Even an extra fork can weigh you down when packing for a multi-day backpacking trip! Everything you take is carried on your shoulders, so it’s important to pack lightly and efficiently to ease up the load and achieve the planned itinerary.
Backpacking is all about going on an adventure with just a backpack and a couple of items you could use along the way. But, you need to learn how to pack properly.
Backpackers have gone through trial and error to minimize the weight from their backs and only pack the essential gear. Luckily, we’ve compiled this guide on preparing for an ultralight experience and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.
When it comes to packing the gear, you need to keep it light, compact, and comfortable. This includes a light backpack, lightweight tents for backpacking, a down ultralight sleeping bag, sleeping pads, and clothing.
Choosing light gear is important if you want to reduce weight and fit all your gear. Tents are pretty heavy, so pick one that’s affordable and recommended for beginners. Several companies sell lightweight gear, Hyke & Byke being one of them. Do your research well and purchase high-quality gear at reasonable prices on their website.
Remember to dry out the gear before packing it up. Packing it before it is dry can add a couple of pounds to your weight, slowing you down.
Tips on Packing Clothes
It takes a lot of preparation to prepare for a multi-day backpacking trip – from packing the food to the activewear. Here, we’ll discuss the basic principles of how and what to pack in terms of clothing.
Consider Base Layers
Make sure these clothes are made from synthetic materials and take a couple of long-sleeved shirts to protect you from the sun. Do not bring clothes made of cotton since it can take a lot of time to dry outdoors, so you’ll end up wet and cold in the wilderness. Wool clothing is recommended due to its odor-fighting and antimicrobial features.
Make Sure To Focus on Warmth
It’s important to keep yourself warm while staying outdoors and retain heat as necessary. Pack one puffy jacket, a windproof and waterproof raincoat, leggings underneath the pants in case it gets windy or cold, gloves, and warm hats and beanies.
Choose Wool/Synthetic Underwear and Socks
If you don’t want to end up with blisters on your feet, it’s recommended that you pack socks made of wool or synthetic materials. This will help you keep your feet warm and prevent any sweating.
Regarding your choice of underwear, choose some that dry quickly and are at least a bit odor-proof. Look for synthetic or wool options.
How to Pack
You need to pack carefully in order to be able to access your gear quickly and fit everything in your pack. Here are some packing tips:
- Use the roll technique to save on space
- Store the underwear in rolls – the bottom of the underwear goes to the top of it;
- Roll the socks into bundles
- Pack the underwear and the socks in a shirt to store space
- Fold the pants and the skirts to avoid wrinkling
- Sort the items by weight
- Put socks and underwear into the shoes
- Pack the light items on the bottom of the backpack, the medium on the top, and the heavy in the center
- Store the bottles and toiletries in separate pockets in the backpack
Bring Food Only As Necessary
It’s hard to keep track of the necessary amounts of food when going backpacking. So, you might throw a few extra meals and not even realize they aren’t necessary as you thought. However, your body will spend a lot of calories when strolling in the remote wilderness, so you need to replenish and get your energy back by eating certain snacks and foods.
Instead of packing tons of heavy meals, you can use dehydrated meals that can be prepared with only hot water. (Some even prefer using cold water instead of heating it, but that’s a matter of preference!)
Examples of backpacking foods and meals you can include in your backpack are bars, nuts, and seeds, peanut butter packets, instant oatmeal, granola and cereal, coffee, tea, powdered milk, tortillas, bagels, tuna or chicken, mayo or mustard, hard meats like sausage or salami, ramen, instant soups or instant mashed potatoes.
Pack Safety Kits
When hitting the road in the unknown, pack safety kits and bring safety items. Make sure to bring a first aid kit, a torch, a cell phone, a headlamp, knives, sun protection creams, a lighter, a mirror, a whistle, extra water, a GPS device, and a compass.
The first aid kit should also contain pain relief medicine like ibuprofen, antihistamines, bandages and gauze, and any additional medication that you take.
Enjoy Your Backpacking Trip!
It’s easy to get caught up in the preparation process and wonder whether you’ve packed all of the essentials. Everything will be fine; just remember to enjoy the trip and create life-changing memories.