Being a true backpacker doesn’t mean you have to give up all the luxuries of modern technology to be stuck with a reliance on your primal instincts. Your mobile phone likely packs in a number of what would otherwise be many different gadgets, so don’t let anyone make you feel any less of a backpacker if you enjoy some fun with mobile casinos while out on your backpacking adventures.
So you’ve bought a fancy new pack, and you’re itching to test it out, pack up the tent and wander off into the great outdoors. Now’s your chance.
You’ve assembled the necessary equipment — boots, shoes, sleeping bag, tent, a snack supply, spare underwear, waterproof matches, rain gear, a water bottle — and you’re ready to go. You’ve done your homework, searching the racks at your favourite outdoor retailer, and you’re seriously thinking about packing. But wait, before you hit the road, you should invest in a good pack: the right pack for your trip, and the right pack for your body and lifestyle.
For proper backpacking safety, you need the basic gear, too. You need safety gear to help you keep safe in the wilderness — first aid, specialized sun protection, emergency shelter, sturdier hiking boots, and the all-important first aid kit. Without these basic essentials, you run the risk of an accident, injury, or death.
Perhaps the greatest thing you can do to prepare for a trip is to keep yourself fit and healthy. A healthy lifestyle goes hand-in-hand with a good backpacker’s pack. You need a pack that is both rugged and efficient. An upright pack for hiking with a full load is not only more efficient, it also allows you to hike farther before you need to stop and rest.
An upright pack also gives you more opportunities to move. You can move more than you can with an upright pack, so that you can move through rough terrain more easily. If you take a load and move through rough terrain efficiently, you can do more in less time. So take a load and move through rough terrain more quickly. A pack with a hood gives you even more of an opportunity to move — to move faster — because it keeps your head warm, dries off the sweat, and reduces wind resistance.
Basic Essentials for Backpacking
The backbone of any backpacking pack is its frame. The frame is what you carry, as opposed to the backpack itself. All other backpacking packs have some type of frame. A composite frame is a rigid, smooth piece of rubber, plastic, or fiberglass, and holds a mesh layer that keeps your body dry. A corrugated metal frame will increase the insulating effect in cold weather by forming a windblock. A hollow frame allows you to squeeze water, which increases the strength of the material.
Clothes are the second piece of gear that makes up the frame. Each piece of clothes has specific strengths and weaknesses, but they all have some sort of suitability. Over the years, I’ve found that the extra weight of a fleece jacket helps me stay warmer. Over the years I’ve found that my water bottles hold more water and drain faster than the bottles my friends carry.
Before I go anywhere, I try to outfit my pack to fit my body and lifestyle. With this in mind, I’ve done some research to figure out what the basics of every backpacker’s pack must be.