A Hiker’s Guide to Packing a Backpack

This week’s post is written by guest writer Tonya Carroll. Tonya is a freelance writer and adventure blogger. Many thanks to Tonya for sharing this post with us.

When it comes to backpacking, what you put in it will definitely have an impact on your adventure! This post will let you know what outdoor gear any hiker or adventurer should have in their backpack. If you are planning a hike, long-distance cycle, or a camping trip, you will definitely need some essential, quality gear to keep you out on the trail.

The simple rule for backpacking is to always pack light. Packing light will reduce stress and strain, and will help keep you moving. Be sure to also research the weather conditions for the area you will be heading to. Being prepared for the elements is essential. For more information on quality supplies, check out this list of top-rated hiking gear for backpackers.

Packing a backpack

Primary element: A Sturdy Backpack

The best backpacks out there are lightweight, sturdy, and spacious. Be sure to be measured so you ensure a proper fit with the pack. Never compromise on quality here because compromising can affect every trip you take with it.  If you are planning a day trip, opt for a good daypack. One popular choice is the HIKPRO 20L daypack due to its light weight, water-resistance, and how packable it is. If you will be out on the trail longer, you’ll need a larger capacity backpack. You can find good quality multi-day packs at adventure stores like REI, The North Face, and other sporting goods stores.

Quality counts: A Tent and Sleeping Pad

Every multi-day hiking experience offers you a chance to enjoy the wilderness and the beauty of nature. To stay comfortable during backcountry outings, a functional, compact tent and sleeping pad is critical. Tents have to be lightweight, easy to set up, have a rain fly and footprint, and be durable. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a functional and spacious tent which is light enough to disappear in your pack. Big Agnes, Sea to Summit, and REI make great quality, insulated, comfortable, and lightweight sleeping pads to add a touch of luxury to your sleep. Be sure to lie on the pads and test them out!

Packing a backpack

Finding your way: Hiking Watch

One piece of gear that is gaining importance is a hiking watch. These watches can keep you updated with important information during your adventure. Common features include a barometer (measures atmospheric pressure), compass (for navigation), altimeter (measures altitude), thermometer (measures temperature), and weather. They also usually include alarms, stop watch features, a backlit face, and heart rate monitor, thus making it a very useful device. If you’re looking for a good hiking watch, you can find one at this Amazon link: Casio Men’s Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Solar Powered Triple Sensor Sports Watch.

The savior: A Good Water Filter

As all adventurers know, it’s not possible to stock up on water for a multi-day hiking trip. There’s also no guarantee you’ll find water from a clean source on a dedicated trail. Therefore, packing a handy water filter that purifies water is absolutely essential. One of the most popular water purifiers is the 2 ounce LifeStraw water filter.  The straw removes 99.99% of all bacteria and only costs $20! Other water purifiers include gravity systems, pump filters, and the reliable iodine tablets. Find the one you like best and add it to your backpack!

Packing a backpack

Beat the heat: A Hat and Sunglasses

Be sure to choose the right protection against nature’s fury with a top-notch hat and sunglasses. A hat gives you the necessary sun protection to your head, face, and neck, and highly functional sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays of the sun. You can choose hats with full neck coverage, hats with straps, and even ones with quick dry material. Columbia makes the Bora Bora Booney II sun hat which is a popular choice for hikers. When choosing quality sunglasses, be sure to buy those with 100% UV blockage, polarized to reduce glare, are impact resistant, and flexible. 

Hopefully these tips will help you know what to pack in your backpack for your next adventure outing. Good Luck!

– Tonya Carroll

Author Bio: Tonya is a freelance writer and adventure blogger. She is a fun-loving and ambitious female who loves to go on outdoor adventures and share her experiences through honest blog posts. She has enjoyed hiking, biking, fishing and many such adventures around the world, and aims to inspire fellow adventurers to get the best experience.



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