then fix them now before you leave rather than finding out about them when far away from civilization!
Learn how to navigate with a map & compass. This is essential if you are solo hiking; not only will this help you avoid getting lost but also can serve as an emergency measure (e.g.: signal for help). Be aware that cell phones do not work everywhere because of the lack of coverage especially in remote areas so having knowledge of maps & compasses is very important.
How To Select A Tent For Your First Backpacking Trip?
– Make sure you like to sleep with your feet towards the tent door as this is where there will be more room and you won’t kick your boots off accidentally.
– Too large a tent that blocks airflow around you leads to condensation and moisture buildup on the inside of the fabric (rain & dew) which will make it wet and cold for comfort.
– Look for a vestibule or at least an extra covered area outside for cooking or if the weather gets really bad; having to cook inside the tent isn’t good because of carbon monoxide poisoning. If one has no choice but to cook in their tent then only do so while wearing a reliable respirator mask.
– Be careful with aluminum poles; they can conduct cold and heat away from your tent, increasing condensation. If you use such materials then coat them (inside) with a thin layer of petroleum jelly e.g.: Vaseline to prevent rapid conductivity of body heat outwards & consequent condensation buildup inside.
– Look for tents that have mesh pockets sewn into the corners so that small items do not get lost easily at night or just outside the door where it’s easier to find them in the dark because they fell off the ground when you took something out/put something back in during your sleep time etc.
– If rain is likely try to pick one which has all its seams taped on the inside so that water does not seep in from the stitching holes.
– A 2-man tent is good for 1 person + gear & a 3-4 man one is good for 2 people with their gear as it costs as much as a small tent but covers twice as many people so you can bring your pack and boots inside to keep them dry or have a friend share it if they don’t mind being crammed together.
– For solo hiking, a single-person backpacking tent is best. Keep in mind that packs, boots, and other equipment should be left outside even if the weather forecast isn’t great e.g.: rain. Leaving these out allows condensation to escape plus you might need to make an emergency retreat ( out of there quickly) at a moment’s notice!
– Tents with 2 doors are better for groups of backpacking friends because you can enter & exit from opposite sides and stay dry.
– A tent footprint is necessary even if the manufacturer says the bottom of your lightweight backpacking tent is made from a durable material as this will prevent damage to the fabric. The only way to ensure that no punctures occur inside it during use would be to double-check by placing a tarp on the ground before setting up your tent on top of it.
– You probably don’t need a self-standing or freestanding one as these tend to be heavier. Though they do come in handy when trying to pitch them on rocky/slanted ground where stakes may not go in or if you want to pitch it on an uneven surface (e.g.: sand).
– If buying a lightweight backpacking tent then it makes sense not to buy the footprint as they are often sold together these days and they do cost more money than most small footprints. Try making one instead or just buy the tent by itself!
– Keep in mind that some tents will come with pole sleeves while others will have clips so be sure to check which your specific tent has before taking them out for the first time.
What Tips Are Useful When Backpacking?
– Know your limits and hike within them. This is very important because while backpacking the body needs time to rest, notice any nagging pains that may surface while hiking, and address them e.g.: if you get a blister then stop immediately, take care of it by bandaging it up before it worsens and carry some moleskin tape for this purpose until you can treat it properly when resuming the trip.
– Be aware of what season it is, dress according to weather conditions i.e.; be prepared for cold or hot weather conditions depending on the season! For example, bring an outer shell that protects from wind & water in colder seasons as well as sunscreen during summer, etc.
– Carry 4 liters/quarts of water if going on a multi-day trip and remember to drink regularly to avoid dehydration.
– Bring a first aid kit with essentials e.g.: band-aids, disinfectant, analgesic, etc.
– When going in cold weather have extra layers handy for sudden weather changes so you can take them off or put them on as needed. This prevents frostbite (fingers & toes) when the temperature suddenly lowers after sunset etc.
– Wear proper clothing that is suitable for the season like warm clothes in winter/fall, lightweight clothes in spring/summer, etc., wearing cotton is never recommended because it retains moisture which can lead to hypothermia much more quickly than synthetic materials (which wick away moisture). Cotton should only be worn in warmer weather when sweat is not much of an issue.
– Have the right footwear, think about ankle support when hiking through areas where there are many rocks/boulders or downhill sections where possible injury can occur due to twisting an ankle, etc. If you need extra padding then carry moleskin for this purpose.
– Respect wildlife & the environment while backpacking by leaving no trace i.e.: don’t litter! Pack out all trash, take home any food leftovers and follow guidelines on how to deal with human waste (i.e.: pooping).
