Backpacking is always an adventure! It allows you to experience the world beyond the car campground to enjoy a more immersive outdoor experience.
To enjoy a wholesome hiking experience though, it is important to pack light and adequately! You must carry all of life’s essentials on your back. I know it sounds like a whole lot - but we promise you that through this guide, you will only carry the most important ones. Remember, you should pack enough items to sustain you throughout the whole backpacking adventure, but make sure to not overwhelm your back!
To get ready for your first backpacking trip, follow these simple steps:
- Choose an easy destination: If you are going hiking for the very first time, you should pick a spot that is relatively close to home! This is to ensure that you get to experience a good and simple hiking destination before you go too far off.
- Prepare proper hiking gears: It is best to be safe than sorry! Make sure you pack adequately and bring essential gears to have a good hiking experience.
- Plan your food: Pack plenty of snacks to-go. Remember you might be stranded in the middle of your campsite. Bring something light and easy to snack on for your camping adventure.
- Get ready for your trip: Remember, you should pack enough items to sustain you throughout the whole backpacking adventure, but make sure to not overwhelm your back! Pack well and you should be able to have a good trip overall.
If you are a complete beginner, make sure to go with some friends who are quite experienced in this field! This is simply to ensure safety measures are met and they can also be your guide throughout this new experience you aim to explore! But if you prefer having some alone time, you can also do this backpacking thing on your own. Ultimately, it boils down to what you enjoy doing!
1: Choose an Easy Backpacking Destination
The key tip from us is to keep it light and easy! Make sure the hike is something you are capable of doing. There are many hiking trails available, but picking the right one for you is essential to ensure that you won’t have an unpleasant experience. If it’s too easy for you - don’t worry! You can still enjoy beautiful scenic and landscapes.
Here are some tips for you that can act as a checklist when you decide where to go backpacking for the very first time:
- Have conversations with hiking experts: this is the best way to make sure you get the ins and outs of hiking! Only hiking experts can help you to have a safe and fun experience! Make sure you consult them and ask them as many questions. A lot of hiking experts love to provide recommendations for people of all levels.
- Pick a place close to home: If you are going hiking for the very first time, you should pick a spot that is relatively close to home! This is to ensure that you get to experience a good and simple hiking destination before you go too far off.
- Make sure there’s good weather for the day (or overnight): Hiking during summer might be the most ideal time especially for beginners! This can help to maximize daylight hours and odds of comfortable conditions. Always remember to check the weather forecast to help you prepare and to prevent bad weather during your hikes!
Pick a well-traveled trail and well-established camp: It’s nice to have hikers and backcountry campers nearby who can give you a hand if you run into difficulties.It is always good to ensure extra help especially during these times, especially if you are a beginner.
2: Get Essential Backpacking Gear and Clothing
Functionality is the key feature for your camping gears. From simple essentials like a first aid kit and multifunctional knife to bigger items like camping tents and sleeping bags, each item proves to be worthy in any hike.
To save you time and effort, we have gathered a non-exhaustive list of important items to bring on any hike. Especially if you are a beginner, you will definitely take a longer time picking essential gears to bring on your hike. Not to worry, the key tip here is to pack light and sufficiently:
● Hiking backpack (waterproof)
A hiking bag is necessary to store all your valuable goods such as your clothes, electronics, snacks, camping tent, etc. One key feature of a hiking backpack is to make sure that your bag is sealed tight. To ensure that this is the case, fold down the roll top closure at least three times for added protection and maximised safety.
When you are going for any water sport activities - kayaking, paddling, surfing, or even camping - a waterproof hiking backpack is ideal to prevent your valuable items from getting wet. There are many scenarios out there that can affect the valuable items in your backpack - so be safe!
In times of emergency, the dry waterproof hiking back can be a substitute for a floating device that can help you stay afloat in the water with its vivid colours. It can help keep your electronics dry and prevent it from contact with water. Alternatively, if you wish to opt for a larger and more functional backpack in terms of its size, this hiking 45L backpack could be a great option.
Weighing less than 2kg, it certainly looks more bulky compared to its size. With the second-generation CR lightweight comfortable bear technology, it consists of wearable technology that increases comfort while providing critical function for optimum usage. Moreover, it also contains an upgraded 3D ventilation on the shoulder strap, providing more comfort during hiking activities while also tailoring its design to favor a wider waist area. The waist divider allows you to easily tighten the backpack depending on the function while still providing you with an option.
● Portable camping shower
If you are going hiking or camping in the wilderness, it is important to stay clean with our portable camping shower. It is designed for its functional nature - lightweight and easy to use.
Besides our classic portable camping shower, you can also check out our portable folding water bucket. This can help prevent pollution from directly washing any liquid into rivers and lakes. This can provide a hygienic avenue for your hiking experience. It weighs only 0.13kg and this foldable water bucket can easily be carried into the wilderness to make clean up and cooking easy!
