There is a lot to be said for those who choose to travel via backpacking than on a plane or car. These individuals are true adventurers. They understand the risks but overcome them to enjoy the natural splendors of traveling that many others miss. Instead of simply going to tourist traps, backpackers prefer the local experience that is garnered only through walking in their footsteps. Yet backpacking can be difficult for beginners if they don’t pack appropriately. To help ensure that you have everything that you need for your backpacking trip, consider some of these tips.
1. The Structure
Before you start throwing items into your backpack, you need to first consider the overall structure. This means what needs to be placed first, second, and last. You don’t want to have to empty out your entire backpack just to reach your water bottle or a bag of snacks. So, pack your backpack in reference to this list:
- Bottom Layer: Bulky Items You Won’t Need Until After You Build Camp Like Blankets And Sleeping Bags
- Middle Layer: Dense Gear You Don’t Need During Actual Hike Like Cooking Items And Fuel
- Top Layer: Essential Items Like Rain Jackets, First-Aid Kits, And Snacks
2. Essential Items
Let’s take a closer look at the essential items that should make up the top player of your backpack. You never quite know what the weather is going to be like once you start hiking. For those who are traveling through mountains or through a forest, the weather can change unexpectedly. You should have a rain jacket readily available to cover yourself in should the rain start to pour.
Instead of stowing your wet jacket back in your backpack after the rain is over, you should instead store it in one of the pockets in the backpack. Typically, the front pouch is an excellent choice for wet gear. Other essential items that should make up your top layer are a first aid kit, snacks, water bottles or a water purifier, a satellite phone, a map, lamps or flashlights. It’s also not a bad idea to have a few rolls of toilet paper at the ready for when you need to stop.
The middle layer of your backpack should contain most of the items that you’ll need when breaking camp. These should be the items that you typically use for cooking and that you’ll need in order to make camp. Since you want to pack as little as you can, you should think about using biodegradable utensils and plates. If you want to include any extra water purifiers or canteens, then they should also go in this section.
In the bottom layer of your backpack will go all of the bulky items. This includes your tent, sleeping bag, and your clothes. For some backpackers, they actually prefer to carry their tent on top of their backpack as an attachment. That’s certainly not a bad idea if your backpack is already bursting at the seams. The reason you want the bulky items to be set on the bottom layer is that it creates a nice cushion for all those items above it. It also allows you to keep the most-needed items that you need throughout your hike at the top of the backpack rather than the bottom.
5. Comfort And Convenience
As any experienced backpacker will tell you, the main goal of successfully packing a backpack is to mix comfort with convenience. You’re going to be carrying the weight of your backpack on your back for hours. Not only does it need to have a weight that allows you to keep your center of gravity, rather than hindering it, but it also needs to rest comfortably.
While the development of blisters may not be uncommon, they shouldn’t be a constant hindrance. You may want to think about adding compression sacks in order to keep your bag air-tight. Just ensure that you pack some clothes around the sacks to keep everything snug together. Finally, remove most of the luxury items from your bag. It’s highly unlikely you’ll have a need for them.