– Use common sense, don’t take risks! If you are solo hiking or if the weather is bad then please reconsider whether this is a suitable time for backpacking because it can be dangerous to be in an isolated area with poor visibility due to bad weather etc. Dress appropriately and pack enough food & water so that you won’t get into trouble during your trip!
– Hike with at least one other person who knows where you are just in case something happens e.g.: you sprain an ankle, develop blisters, etc., wandering off alone can lead to trouble if not rescued within 24 i.e.: hypothermia, dehydration can occur quickly depending on the season. This is also a safety precaution; if you end up lost then someone else knows where you are and can alert search parties to come to find you.
– Don’t hike alone at night because it’s unsafe! Even though someone might know where you are hiking keep in mind that the weather & visibility still may be poor (i.e.: heavy fog), this increases the risk of injury during these conditions because even if you wear proper clothing it doesn’t mean others will see you especially when visibility is bad due to dense bushes/trees/cover, etc which block views or impact of sounds i.e.: high winds blowing trees around, etc., crossing rivers, etc.
– When looking for shelter don’t ignore a building even if it looks abandoned because people in the area may consider you a threat i.e.: thieves, desperate individuals. If this is your backpacking destination then write down the name of the place/area for future reference and pack a map with you when going out in case you get lost or need to know where you are.
– Don’t leave valuables lying around when not in use especially things like cell phones, cameras, etc., they can be easily stolen when someone finds them laying on tables, benches at shelters, etc.; bring money to pay for shelter fees when necessary but keep most of your money hidden by either carrying it on your person (i.e.: belt) or locking it up somewhere safe e.g.: lodging office.
– Avoid areas that are prone to theft, i.e.: crowded or isolated cities, train stations, etc., these are the places where you need to watch out for pickpockets and muggers because they can easily steal things from your pockets when you aren’t looking! If you must go there then carry a decoy wallet with only enough money so that thieves will think this is all you have and hopefully leave you alone.
– Have proper planning for your backpacking activities/hikes, stay within your skill level (know what to do in case of emergencies), start small like taking day hikes first (i.e.: 1 hour), and work yourself up as comfortable as possible depending on experience levels; those who are new to hiking should start with hour-long hikes, those who are really athletic can take on the day/overnight hikes depending on fitness levels.
– Hiking boots are the best for backpacking because they provide good support and protection compared to other types of footwear; it’s generally better to be safe than sorry when it comes to having proper footwear especially if you have previous injuries that need protecting e.g.: sprain an ankle, twist a knee, etc., this increases the risk of re-injuring yourself or making things worse so wear proper shoes even if they hurt your feet during the beginning stages!
– If you wear glasses then bring eye goggles because bugs might fly into your eyes while hiking i.e.: bees, mosquitoes, etc., also brings sunglasses in case there is bright sun during the daytime to protect your eyes.
– If you have a bad knee then bring a walking stick, it will help take pressure off your joints and reduce stress on knees when going up/down inclines or hills especially if they are steep!
– Bring extra clothing that might have been washed at home but not packed yet because even though they were fresh from laundry machines it’s still possible for them to get dirty while backpacking, also bring extra pair of socks just in case something happens e.g.: you step in mud, develop blisters, etc., dirt gets trapped in cloth fibers so having an extra set allows you to change them after washing your feet before going to bed.- Be prepared with proper outdoor first aid if anything bad does happen e.g.: someone gets injured, lost, etc., first aid doesn’t have to be complicated, just something like band-aids, gauze pads, medical tape (for taping/holding the dressing in place), aspirin/ibuprofen for pain relief and antiseptic wipes for cleaning wounds/cuts, etc., also bring any medication you might need i.e.: inhaler if you have asthma wheezing episodes or chronic allergies.
– Bring a cell phone especially if going to areas with reception because it can come in handy if the worst happens i.e.: your car breaks down on a deserted highway somewhere or even worse: emergency services need your help! If you don’t want to deal with the stress and hassle of having a cell phone then at least bring a GPS unit in case you get lost or if your car breaks down somewhere!
– Carry extra cash on you in case it’s needed for emergency purposes e.g.: gas money, emergencies, etc., just enough to get by with until things improve (i.e.: backpacking trip is over).
And that is a recommended backpacking gear list beginners, see anything you like to bring along on your next trip? It could be tricky to prepare properly when you just recently pick up backpacking. But with the information above plus some trial and error, you would be able to assemble a suitable inventory without fail.