Must Haves for a Backpack Trip

backpackingNothing like the great outdoors to strengthen bonds and build character. Think about it, the Boy Scouts do it all the time! Now, thinking like a scout should conjure up a phrase – Be Prepared. Well, when you are on a backpack trip, those two words are as true as ever. Below is a list of some essential and recommended items for your adventure.

Backpack – really, this goes without saying, but it seemed appropriate to start with the basics

Tent – Unless you plan on sleeping in whatever weather may come (remember that the weather man is never 100% accurate) then you should bring a reliable tent. Keep it small enough to carry, but big enough for you and your stuff. If this is a joint adventure, share the tent pieces with your partner. If there is a chance of rain, your tent should also have a rain cover. Make sure the tent can handle both the weather and the chill for the region you’ll be trekking.

Sleeping Bag – Having something to keep you insulated at night is critical. You’ll especially need it to keep warm if you are sleeping anytime other than the hottest part of summer. Even then, nights are always colder than days and you’ll want to keep yourself from getting frostbite. Check to make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the temperatures you’ll be encountering.

Water – It is heavy, awkward, and sometimes bothersome in flavor, but this addition will save your life. You can’t function without water and after three days of moderate movement and no water, you crash. So imagine a vigorous hike. Anyway, pack enough water to take care of you and if there is a water source, get some water purification tablets so you can restock on the trial.

Food – Yep, this is an important one. Unless you’re on some crazy fasting diet with exercise too, this is key. Your body and muscles require the energy supplied by carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins. Keep your belly full enough to keep the rest of you moving.

Clothing – You’ll need at least one backup pair to wear in case what you are wearing gets soaked or soiled. That way you won’t have to stand and shiver while your clothes dry off. Plus, wearing the same clothes for days on end is stinky (in more ways than one).

Toiletries – This is an “optional” one, but you might want to give it the benefit of the doubt. Having a trowel to dig a hole for going the bathroom, shaving equipment for those who dislike scruff (that will include razor, shaving soap, maybe after shave), combination body soap and shampoo (carry one thing instead of two), and a toothbrush with toothpaste.

Other things can be thrown in as weight, space, and need arises, but these things should keep you going on almost any backpack adventure.

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