The Essential Gears without Which No Backpacking Trip Is Complete

Nothing can be worse than getting stuck miles away from the civilization and facing an emergency you are not prepared for. Whether you have lost your way, got drenched in an unexpected rain, or are suffering from pain on account of poor footwear, hiking without the right gear is never a fun experience. Get to know what you should bring along while hiking, and make your backpacking a rewarding experience.

But Shouldn’t Choosing The Bag Be The Primary Task Before You Go Backpacking?

It is! You do need a hiking backpack, and a rugged one to hold your gears comfortably. However, if you are going for a day hiking, a small day pack will suffice your needs. But take heed when you are planning for longer hiking trips! Go for nothing less than a backpack which has plenty of compartments, and enough space to keep your foods and equipments handy. Also, make sure that the bag you choose fits you comfortably.
Just the way you look for different types of bags for different types of trails, it is imperative that you choose your gears according to the type of excursion you are going for.

So What Should You Take When You Are Out For A Shorter Trail?

Below is given a list of things that you should include in your bag.

  • A Compass: It will help you know where you are going. It can really come handy when you are trailing in the wilderness. But make sure that you learn to use it properly.
  • Flashlight: You can use it as a signal for help in case you get lost in the darkness. Yes! You need it even during day trips because you never know when you might need to spend the night outdoors.
  • Knives:   Having a three blade pocket knife can serve the purpose well. You may need a knife for medical needs (say for cutting moleskin), food preparation, cutting ropes and making minor repairs.
  • First Aid Kit- Don’t forget the band aids and calamines for bug bites. In fact, it’s better if you take first aid essentials for every minor injury.
  • Sunscreen: The higher altitude you go, the more intensive UV radiation you get exposed to. So don’t forget to carry your sunscreen and of course, remember your sunglasses.
  • Extra Foods As far as the foods are concerned, it is always wise to take some snacks, jerky, trail mix or some calorie loaded foodstuffs with you. Yes! Carry extra food packs even if you are going for a day hike.
  • Water purifier: Bring anything that you find convenient- purifying chemicals/ portable filters/ purifiers. You MUST treat any water that you did not bring from home.
  • A Plastic Whistle: Metal whistles can freeze up. A whistle will help you in case you lose your way, need help and the like.
  • Waterproof Matches: You can also bring a lighter. What if you are stuck out in thunderstorm? You will thank your stars for bringing it with you.
  • Footwear:  Choose hiking boots/ shoes that are designed just for the type of terrain that you will be visiting.
But What Additional Things Should You Take When You Are Out For Longer Hikes?

Of course, what you need for the short day hikes are equally essential for longer excursions. However, when you are out for longer hikes, there are a few more things that you need to add to your checklist.

  • Fire starter materials: Choose something that lights up quickly and easily. You will need it to make your food.
  • Map: This is a must when you will be out for longer hikes.  In fact, you should study it much before you go out. A map will let you know the type of terrain you are going to travel through.
  • Tents and Sleeping Bag: Needless to say, they will come handy if you camp at night. Tents and sleeping bags are just the things that you need for emergency shelter.
  • GPS: If you don’t know how to use a compass, you can use a GPS as well.

What you have learned is of course, just a short, yet precise outline on the essential gears that you should not leave your home without. Just remember, the list of “things to have” entirely depends on which type of hike you are going for. So before you go for hiking, prepare your own equipment list.