What to Pack When Backpacking: A Guide for Beginners

by | Feb 21, 2022 | tips | 0 comments

Staying indoors – at home or work – for long periods can get stuffy, suffocating even. There are times when you want nothing but to leave and enjoy the fresh breeze. So, you reach out to your friends and plan hiking and camping trips. You settle on going to a peaceful, mountainous area. You could stargaze while enjoying the peace with each other’s company.

In camping, what you bring can make or break your experience. You could regret packing something you weren’t able to use. Or you could end up getting injured for missing something you should have brought. But other than the essentials, such as tents, food, water, clothes, what else should you bring?

Map

A map contains the representation of the area that you would be hiking. It shows physical features, bodies of water, paths that you could be observing or passing by. At this time, why would you need a map when you can use google or any internet service to help you find your way? The answer is simple. Some areas won’t have signals for your gadgets to work. Therefore it’s practical to bring this navigation tool.

Compass

This device can help you navigate around areas without signals. Compasses don’t also rely on batteries. They’re readily available to help you whenever you feel disoriented and lost.

If you’re going out with a group, it’s the best advice to ask everyone else to bring their maps and compasses. So, if ever someone from the group gets lost and communication isn’t possible, they could manage to find your agreed base or maybe find the nearest road. However, while both tools are classics for navigation, not everyone knows how to read or interpret them. Before your trip, you can perhaps have a study session where you learn the basics of both together.

Whistle

Aside from maps and compasses, a whistle can come in handy if someone gets separated from the group. When you’re hiking, you should always consider the possibility of getting lost because only then will you be able to prepare for it. A whistle can help locate someone that got separated from the group. By following the whistle blows, you can pinpoint where someone is situated.

Headlamp and Flashlights

Navigating at night will be difficult, maybe even impossible, without any source of light. Mobile phones can be handy, but they only last a couple of hours before you need to charge them. Among the two, headlamps are a better option as they keep your hands free – then you can hold your map and compass to navigate. However, flashlights have better power sources and shine at a better range. Both have their advantages and disadvantage. Therefore, it’s more sensible to pack both. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries as well.

First Aid

First aid kits should never be left out wherever you’re going. We can’t foresee what might happen during your trip, so, practically, you bring one, just in case. You can buy pre-assembled kits that already contain ointments, bandages, gauze pads, tapes, and medication. You should also adjust the content or the number of first aid kits you’re bringing according to how long you will be staying outside.

Knife

A knife is essential when you’re out in the wilderness. It doesn’t only serve as a weapon for possible dangerous situations that might unfold; it can also be used for a lot of other tasks. For your safety and protection, it’s best to bring with you a knife. A knife is useful for opening bags or cans of food, cutting tapes or ropes, preparing food, first aid, cutting branches to start a fire – you name it. A knife can be versatile during your hiking.

Now that you realize the necessity of a knife, it’s best to ensure that your knife stays in good condition throughout your trip. Cutting branches might make it dull. Then, you won’t be able to use it afterward. For this, you also might need to bring a knife sharpener. When choosing what to bring, consider its size without forsaking its function. You can purchase LaBeau Honer, as they’re hand-carry sharpeners that work for different blades.

Lighter, matches

Being able to stay warm, especially at night when it’s the coldest, is essential. Sometimes, thick clothes won’t be enough to protect you from the cold. Additionally, starting a fire or making a campfire can provide light and heat for cooking.

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