Six Must-Haves For Your First Backpacking Trip
If you’re looking for a beautiful getaway for the weekend or a fun way to revamp your vacation, a backpacking trip may be just what you need! Hiking in the wilderness can provide solitude, fresh air and rejuvenation any time of year.
If it’s your first time, there are a lot of things to consider, such as finding a location that gets you away from the tourist crowds, routing out your trek and choosing the sights you’d like to see along the way, and making a list of backpacking essentials you’ll need to carry with you. Don’t forget to include these 6 must-have items when putting together your backpacking checklist:
1. Weather gear
Whether you prefer to sleep under the stars or stay under cover, it’s wise to have a one person backpacking tent or a light and simple tarp (be sure to bring stakes and rope) just in case, along with a durable sleeping bag and pad. These items are designed to be easy to carry and you’ll be glad you have them if the weather takes a turn for the worse. You’ll want to have raingear, gloves and a hat on hand as well if the forecast is looking cold or wet. Weather gear ensures that you stay warm and dry from morning dew, rain and the cold.
2. Food and cooking supplies
Packing some dry and pre-packaged food is always a good idea when you’re backpacking. You can also pack a few other cooking tools and utensils, such as a pot, pan and the Littlbug Junior Stove if you want to get creative with your meals. Be sure you have plenty of water or access to a water supply and a way to purify it as well, to cook with and to stay hydrated.
3. Light source
Depending on your location and the time of year you’re backpacking, you may have limited sunlight hours during the day. After a long hike, the last thing you want is to be caught in the woods without being able to see. Your campfire may be your main source of light, so make sure you have what it takes to start a fire. Your Littlbug Stove can double as a campfire or simply provide an easy way to get one started. To be extra prepared, pack a flashlight, headlamp or lantern and extra batteries as well!
4. Map and compass
Speaking of being caught in the woods, every hiker should have a map and a compass with them to navigate. There are GPS systems on the market that have advanced tracking features that can signal a rescue team in case of an emergency, but sometimes, even technology can fail. If you want to be sure not to stray off your path, have a map and compass as a backup, especially if it’s your first time hitting the trails.
A small, but worthy investment for your first backpacking trip is a multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife. You never know when you’ll need to cut some branches for kindling or cut some rope to pitch your tent. If you need a set of small scissors, pliers or a corkscrew on your backpacking trip, you’ll also be glad you have a camping multi-tool.
6. First aid kit
When you’re packing for your first hike, it’s hard to think of every possible circumstance you could encounter. Throw a small first aid kit in your pack for some peace of mind. Your kit should include bandages, gauze and antiseptic at the minimum. While it’s not likely that you’ll have to deal with anything life threatening, knowing you’re prepared for any situation can provide a lot of relief.
As you approach your backpacking trip, these must-have items can help ensure you’ll have a fun and memorable first experience! Packing doesn’t have to be intimidating, especially if you prepare a good checklist. Here's a good backpacking checklist to get you started.