There is no need for any battery or electricity as water is delivered directly through the hose by pressure. As it sits firmly on the ground, it is pressurized by an integrated foot pump, generating pressure to deliver water as needed without external help. It is highly portable and easy to use. You can camp wherever and not have to worry about your showering situation. It is all planned out for optimal usage.
● Sleeping mat
This inflatable push sleeping mat is innovative and creative in sight. It offers comfortable cushioning and it is certainly a good choice in terms of accessibility and weight. Due to its lightweight comfort and optimal cushioning, many outdoor enthusiasts are quick to compliment this product. Free of bulky materials, the sleeping mat packs to the size of a 1-litre water bottle - easy to store and carry. Minimal space is needed for such an important camping gear.
● Sleeping bag
This lightweight and compact sleeping bag offers plenty of room for you to turn and stretch and even to snuggle in for the night for a sounding sleep. With its affordable price and functional nature, it will keep you comforted during your entire hike.
● Camping Lights
This portable rechargeable inductive headlamp is a must-have especially if you are planning to hike overnight or in the early morning. It is both durable and waterproof - hence, you do not have to worry about submerging it in water or destroying it. It can defy many external forces, hence, it is a good value for money.
When you are using your headlamp over and over, you never know when they will need replacing. Always keep an extra set of batteries. Most headlamps require Triple AAA Batteries, hence, make sure to pack up and prepare!
● Lightweight tent
The Illumina X Ultralight Hiking Tent is a strong contender for the category of ultralight hiking tents under 2kg by Novapro Sports. With its waterproof and double layer feature, this lightweight tent ensures functionality and accessibility during your hike. With its high quality material and strong light fabric, it is recommended for any hikers - from beginner to advanced.
Some reviews mentioned that this particular tent defied strong winds and rains during one of our customer’s camping trips. The inner section of the tent remained warm and dry despite the unpleasant weather. Nothing can go wrong with a lightweight, accessible and easy-to-assemble lightweight tent. It is certainly value for money compared to smaller and less functional tents. It is truly a go-to lightweight tent for valuable camping gear.
● Food and snacks
Obvious, but always pack food and snacks. Pack what works for you. Some people like bars, some like sandwiches, there are no real rules. Quick snacks such as clif bars, complete cookies, and lara bars are recommended - it should be easy to eat and easy to carry! Depending on how much time ahead for preparation, you can make an extensive variety of food and snacks to-go!
● Foldable camping table
Foldable and easy to transport camping utensils is critical for any hiking adventures. This foldable camping table offers features made out of aluminum alloy bracket, nylon mesh desktop and double water cup storage configuration.
What Clothes to Bring Backpacking
Maybe you might be thinking of going on a shopping spree specially for hiking clothes during your backpacking trip. Not to worry, this is not the case. You do not have to get special hiking clothes for this occasion!
Just make sure to wear light and breathable fitness wear made out of nylon and polyester. Your backpacking clothing should be segregated to a few main items:
Inner clothing: An example of this can be long underwear or next-to-skin base layers. This is important to help you stay warm during the cold nights! Makes sure to bring plenty of tight clothing to prevent you from catching a cold.
- Hiking layers: Especially for your hiking occasions, you should consider wearing long nylon pants. You can either wear a long-sleeved top or t-shirt with accessories such as sun hats and sun shirts.
- Insulation: For insulation, consider wearing a jacket or gloves.
- Rainwear: You should always bring a waterproof jacket. It is a necessity and can help alleviate stressful situations.
Despite the many layers that you might have to wear during a hike, think of it as the beauty of layering! It lets you quickly adapt to any scenarios during your backpacking experience. When it is warmer, you can simply remove a layer, and when it is colder, you can put it back on!
3: Plan Your Backpacking Food
During backpacking, you should aim to avoid canned food - chances are, canned food will add too much weight and bulk to your pack. This is something you can and should actively avoid during your backpacking trip.
Hear us out and make sure to meal prep before you embark on your adventure:
Dinner: Look for all-in-one meals such as packaged noodles or rice. This can save you tons of time and effort. Make sure it is lightweight and easy to carry - it is a major plus if it also tastes good!
Lunch and snacks: Bring your protein energy bars and trail mix to munch on occasionally! This is a simple and easy way to incorporate different ingredients to your diet. Other backpacking lunch options are also available such as dried fruit and nuts. Make sure to keep different options in mind!
Breakfast: This can range from simple protein bars to other light snacks. You always need a good meal to start the day! If you can’t go without your caffeinated beverage, your one answer would be to get an instant coffee mix or some tea bags!
Overall, as a beginner, you should always pack light and bring all the essential items you need! Backpacking is always a fun adventure - it allows you to experience the world in a different light. To maximise your backpacking trip, make sure to bring all the items you need and enjoy!