There are a lot of things that you could bring with you when you go hiking. Every blogger or traveler will tell you something different, so maybe it’s good to take everything with a grain of salt. Here are the 9 backpacking gear essentials you have to bring on your backpacking trip! This is not a 10 essentials post! Instead this is the fun stuff you will be happy to have, and have carried with you.
First Things First, the Essentials on a Backpacking Trip!
This list is not going to tell you to bring a sleeping bag, tent, pillow, jacket, compass, map, water, food, map, first-aid kit, stove, fuel, sun protection, headlamp, cell-phone or hiking boots. These things should always make it into your backpack, no matter where you are going, as they are survival gear vs comfort gear.
The number one thing that you really need to bring on a backpacking trip is coffee or tea. Getting caught in the rain or a cold spell is brutal and can ruin your day, same with waking up in the early morning and being cold. Bringing something that you can drink warm will help your core temperature and your sanity.
2. Extra Socks
I’ve heard horror stories of people forgetting extra socks when they go backpacking. This means that if you step in a stream that is too high, you’ll be wearing wet socks for the rest of the trip. Bring enough socks for each day of hiking as well as an extra pair per day, or every two days. Feeling your feet wither away to nothing in wet socks can definitely leave you feeling disgruntled on a hike. Also make sure you buy hiking socks (Merino Wool is my favourite!).
3. Flip-flops or Camp shoes
Whether your campground is 15, 20 or 30km down the trail. Absolutely NOTHING is worse than having to wear your boots around after hiking all day. Take them off and let them dry while you casually stroll around the campground.
I have a massive sweet tooth, so maybe this is why this makes the list! But after dinner and a long day of hiking nothing is better than chocolate, cake or cobbler. I love grabbing a dehydrated dessert and boiling an extra pot of water for both it and an evening cup of jo.
5. Bug Spray
I don’t care where I’m going, but bug spray is a must for me. I hate getting eaten alive, so I love to get rid of the pesky mosquitoes, ticks and flies as much as I can. This means I always choose a bug spray with at least 25% Deet. Though no bug spray gets rid of all the bugs. But they can sure help!
6. A Book or Deck of Cards
Sometimes hikes are shorter than you think they will be, and you will want something to occupy your time at the campsite, especially if your legs are burning after a long day out on the trail.
7. Quick Dry Towel
Whether you’re going to rinse off, or just need to wipe something off. A quick dry towel is a lifesaver especially when it’s raining. As I've mentioned, nothing is worse than being cold and wet while hiking.
Yes, you will have your phone… and that will work for this purpose as well, though you want to keep it with as much battery as possible in case of an emergency. So that’s why it is best to bring a camera, even just a small portable one. While you are out enjoying nature, you might as well get a couple shots to remember the amazing views that are surrounding you!
9. Portable Charger
Whether you need this for your cell-phone, watch or camera. Having a portable charger really comes in handy. This is especially true if you were to get into an emergency situation and you were running out of cell-phone battery.