Spending a few days out in the wilderness trekking from place to place is lots of fun but it isn’t as easy as it sounds, here’s why…
#1: You have to carry everything you need on your back; this is a strenuous task no matter how light weight your gear maybe. Even with a 2lb sleeping bag and minimal amounts of water, (not recommended) weight adds up fast. We’ve found that a bag well packed typically weighs around 30-40 lbs. Now that may not seem like much but it will after an hour or so of hiking. So before you go backpacking make sure you can handle the strain.
#2: You have to find sources of water; When backpacking you will need double the amount of water you would need other wise, this would probably be around 170-190 oz of water per day for the average male. Now are you up to carrying 10-15lbs of water? Well actually nobody is, that’s why you have to bring a portable water filter, and find your own sources of fresh water. Creeks are Ideal for this, especially when cold. So before you go backpacking make sure you have a large water bottle and a water filtration system. Also be sure to check a map to see where any water sources are along the trail and plan accordingly.
#3: There are no toilets in the woods; This maybe the most miserable part of backpacking, however, it doesn’t have to be. Say your in the woods and you’ve gotta go #2 and you’re 3 miles from the nearest bathroom, what then? Well if you were properly prepared you would have brought a small shovel and some biodegradable toilet paper and then all you would have to do is find a tree to squat up against, dig a hole and do your business. So before you go backpacking make sure you have a shovel and toilet paper.
#4: Bears, wolves, and raccoons; Depending on where you choose to hike you have to be on the look out for bears and wolves especially in the rockies. Also, when you have your campsite set up and the critters come out you are in even more danger than you were in broad daylight unless you properly stored your food at least ten feet of the ground and five feet away from trees. So before you go backpacking make sure you bring rope to suspend food and trash.
OUR RECOMMENDED BACKPACKING LIST
For a 1-3 night backpacking trip
- a sturdy backpack, we recommend one with at least a 50 liter capacity
- a water filter
- a large water bottle
- first aid kit
- a light weight tent (alps is an excellent brand)
- a change of clothes, preferably dry fitting clothes, no cotton
- a hiking stick, they make a world of difference
- food, make sure its rich in protein
- a lightweight stove (we recommend a jet boil)
- toilet paper
- a small shovel
- a poncho
- sturdy hiking boots, preferably water proofed ones
- bug spray
- sunscreen, especially when mountain climbing
- bear pepper spray (if hiking in bear country)
- at least 25ft of rope, 75ft if mountain climbing
- fire starter of some sort
- a light weight sleeping pad
- a light weight sleeping bag, preferably around 2-3lbs
- a bag to store food in trash in during the night
- a pocket knife
- a carabiner or two
- hand soap and personal hygiene products
Do you have anything to add? Comment below and we will see about adding it.