What to pack

  • Shelter
    • Tent, tarp, hammock
  • Sleeping
    • Bag, Sleeping pad (folding or inflatable)
  • Raingear
    • Raincoat, rain pants, rainfly/tarp, pack cover
  • Water
    • Bladder, water bottle, water filter
    • Be careful using heavily worn bladders as they can leak
  • Food
    • Dehydrated food is easiest
      • Need small camp stove
    • Cold soaking foods
      • Saves weight
      • Eliminates need to buy pre-packaged packets
    • Non-crushable food items
    • Bring a bear bag if required for the trip location
  • Clothing
    • Lightweight and warm
    • Avoid cotton
  • Survival
    • First aid, map, compass, light source, GPS, pocket knife, matches, etc
    • Sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses
  • Optional: hiking poles
    • Good for balance due to the pack weight
    • The downside is they can be cumbersome on rock scrambles. Collapsable shock-absorbing poles are the best
Backpacks leaning against trees.
Campsite setup with tent and chairs on a wooden platform.
Hikers along wooded trail

How to Pack: tips and tricks

  • Classic backpack form
    • Can customize according to body size
    • Can customize according to pack weight/size
    • Adjustable straps and load lifters
      • located at the top of pack and center of pack
    • Lightweight and durable
  • Pack heavy items closest to your back
    • Keep the weight distribution close to your body and not too far away from you
    • Try and fit everything inside your pack rather than strapping to the outside
      • Makes it more unbalanced
      • Be sure not to over synch your pack- avoid damage to your trapezius
  • Pack in drybags/stuff sacks
    • Keep dry, small, and compact
  • Bring only what you need
    • Weight adds up quickly!
    • Plan out food and other consumable items so that you are only taking what you will use for the duration of your trip, with a few extra just in case
Hiker adjusting backpack load lifers and shoulder straps.
Load lifters and shoulder height adjustment

Backpacking Safety

Safety Tips

  • Don’t overload your pack
    • Should be about 20% of your body weight
      • Ex. 150 pounds should carry no more than 30 pounds
  • Good footwear is required for a good footing
    • Need ankle support, and traction
      • Plan according to season and terrain:
        • Waterproof
        • Microspikes, crampons for rugged winter conditions
  • Always hike with a buddy
    • They can come in handy to tighten your hard to reach backpack straps!
  • Tell someone where you are going, what your plan is, and when you should be back
Hikers helping each other make backpack adjustments.

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