How To Prepare for a Backpacking Trip

Allen Cherer_HikingBackpacking is a fun, exciting, and life-changing experience. It helps exercise your mind and your body. One thing that many people forget to remember is to pack light. They often end up learning the hard way through back pain and inconvenience while on the trip. The best thing to remember is that you’re in the back country so only essentials are required for your trip. Think of survivor. It may take some time, but mentally preparing for your trip may be helpful for having a successful hiking trip. Here is your guide for packing light and easy for an overall successful experience.


Whether you’re going backpacking for a day or a week, you’ll probably want to invest in a good backpack to save your back from trouble in the long run. Although there are thousands of options to choose from, picking a light, durable, and waterproof backpack is what you’ll want to look for. Here is a list of the best backpacks of 2016.

Sleeping Bag /Tent

Hiking will be a challenge if you don’t get good night’s rest. Although choosing a sleeping bag may be rather challenging, there is no right or wrong answer. You will want to choose something that will keep you warm at night but lightweight to carry. Tents are also up to your own preference. If you’ll be hiking where there’s a lot of trees, you may want to opt out for a hammock, otherwise, you’ll probably want to stick to a nice lightweight tent. Although some trails have shelters, they tend to get overcrowded and packed rather quickly, so bringing a tent is a definite.


Just remember- you’re surrounded by trees, streams, and fresh air: not a fashion show. You’re going to reuse clothes and they’re going to get dirty. No matter what your heart is telling you, don’t overpack clothes. The best thing to do is dress in layers, and wear anything bulky. You’ll want to stay away from cotton because it won’t keep you warm in the cold and takes a lot longer to dry, making it much heavier on your body. Opt for synthetic material and pack only what you know you’ll need to wear. Make sure you invest and break into a comfortable and durable pair of hiking boots. This way you won’t have to worry about bringing multiple pairs of shoes.

Water Treatment

Staying hydrated in the backcountry is crucial, but you won’t be able to bring plastic gallons of water on your trip. You’ll want to do your research and come prepared so that you don’t get sick from microbes. It is very tricky to tell how clean and free of bacteria water sources are in the backcountry. It is best to bring some type of water treating tools like filters and purifiers.


It’s a great idea to bring dry and dehydrated foods that you can cook over a fire. You’ll also want to stock up on energy and protein bars (like cliff bars) to stay energized throughout your trip. Food can be very heavy to carry so it’s a great idea to repackage it using Ziplock bags. Your back will thank you later.


The rest of your backpack should be stocked up with essential items that you’ll need for a successful trip. These items include; fire starters, small pot/pan, headlight/flashlights with batteries, and a first aid kit. All of your items should comfortably fit in a 25-lb backpack for optimal comfort on your backpacking trip.