Some packing tips for your next backpacking adventure

Doug Williams
 
Lots of gear needs to be packed well

Backpacking is a great way to explore your surroundings while saving some money compared to a hotel. While it is a wonderful thing to do, it is also essential that anyone who decides to try backpacking, whether it be through city streets or on a mountain trail, do so with a little research and planning into packing effectively.

 

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A pretty essential component of any backpacking adventure is that the backpack itself is not too heavy while also being able to carry all you need.

This is something that can take some time to learn, to be sure that you are packing your backpack in the most effective way possible. We cannot stress how important this is, because if you pack too heavily, you’ll regret it for the entire trip.

 

One very easy way to save on space and weight is to not bring a stove or cooking pot. These can be very heavy as well as take up a lot of space, especially when there are so many easy meals you can eat cold and that are just as nutritious as warm meals. Even coffee is acceptable cold these days.

Additionally, here’s a tip for anyone packing any dehydrated food pouches that require hot or boiling water. A little-known fact is that you can soak the pouches in cold water for about thirty to forty-five minutes in order for the pouch contents to cook, albeit slowly. For those of you who simply cannot fathom not eating hot food while on your backpacking adventure, a homemade minimalist alcohol stove can be put together using leftover cans.

 

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Another way to save weight and space that many people will not think of is to use a plastic water bottle. Now many people may be thinking that using a plastic water bottle and then throwing it away would cause more weight because they would have to carry more than one with them, thus taking up more space and weighing more than just one Nalgene type bottle.

This is not the case. A person can buy a plastic water bottle which is very lightweight and then reuse it several times before having to throw it away. Essentially what a person can do is use a throw-away plastic water bottle as a lightweight makeshift reusable water bottle.

Another thing that people may be hesitant to do, but would save a lot of space in their packs, is to only bring one outfit. This may seem extreme to some people who are used to changing once a day, but not having to take multiple outfits clears up a lot of clutter in your backpack and makes it easier to fit in much more essential items.

 

If you are going to bring only one outfit, do be sure to bring adequate clothing for all weather conditions and enough to stay warm, as it will get much cooler at night if you plan on camping in the wilderness.

If you are planning on being in the wilderness for days at a time, purchase a ground sheet. This is something that will not take up a ton of space or weigh but is absolutely essential if you are expecting to sleep on the ground and you can place your items on the ground, unpack your backpack, etc. and keep everything clean and dry.

Ziploc bags are a great addition to any camping supply bag. A Ziploc bag is extremely versatile; it can be used to keep various items dry, food fresh, as well as keep valuable items such a keys or a wallet in an easy to find space.

A basic first aid kit is something that everyone should have with them while traveling so they can be sure they can patch themselves up if needed, even when far away from help. That being said, it is not necessarily essential for someone to go out a buy the ultimate first aid kit that comes with just about every product that one could ever use, and most likely will not use, that will take up more space and added weight.

 

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Often someone can make a completely adequate basic first aid kit just by gathering some of the necessary supplies that they already have in their home and putting them in a Ziploc bag instead of going out and purchasing a premade first-aid kit. Base your first aid kit on your activity.

These are just a few tips on how you can keep your backpack light while traveling and also save some money and some space. You don’t have to sacrifice any essential components of any camping trip or spend a lot of money on these various items. As with any trip, and even more so with backpacking trips, research and preparation is a key component of ensuring that everything is done right to ensure that you can have the best time possible while you are out adventuring.

 

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