You only have so much space in your camping backpack, so you need to maks sure you pack the right stuff. Here are the top 10 essentials.
Planning your next outdoor adventure? Before leaving home, make sure you pack everything you need. Having the necessary supplies will save you a lot of headaches and make your trip more exciting.
Without a doubt, camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time with your loved ones. Just like everything else, it takes planning.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with your friends, there are some things you need to do before leaving home.
A map, for instance, could save your life. You never know when the GPS stops working or your smartphone gets lost. With an actual map, it’s easier to find your way through the woods and explore the surroundings.
The question is: what should your camping backpack look like? Do you really need all that stuff experts recommend? Let’s find out!
How to Choose the Right Camping Backpack
First, choose a quality backpack that has enough room for your gear. Consider your destination and the length of your trip.
Camping backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. There are several options to choose from, such as:
- Daypacks, which are perfect for single-day camping trips
- Canvas backpacks, which appeal to weekend hikers and urban travelers
- Internal frame packs, which offer a lot of storage space
- Frameless backpacks
If you’re only traveling for a day or so, a daypack will do the trick. For longer tips, choose an internal frame pack.
These accessories range in volume from 15 liters to 55+ liters. A backpack for two or three nights will require at least 45 liters.
Besides volume, you must also consider the fabric, frame, pockets, padding, and attachment points. Ideally, select one made from waterproof materials. Make sure it has lockable zippers and multiple compartments.
Certain features, such as a padded hip belt, padded back, and padded shoulder straps, will take pressure off your body and provide extra comfort. If you’re planning to sleep outdoors, pick a backpack with sleeping bag compartments.
As a rule of thumb, keep your pack light. Don’t take anything with you unless it’s a must-have. The lighter your load, the faster you’ll walk and move around.
Ready to pack your gear? Put these camping supplies on your list:
Start with a tent, sleeping bag, and blankets. Another option is a sleeping pad. Eventually, you can also pack a headrest.
These accessories will keep you warm and protect you from the elements. Plus, you’ll feel more comfortable during your trip.
A map and compass are must-haves for your camping backpack. If you’re traveling in the mountains, consider using an altimeter too.
Traveling with a group of friends? Two-way radios will make it easier to communicate.
Pack a flashlight or a headlamp, and extra batteries.
Look for compact, waterproof flashlights with laser lights. These models send signals that can be seen up to 20 miles at night.
The human body can survive for 30 to 40 days without food, but only three or four days without water.
Even the slightest dehydration can ruin your trip and make you sick. Every cell in your body needs water to function optimally.
Your camping backpack should contain several water bottles.
Choose one that’s leakproof and has double-wall vacuum insulation. Stainless steel bottles are better than plastic because they last longer and resist bacteria.
Depending on your plans for the trip, you can either stick to canned foods and snacks – or take enough ingredients to cook a full meal.
Camping snacks will curb hunger and boost your energy. They should consist of whole foods that nourish your body and can last for days.
Homemade granola bars, protein bars, canned tuna, trail mixes, nuts, fruit leather, and peanut butter are all a great choice. Other healthy options include energy gels and electrolyte drinks.
These treats will prevent dehydration and keep you energized all day long.
When you’re out in the wild, anything can happen.
Tick bites, for instance, can cause allergic reactions and even Lyme disease.
If you or a loved gets bitten by a tick, you might be able to get to a Lyme disease clinic right away. Prevention is your best defense.
Take a quality insect repellent that works against ticks. Don’t forget about sterile pads, gauze pads, bandages, and antibacterial ointment.
If you suffer from allergies, pack antihistamine medications as well.
Nowadays, most smartphones have a short battery life and won’t carry you through the day on a single charge. Extra batteries are a must for your camping backpack.
Take a power bank and spare batteries for your mobile phone, radio, GPS, and other gadgets. This will ensure that you’re connected to the outside world and can easily call for help in case of emergency.
When it comes to camping, layers are the absolute best. Pack your clothes according to the climate. Even if it’s warm and sunny during the day, the temperature can drop at night.
Your camping backpack should include one or two T-shirts, an extra pair of jeans or shorts, socks, and sweaters. A rain jacket and a cap are essential. Don’t forget about underwear.
Even if you’re not planning to spend the night outdoors, you still need a lighter or a fire starter. Matches can help too.
Depending on your budget, opt for a basic lighter or one with extendable burner head that can be used upside down.
Fire starters can be a lifesaver if you get lost or find yourself in a critical situation.
Last, make sure you pack basic toiletries like a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, and antibacterial soap. Sunscreen is a must-have.
Take a few towels or wet wipes with you. Shampoo and conditioner are not necessary unless you’re planning a long trip.
Now you have it – a complete camping checklist for you and your family! If you have enough room in your backpack, you can also take fun stuff like bats, balls, board games, or fishing gear.
Get Ready for Your Next Outdoor Adventure
Planning your trip doesn’t have to be a chore. All you need are a few basic items to keep you safe and cozy.
Pack your gear ahead of time to make sure you don’t forget anything. Use this handy list for inspiration. The right gear can take your outdoor adventure to a whole new level!
Do you have any camping tips? Are there any must-have items you can’t travel without? Share your thoughts below!