Backpacking Gear & Essentials

Okay, here we go.  This might be long but important!

When I go backpacking.  I want to bring only what I need.  When I went in the past, I wasn’t formally taught but I learned.


You must have a backpack that will carry what you need for the amount of time that you are going!  It must be comfortable as well!  An outfitter company like REI or Cabellas cam fit you with one.

The basic & first thing is to take what you need & for the time that you are spending out there.  I would start with clothing that is waterproof.  Foot ware is very important!  Water proof is important, bring a pair of waterproof pants & pull over jacket. 

Depending if your hiking in high elevation where it does & can snow you might want to bring some base layers.  You are hiking at least 5 to 10 miles in so you want to be warm & comfortable.    I bring wicking underwear because of sweat.  You can still chaff but not as bad!  You might want to take along some anti itching cream for that.  Just pack light!  Rei & Cabelas has some great clothing for this sport.

Bring wool socks!  Cotton might be comfortable but will become damp from your sweat.  They are hard to dry too.  You can put a band aid on your heels to prevent blisters.  I found that out the hard way after I returned from a hike.  I Google it on how to prevent blisters & it showed up.  You do not want to deal with a blister once you get to your camp then ruin your stay & your return trip.

Second, Food.

I have not been backpacking in a while.  There are ready made dry foods out there like Mountain House ext… those do get quite expensive.  Those meals run around .00 to .00 depending on what you get.    The best thing to do is go to the grocery store & purchase foods that are packaged.   There are too many to name.  you will find yourself boiling a lot of foods or frying them.  If you are camping by a lake then you can make one meal fish.  You can bring packaged tuna, tortillas, summer sausage, and noodles.  I do recommend that you bring a Jet Boil.  This device is specifically made for boiling water.  Just be sure that you bring enough fuel canisters.  You can save the fuel by making a fire with fire starting materials & use a pot to boil water.    Go to a fast food restaurant or a wholesale grocer like Costco & purchase condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup ext… 

Third (Personal Gear)

This one is a no brainer.  What is your personal gear?  Knives, compass, medication, flashlight.  I recommend a head lamp.  If you are cooking or trying to find fire wood or whatever.  It will come in handy!  If you choose to take a hike at night time it will also come in handy.  Fishing at night, trying to clean the fish, bug spray ext…

Fourth (Sleeping Gear).

Now on this one, I will be honest.  This one can vary for each person on what brands they like.  Let’s talk about it.

I recommend a tent that is a (3) season & as light as you can possibly get.  Next will be your sleeping pad.  There are so many types in this one.  Bring a sleeping pad that is light & easy to blow up.  REI has some really nice ones.  What season are you camping?  Winter or summer?  If it is summer, you can easily get away with a thin layer.  If you are camping in the winter then you want a pad that is thicker than & as high as you can.  Your core body temperature will start to drop as the cold from the ground cools your body.    Sleeping bag.  In the summer, find one that is light but can withstand temperatures that can handle 20◦.  If you are camping in the mountains then you will definitely need a bag with that rating on eit.

Cooking utensils.

Outdoor stores sell post that are light & are Non-Stick.  I recommend that!  There is nothing like trying to remove hard food on your pot unless you want to invite a bear in your camp area!  Some come in sets that go into each other.  I would buy some utensils such as a (Spork).  It is a fork & knife in one on both ends of it.  They are made with a hard plastic & are very durable too.  Always bring a small cleaning kit with a small sponge & biodegradable soap.

Final conclusion.

If you can think of anything else that you can bring than please do.  There is no set item (s) to being.  I did post those most important items.  Please do some research, talk to a friend who knows this stuff or just go to your local outdoor store.

Thank you!


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