Travel Tips: Backpacking Essentials For Camping and Hiking

Backpacking Essentials

If you’re planning a camping and hiking adventure, you’re going to need the right equipment to keep you safe and comfortable. You can find lots of this type of equipment at ​ retailers like Tesco, who stock everything you’ll need for your first time camping. Here’s our guide on the essentials you won’t want to leave home without.

Clothing

This will largely depend on the climate and walking conditions in your chosen destination. However, you must always pack some warm clothing such as a thermal jacket, even during summer months, as it may get cold in the evening. Always avoid items of clothing which take a long time to dry and never leave home without a waterproof jacket. A hooded poncho can come in handy when the heavens open, keeping you and your backpack from getting soaked. A wide brimmed hat is also a must which will keep you protected from the sun.

Tents

For long hikes, small and lightweight is always the best option. there’s even ones which can be pitched using your trekking poles which can save even more space in your bag.However, there’s plenty of heavy duty options to choose from, if you’re needing the added protection. A lot of them also come with additional features such as bug netting, a sewn in floor or the inclusion of nonmetallic poles if you’re in an area prone to lightning.

Sleeping bag

When it comes to sleeping bags, there’s one important decision to be made: goose down or synthetic filled. The former is widely considered to be the best option, providing the most efficient insulation whilst remaining lightweight and packing down to a small size. But it can be problematic if it becomes wet. The feathers take a long time to dry and quality will be affected.

The synthetic alternative is heavier and won’t be as durable but does insulate better when wet and dries quickly. If you’re expecting to encounter very bad weather, a synthetic sleeping bag is the sensible choice. Otherwise, invest in the more expensive goose down and you’ll have a sleeping bag which will last a lifetime.

Cooking

Even if you’re planning to cook over an open fire, it’s important to carry a compact stove. This will provide a convenient and quick way to enjoy a hot meal in those times where you can’t find fire wood or you’re simply too tired to search. Be sure to choose a model which is lightweight and very small. Gas burners are a great choice, especially the ones which screw directly onto the top of a gas cartridge. They can be a little unstable but they won’t take much room in your bag and they’re very affordable. One pan should suffice for all your cooking requirements. Choose an ultra-lightweight titanium one and don’t forget a fork and plastic mug.

We’ve covered the basics, it’s now time for you to plan your route, squeeze into those walking boots and go explore.

Image by Arup Malakar used under the Creative Commons license.

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