Every good camper could list a few most important things that need to be considered when packing for a hiking trip. Now, in case you don’t know any pro hikers, I guess you’ll just have to rely on internet and post like this one to give you some basic tips on packing for a hiking trip. But, don’t worry, I did my research… plenty of it so I am going to give you some good tips suggested by various experienced people all around the globe. And here are 8 tips on packing for a hiking trip to help you get started:
1. Balance is Everything
Balancing your backpack properly isn’t as simple as it seems and it definitely involves much more than just making sure the weight is distributed evenly between left and right. I’d pack my bag using my standard “heavy things go first” logic but experts say that is actually a huge no-go! Heavy things are supposed to be somewhere near center, as close to your back as possible. If you have an internal frame backpack, you’ll need to pack the heavy items above the lower third as opposed to external frame backpacks, where heavy weight stuff must be placed in the upper third. Tricky stuff, I tell you!
Having to dig through the entire content of your backpack only to find sun block totally splattered all the way in the bottom will make you one unhappy hiker. Well, that’s why order is the second most important of all tips on packing for a hiking trip any experienced hiker could ever give you. Things you will be using a lot go in last, meaning that they should either be inside the bag on top of all other things or outside the bag, in the pockets.
3. Waterproof Your Clothes
You need to make sure your clothes don’t get wet so I have to add waterproofing to this list of tips on packing for a hiking trip. Yup, I know it’s a must-do and I know you’d remember it anyways but hey, better safe than sorry. Right? Anyways, compression bags wok great but if you don’t have those, ‘d say go with regular Ziploc bags – they are cheap, easy to use and you probably already have them at home.
4. Don’t Get Too Fancy with the Food
You need food that’s easy to prepare and rich in nutrients. Energy bars make great snacks, muesli makes great breakfast, puddings make great dinner while you might want to think about canned fish, fresh vegetables, rice, dried vegetables and spices for lunch. The food you eat on your hiking trip must be higher in sugar, salt and fat, because you won’t have much time to eat and you’ll need all the energy you can get. Have in mind one thing – you’ll have to carry everything you pack so skip fancy stuff!
5. Ditch Pretty for Useful
Okay, girly-girls, pay attention to this one as it may be one of the most important tips on packing for a hiking trip you’ll read here. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably be tempted to pick prettiest T-shirts you have and end up regretting it big time. Sure, you’ll be the most stylish one of all campers but you’ll also be the one with sunburns or frost bites, depending on the season, of course. Oh, and how to you feel about having all kinds of bugs on your gorgeous T shirt?
6. Think Small
Trying to see the big picture will help you pack all the important such as: tent, sleeping bag, change of clothes, food, water etc. It might, however, make you forget small things you might miss badly. Like…umm… toilet paper? Now, an extra roll or a few packets of tissues could sure come handy, especially if you’re going to a place where prickly greens are the only greens. I bet that having to choose between that and a rock won’t be a story you’d want to share with your grandkids.
7. Consider Your Choice of Colors and Fabrics
Some hikers suggest cotton clothes, others don’t. Some are in favor of light colors, others vote for darker ones. Well, what can I say? It’s up to you. I’ll just give you some most important facts. Fact number one: cotton is comfy although it takes forever to dry. Fact number two: Light clothes will keep insects away. Fact number three: Dark clothes dry faster.
8. Always Pack Some Warm Clothes
Summer in the city is waaay different than summer on a mountain so you’ll always need a waterproof, windproof jacket, warm clothes and a few pairs of nice, warm wool socks. But don’t get me started on those nights spent outdoors! Ask any camper/hiker and you’ll find out that temperatures can drop even 20-30 degrees, if not even lower! Have that in mind and, oh, yeah, one more thing – your jacket must be easy to take out in case of rain so pack it accordingly.
Any hikers out there willing to share their tips on packing for a hiking trip? Come on, now, don’t be shy! Tell me something about your best and worst hiking trips ever and explain what made a trip in question so great/horrible.
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