When planning that all important hiking trip, there are certain Backpacking Essentials that you will need to take. These essentials are the cornerstone of every backpacking excursion so to not take these items would not only jeopardize your safety, but will make even the simplest of tasks very labour intensive.
How and what people put into their rucksacks for a hiking trip is a very personal thing and is largely down to the individual concerned. There is more and more emphasis being put on lightweight or indeed ultra-light backpacking, and people spend a lot of time perfecting their backpacking kit. This kit is pared and scaled down so that the backpacker carries the minimum amount of kit necessary for his or her trip. A lot of the time ultra-light backpackers will take minimum weight over comfort, and there are more and more items on the market that reflect this. Personally I tend to opt for the comfort over weight issue as I like a little bit of five star luxury when camping.
But with all said and done, whether you opt for the minimalist approach, or prefer a bit more luxury there are some items that you should never leave home without. These are your Top Ten Backpacking Essentials:
- Fire starter
- Pocket knife/multi-tool
- Cell phone
- First aid kit
- Pocket flashlight
- Extra water
When you reach your destination at the end of the day after a long day’s trekking, you want to get a fire going and some food on as quickly as possible. Without matches this task becomes very difficult.
2) Fire starter
Like matches, having some sort of a fire starter makes the job in hand a lot easier. Even some cotton wool balls soaked in vaseline make an excellent home made fire starter. There are backpackers and campers who are more than capable of lighting a fire using only the items around them, however this is a very difficult skill to master and one that takes a lot of patience and persistance. On top of this you have really got to know what you are doing.
3) A compass
In the wilderness or back country it is very easy to get disorientated. Therefore this is an essential piece of equipment, if you are following a trail and happen to stray off by accident. A compass will provide you with a bearing to get you heading back in the right direction. (providing you know your North from your South)
Used in conjunction with a compass this provides you with the knowledge you need to get you to your next destination safely.
Personally for me this is an essential piece of kit and has so many uses. Use it as an impromptu washing line, or even a fishing line, it is so versatile. Ideally the stronger the cord the better it is so something like 550 parachute cord is a great choice. This can be purchased from good camping shops or indeed army surplus stores.
6) Small pocket knife/Multi-tool
Again like the string it has a myriad of uses, It can become your eating utensil or your food preparation knife. It can be used to tighten screws or even open a bottle of wine. This is a definate backpacking essential.
7) Cell Phone
Now I know there are going to be some people out there who disagree with me on this one, but I am all for making life easier, even when on the trail. There are peple out there who will believe that getting back to nature means just that! I can totally understand this concept, but why fight against technology? if it´s going to aid me, and help me out of a tight situation, then I´m going to take it.
8 ) Extra Water
A real must when out in the back country. You can survive without food but you can´t survive without water!
9) Small first aid Kit
A basic first aid kit is very important, and is sometimes overlooked in the quest to attain a lighter backpack. However worse case scenario is that it will provide you with peace of mind. At best it could avert a trip ruining calamity.
10) Pocket Flashlight
Pocket flashlights come in all shapes and sizes, but you tend to get what you pay for. Over the years they have become smaller, durable and more powerful.The Maglite is a perfect example of this. An excellent tool to help you out of a tight situation in the dark.
For further hints and tips on backpacking essentials visit Top Beginner Camping Tips.
I also found a very helpful site that can be used not only for backpacking but also for travelling here and abroad and it’s called the The Universal Packing List. Click here to try it http://upl.codeq.info/
Are all these information essential to you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Enjoy the Outdoors but Be Safe Always! 🙂
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