Archives for May 2013

Must Have Accessories for Avid Backpackers

backpackingMost aspiring backpackers go to their nearest Wal-Mart and grab random gear. Toss in the boots, compass and canteen. . .you’re ready to go. Any avid backpacker will tell you this probably is not the smartest decision. Yet, this is what many people do.

The following is a list of must have items:

Flashlight: This is especially important for overnight trips. Too many times travels setoff unprepared without proper lighting gear. A simple, waterproof light (preferably solar) will be fine. Don’t wait till you’re deep in the Ozarks to remember a flashlight. Get any brand such as Maglite or SureFire from your local store. You might get away with a battery operated lantern. Carrying a flashlight is still recommended.

Keyless Lock: It really doesn’t matter what kind of lock you get. The main thing is to be safe when traveling away from civilization. Chances are you don’t want to keep track of keys. With this said, invest in a combination style lock. This is a priceless/ $5 investment. Choose a combo you’ll remember and. . .wallah. . .you’re off to the races!

iPhone Solar Charger: Now that you have a flashlight and lock, its time for a different tip. No reason to stick to the conventional. Finding a way to keep an iPhone charged just might solve the flashlight problem. Most iPhones require a small amount of energy to charge. Purchasing a solar powered charger might solve most light and directional problems. A solar power charging station will typically fall under the $20 range.

Proper Shelter: Believe it or not, its possible to carry a mobile shelter. Avoiding wet gear and clothes is key to smart backpacking. Small umbrellas and tents are cheap and save time along the trail. If your plans include camping, buy some tarp and string to ensure you have sufficient cover. Even a tarp between two trees is better than catching a cold in the rain. All avid backpackers who take multi-day trips are aware of shelter issues and act accordingly.

Trip Diary: Your trip should be nothing short of adventurous. If you plan correctly (even if you don’t) there should be plenty of things to remember. Buy a cheap notebook to record a few of the finer moments. Take turns with your travel partners to take notes and keep track of favorite spots. Maybe you’ll be back someday.

Water Filter: Even though your inner naturalist wants to drink from the spring, its always best to filter first. Remember, a small filtration system is lighter than water. Spend the $20 necessary to guarantee fresh, clean water along the trail. Filter it, drink it and keep moving.

Keep in mind, this list does not include every item an avid backpacker might need. However, its a great start. Have a great time on your next journey!