Are You Relatively New to Backpacking?
Are you new to backpacking? Still testing the waters a bit? We completely understand! Backpacking is serious business and if you are not well prepared, you could be sabotaging your experience. We’ve all had to learn from mistakes, or maybe we’ve just become wiser with experience and age, or maybe we’ve figured out a few items that would have been highly valued in our first couple of trips.
Whether you want to be a weekend backpacker, an adventure seeker, or a diehard survivalist, we identified some items we wish we had thought of packing years ago. We acknowledge everybody is unique in what they are looking for when they venture to the outdoors, so please recognize these are just suggestions and meant to offer some advice and not a hardcore guide. Bottom line, we really want you to enjoy your adventure and eagerly anticipate your next trip. Here are some of our favorites we wished we had way back when. The best part, they are all under $60! The perfect gift for someone just getting into backpacking, a scout, any outdoor enthusiast, or for yourself in order to plan that first trip to the outdoors, camping or backpacking.
Our first recommendation is a must for a great night's sleep! After a day of hiking into your campsite, you might be exhausted and maybe even a little sore and achy. Yes, you packed a fantastic sleeping bag with all the bells and whistles, but what about a sleeping pad? Some of those backwoods camping areas can be pretty rugged, and we all know no matter what the activity, a good night's rest is sure to make it that much more enjoyable!
1. NEMO Switchback Foam Sleeping Pad: ($50) Ultracompact and Ultralight foam sleeping pad. Space-efficient design allows for 20% more thickness in a folded package that's smaller than the industry standard. It even has a heat-reflecting film to keep the chill from creeping through - perfect for multiple seasons.
Let's face it, with the advent of online navigation systems, we may have become a bit green on reading maps. If you are going out into the back country, we highly recommend having some type of GPS navigation system that works outside of your normal, everyday driving. This subscription is great for hiking, especially if you want to venture off the beaten trail. Plus it will help you find your way home eventually.
2. Ultralight Packing Pods: ($50) Pack discipline starts here, because when it comes to increasing mileage on extended adventures, every cubic inch counts. Stackable Pods are a key organizational, space-saving, and weatherproofing tool. Ultralight Pods also allow you to organize your pack system more efficiently.
Hopefully you've already thought about a first aid kit, but there a wide variety on the market. This particular kit is ideal for backpacking and other outdoor adventures. It is always best to be prepared! What is the saying? Plan for the worst and expect the best. You may actually want to have a few kits stashed in your vehicles or a disaster pack.
3. First Aid Kit - 200 Piece: ($27) Customized to address a wide range of injuries, it features the perfect selection of first-aid & preparedness essential items that are most often needed in times of crisis, especially if you are exposed to natural disasters. Recommended for Road Trips, Backpacking, Wilderness Adventures, Survival, Travel, Boat, and more.
This is a great nicety, especially if you are near several trees during your adventure. The perfect solution for taking an afternoon nap or maybe some reading during your adventure.
4. Nylon Hammock for Camping Backpacking: Super lightweight & easy to set up - The camping hammock comes with everything you need. Two solid steel carabiners & two hammock tree straps, each strap long 8.2 ft and with 5+1 loops. Very easy to set up hammock within 90 seconds. The hammock weighs 1.3 lbs.
Of course we recommend a Littlbug stove! The stove's creation was inspired by the need to avoid the hassle of trying to pack a stove that doesn't reduce significantly in size when stowed for transport. The versatility and convenience speak for itself.
5. Littlbug Stoves ($55-$57) Littlbug backpacking camp stoves are clean burning, ultra lightweight, easy to assemble & boil water fast. Just gather sticks and twigs for your stove, or use alcohol for quick & convenient heat. Leave no trace with the Littlbug Fire Bowl. The benefits are easy to see why we love our Littlbug!
- Choose Your Fuel – Littlbug Stoves Burn Wood or Alcohol
- Rugged Simplicity – Stainless Steel Construction
- Stable – Unique Pot Supports Provide a Versatile Cooking Platform
- Nests for Easy Storage and Transport – Wraps Around a Sleeping Pad
- Easy to Assemble
- Boils Water Fast
- Cools Quickly
- Requires No Maintenance Kits, Spare Parts, Windscreens, or Heat Exchangers
- Plus lots of fun accessories to choose from too!
6. Art of the Trek is a fun tool to consider if you are looking for new backpacking, hiking, or camping trips. Art of the Trek is a community-based, outdoor trip-planning app that enables hikers to research and plan successful adventures in one place. Let's face it, with the advent of online navigation systems, we may have become a bit green on reading maps and if there is a tool that can make it simple, then we say say take advantage of it. They provide a well-researched route complete with photos, trailheads, campsites, scenic locations, permit and reservation info, helpful notes. You just need to tell them what you're looking for and where - simple as ABC. They’ll design a custom route for exactly the trip you’re looking to take at no cost to you. If you are planning a trip in an unfamiliar area, we highly recommend utilizing a tool or app like this.
Please share any other items that you have found a great asset in your backpacking gear or camping collection. We love to collaborate with fellow outdoor enthusiasts and value your insight as well. We focused on essential, lightweight items to optimize all space and weight to fully outfit your backpack.