Backpacking has become an amazing past time. It is a way to get out, away from our screens and get back to nature. Backpacking and camping can be combined to offer an amazing weekend adventure. However, there are some essentials that you should pack for those just in case opportunities.
A map and a compass are important to bring along. Sure, you have your phone and your electronic GPS. But, sometimes they fail. They are electronic and their batteries can run out, they can break if dropped or image if it got wet? Be sure you know and understand how to use a compass and a map as well. You will want one that has a good topographic to it so that you can see the lay of the land.
Sun and Bug Protection
Yes, you need sunscreen, even if you don’t burn. Being out in it all day can really take a toll on your skin. Be sure to not only take the sunscreen and bug protection but wear it and reapply it every few hours. This is very important and don’t forget your sunglasses as well.
You might not plan to be gone after dark, however, plans change. It doesn’t take up much room to pack a flashlight or headlamp. These can help you navigate in the dark and find shelter should it sneak up on you.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit should contain some bandages, ointments and some cleaning wipes. You should also have a wrap in there as well for sprains.
If you have the skills to start a fire using natural materials, good for you! However, a lighter is very lightweight and inexpensive and can start a fire quickly. This is good to have should you become injured or weak. Fire is important to keep you warm and have a place to light up the night and cook on. And, this will also allow you to start a fire even in the worst weather conditions. Having the ability to start a fire with natural things is a great skill to have, but it is not a reason to not bring along a fire starter of some kind, just in case.
Extra Water and Food
Although you may just plan on going for an hour or two, you could get turned around or lost. So, having the ability to eat and drink will make the situation less stressful. When we are hungry, our sense of judgement is off. So, take along a snack and water. If you hike a lot, something like the Lifestraw would be a great option. This way you are not hauling a bunch of water with you and can drink from any water source. Humans need a lot of water and hauling all that water can get heavy but using a Lifestraw or other water treatment devices can certainly help.
Sure you watched the weather and it is supposed to be nice all day. But, what if it isn’t? We are certain your weatherman has been wrong a time or two. So, pack some extra clothing, just in case the temperatures take a nosedive.