If packing your backpack with the right supplies before you hit the trail overwhelms, then buying them will most probably throw you off. Shopping for your first backpacking setup isn’t a mere task. It is prohibitive and overwhelming for many, and the reason is obvious, especially if you will be hiking for the first time.
Backpacking for the first time would mean you are entirely in charge of your supplies – clean water, tent, food, clothing and your wellness. Of course, this can be daunting, especially when you’re nervous about the whole experience. And so, to ease the stress and make the first trip a bit smooth and enjoyable, please, be sure to have the, following stuff ready for you!
- A light, roomy and sturdy backpack
Purchase something that’s simple and slightly smaller for your first backpacking trek. A somewhat smaller one will save you money and ensure you only carry what you will need. A 45-55 liter pack is ideal as it will force you to be extra cautious with your essentials. Also, it will lighten your load and make the hike a bit more exciting.
- A warm, comfy sleeping bag
Whether it is a down or synthetic sleeping bag doesn’t matter so long as you have one. But you must not get bogged down in it rather choose any brand that is warm, comfy but and lightweight and waterproof. Yes – it should be waterproof whether you have a tarping or not. Luckily, there are quite a couple of them to buy.
- Dome Tent
There’s a very good reason why this tent is the mainstay amongst the backpacking community. Besides being inexpensive compared to the other standard types and spacious enough to accommodate two, setting it up is a breeze. It is super-lightweight and durable and also comes with two vestibules for extra space for your gear and protects you from splashed rainwater.
- Small, portable canister-topped stove
As well as having a pack of matches, a canister-topped stove that’s inexpensive will be convenient for cooking. You will need it to warm your supplies, boil your oatmeal water or even prepare some coffee. However, ensure that your choice of the stove is lightweight, user-friendly and reliable enough to last you the whole period.
- Pre-built First aid kit
Pre-built first aid kits are perfect for backpackers because as much as they are durable enough to be used for years, their versatility is unmatched. However, premade ones are way too many, and you will need to research and find one that’s based on your needs.
- Smart water bottle
There are many excellent varieties made explicitly for hikers, and an overwhelming majority of them are a liter. While choosing one, therefore, make sure it is slim enough to fit snugly in your backpack’s side pockets. Remember, do not buy plastic water bottles – steel is good to keep your water cold, and safe and they’re re-usable as well.
- Light, breathable and waterproof hiking boots and Tough Hiking full cushion socks
Though shoes are perceived as the most critical hiking outfit, you should also insist on skimp on socks. It doesn’t matter whether the books are the light running shoes or the huge boots as what would matter is how light and comfortable you will feel with them on. Socks will serve as moisture-wicking, stink-mitigating apparel and will also help prevent blisters and other problems.
- Portable Drying Rack
What? Yep, you’ll be surprised how much use you’ll get out of it. The Malo’o DryRack is the best one out there. Its collapses and can easily be tied onto the back of your backpack. When backpacking you can get mighty sweaty or soaked on a sudden downpour. Once you get to your destination, hang it from a tree limb, and dry out your gear. Folks have even dried fish and fruit from it!
Other must-haves might include a sleeping pad, body balm, a reliable water filter and maybe a rain kilt.