With the spring/summer hiking seasons approaching, many plan fantastic getaways. You may have a few backpacking secrets of your own, and you’ll have the opportunity to share some with your friends and family. We decided to do the same for you.
We’ve assembled a list of the most effective backpacking tips. They range from keeping your sleeping bag warm to ways to keep your gear dry on multi-day journeys.
You’ll be astonished at how much difference these tips may make when you next wear your hiking boots and set for the hills. So, without further ado, here are twelve backpacking tips to make your adventure more convenient and fun.
Keep your things dry.
Surprisingly, a backpack daypack isn’t built to be waterproof, but many do come with a foldable rain cover. When trekking in damp weather, you can do a few things to keep your belongings dry.
First, place a waterproof liner bag inside your large backpack compartment and stuff it with wet-weather gear and equipment. The next step is to get a low-cost waterproof rain cover that will cover the entire exterior of your pack. Also, make sure that all of the smaller goods in your backpack are sealed in tiny to medium-sized plastic shopping bags or small dry bags.
Finally, waterproofing sprays can efficiently seal the fabric of your bag. Still, given the numerous seams and gaps found in most packs, they aren’t a perfect option.
Download maps on your smartphone for offline use.
You can use a smartphone to capture images, but it may also work as a protection device. If you download offline maps as GPX files or some similar format ahead of time, you can access them even if you don’t have a phone signal. You’ll be able to read maps and use GPS to determine your position.
We all take the wrong path or get lost occasionally. But, having a navigating application on your phone is a helpful traveling suggestion that will always inform you where you are.
If you urgently require a broadband connection, you might be able to receive it periodically at higher altitudes, such as a small hill or a valley’s highest point.
Before you go backpacking, make sure to understand maps and study travel guides of the area you’ll be traveling in. Always carry a map and compass.
Few things can ruin a good hiking trip, like mosquitoes or midges. They have the power to force you inside a shelter and even annoy you there.
Insect repellents covering your skin and clothes from head to toe are a good start. Alternatively, you can keep them away by burning sage leaves, pitching your tent with the door flap facing the air direction, and avoiding camping near marshy or damp places. Lemon, eucalyptus oil, crushed lavender flowers, cinnamon oil, and thyme oil are among the natural repellents to consider.
Check if you can begin a fire.
After a long day of trekking, a campfire can warm you, cook your meals, dry your clothing, and enable you to relax. However, your journey might become terrible if you can’t make a fire since the accessible wood is wet.
Bring some fire-starting sticks or a steel striker kit if you’re camping somewhere that allows campfires. You may also create your version by soaking cotton balls or pads in Vaseline or another type of petroleum jelly and storing them in a sealed container plastic bag.
In an emergency, tightly coiled toilet paper or tortilla chips can be used as fuel if you don’t have those goods. Always keep a lighter and remember to follow the rules of campfire safety.
Repackage your food before leaving.
Food is among the heavy objects you’ll carry, so only take what you need and avoid carrying unnecessary packaging. Plan your campsite meals and snacks ahead of time, and then pack as much as you can into sealable or vacuum seal bags. (Using the technology to vacuum seal such bags can improve the shelf life of food items.).
It may be simpler to fit things into your bag. Still, it is recommended that you should be careful when packing food, especially snacks. For example, you may wish to bring five carrots and apples and a dozen cookies, but three carrots and apples and six cookies might be sufficient.
Pack the appropriate clothes
Cotton clothing and socks absorb and retain moisture, making you feel cold. Instead, choose clothes composed of soft, moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics or a combination of natural wool and synthetic fibers.
Synthetic and wool textiles are more effective in evaporating moisture away from your skin, speeding up the drying process. Furthermore, after many days of usage, wool stinks less than synthetics. Certain synthetic materials have antibacterial characteristics that minimize the germs that grow in sweaty garments.
Another hiking suggestion is always to include a pair of warm gloves, a knit cap, and a down jacket. Choose a fully waterproof shell jacket over a water-repellent wind jacket.
Always have duct tape on hand.
When hiking, things break, and it’s helpful to be able to repair broken gear or do rapid tent repairs immediately. A tent panel might get ripped. Your jacket’s zipper pull may get damaged. A hiking pole might be damaged.
Is there a remedy that can fix almost anything? Use duct tape! Duct tape may not be able to mend everything. However, it may aid you in various situations, including temporarily repairing wounds on your foot. Take just enough tape – not a complete roll, which may be 50 yards (45 meters). Wrap it over a plastic bottle or on each of your hiking poles several times. Consider bringing a small bottle of superglue and a few cable ties for those just-in-case situations where duct tape won’t suffice.
Make a sunset prediction.
It’s much simpler to set up your tent before the sun sets, so plan on finishing your trip with at least 30 to 45 minutes to spare. There’s a hiking tip for figuring out how much time you have left.
Line up the sun between your fingers and the horizon line by completely extending your arm horizontally. Each finger width equals around 15 minutes. Thus each palm width should be approximately an hour. Forty-five minutes if you can accommodate three fingers. Two hours if you can fit eight fingers on your hands. Remember that this is only an estimate, but you’ll be ready to go before sunset if you utilize it to your advantage.
You may use a headlamp to put up a tent, but wouldn’t it be better to be set up first before the sun goes down to sit back and enjoy the view?
Include baby wipes.
Baby wipes may serve several purposes. When you’re outside, you constantly get a bit dirty and never have the opportunity to get completely clean. Taking a pack of baby wipes with you can let you quickly freshen up before heading to bed by removing dust and grease accumulated throughout the day. Yes, they’re a luxury item that can add heaviness to your daypack. But you can eliminate its package and weight by carrying only two wipes in a sealable plastic bag for each day you’ll be camping.
Make a lantern of your own.
When you’re roaming about your campground with a flashlight or headlamp, it’s one thing, but once you’re in your tent, a lantern can produce ambient light more effectively. If you don’t have a lantern, just remove the band from your headlamp and wrap it around a clear water bottle with the light pointing inward. The light will be diffused by the water and translucent structure of the bottle, allowing it to emanate as a glow of ambient light in your tent.
Use it in the least light setting to prevent emptying your headlamp’s battery too rapidly. The low light will soon adjust your eyes. However, low illumination isn’t bright enough for reading and may cause eye fatigue.
Warm-up your sleeping bag at night
Boil some water soon before bedtime on chilly evenings, then pour it into a hot water bottle and place it below your sleeping bag when you’re ready to sleep. Cover it in a sock or wrap it in a bandana to protect it from burning your skin. After you zip and cover yourself from the cold evening air, the heat from the water bottle will gradually warm you and the interior of your bag. The bottle will cool down considerably, but your body temperature will maintain your bag pleasantly warm till then. And you’ll have pre-boiled water ready to drink even in the morning
Construct a clothesline
If your clothing becomes wet, whether it’s your socks, gloves, hat, or base layer, you should attempt to dry it as soon as possible since you may need to wear it again. Wet clothing is significantly heavier to carry. Hanging damp clothes in the sunlight or beside a bonfire is the easiest way to do this. If you bring a few clothespins or office binder clips, you may hang your stuff from your tent, tree branches, or even your back while you travel down the route. Even if clothing doesn’t get completely dry, it’s better than being soaked.
The more time you spend exploring the woods, the more clever backpacking techniques you’ll learn. These minor optimizations aren’t game-changers in themselves, but when you add them all up over a day, you’ll find yourself having more fun and feeling safer out on the trails.
These 12 smart backpacking tricks will make your outdoor experience as enjoyable, comfortable, and painless as possible.