A Beginner’s Guide To Essential Backpacking Gear

A Beginner’s Guide To Essential Backpacking Gear


Determining what to put into a backpack as a beginner launching out on an adventure, is one of the hardest and most intimidating life decisions! You can hardly clear your head on how exactly to get started with putting materials together for the trip. If you overpack, it’s going to be too heavy to carry, and if you leave items behind, you might find yourself at a loss on the trail.


When you finally summon the courage to get started, the list of items needed for the trip appears to be endless. But you really do not have to go through all that struggle to kick off a backcountry adventure.


Here’s a beginner’s guide to an essential backpacking gear.

Best Backpacking Gear

Most potential beginner adventurers hesitate when deciding on going backpacking, quite often because of gear. The expenses can choke!


But really, you don’t have to acquire brand new gear to boast of the best or lightest equipment. You can pick up some great gear on second hand sites, such as Craigslist, or eBay. Or, even borrow kit from family and friends if they aren’t hiking themselves that weekend!

You can also consider shorter trip options if you do not have a heavy adventure budget.


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Tips For Buying Gear Items

There are several items you’ll find at cheap rates if you take enough time to check around. For instance, you can find the best ultralight backpacking gear on Hyde and Byke at affordable prices. You can check for tents for less than $100. And you can also look to rent for far less.


When looking for tents, consider ones with lightweight and of packed size. Usually, you’ll see “backpacking” indicated in the description.


Sleeping Bag Tips

One of the top things to first check when acquiring a sleeping bag is the temperature rating located in the product name. Generally, bags with temperatures around 20 degrees and 15 degrees are usually weightier. So, it is better to go for something around 30 degrees. The weight shouldn’t be beyond 2 pounds.


However, ALWAYS make sure the temperature rating suits your camping environment. The saving on weight in your pack is NOT worth the risk of being too cold on the trail.


The sleeping bag is usually accompanied by a stuff sack for packing when you buy it. You can use it to store when not in use. However, you may want to consider a compression sack to make the bag squish up even smaller.


Tips on Choosing a Location

This aspect is a major one in determining your backpacking gear items. It will also determine the aftermath of your experience.


  • Consider how many nights you’ll be spending ther
  • Look at the weather conditions critically if it is suitable
  • Find out if permits are required
  • If you are a new backpacker, keep things short and sweet. Start with just a night to get acquainted with backpacking before going longer


Tips for Checking the Weather

Weather is a major issue with backpacking. There’s always the potential for ugly weather situations even in the summer. Hence check weather apps made for hikers— not only the standard weather apps on your devices. Search the specific location you are considering on the map


If for any reason, you get caught up in real stormy conditions, try to avoid tall objects including trees, move away from water in case of lightning, and if you are on the ridge line, move to lower ground.


Tips for Meals and Water

Obviously, you do not want to get caught up in a situation where you are not prepared for food and water. You need to check for water sources around your destination to determine how much you should prepare. As a rule of thumb, plan for a liter for every two hours of hiking.


Even where you believe there is an extra water source around, you should still plan to bring a water filtration system to remove bacteria such as salmonella, giardia, and cryptosporidium which can make you grow ill fast.


Consider snacks such as Packaged olives, dehydrated veggie chips, dehydrated fruit, Baguette, Pizza, Mac, Cheese, etc.


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Tips for Going To The Bathroom


If you must relieve yourself, people commonly rely on pits in the backcountry camping sites. Simply digging a cathode is widely embraced as a solution.


Walk about 200 feet from small bodies of water like ponds and streams to pee. Otherwise, the urine could find its way into the water to contaminate it. Also if you have to pass out other wastes, do your business in a hole which is 200 feet from any body of water, trail, or campsite.


For a more ‘luxury’ bathroom break, you could consider going with a WAG bag. You can seal it up and dispose of it in a proper location when you find one, to maintain a proper backpacking hygiene. More importantly, check with the bathroom procedures and regulations provided for the location you are planning to go backpacking.


Beginner’s Guide To Essential Backpacking Gear In A Nutshell x

With this guide, you have sufficient information to work with and prepare for your backpacking trip. Safety tips as regards weather conditions, location, meal and water options, and wear.


Learn from every backpacking experience. Keep track of items you used more and others that were less needed. As you grow to become a seasonal adventurer, you find it much easier to make backpacking decisions.


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