What Do I Need For Backcountry Hiking?

Before you start hiking in the backcountry, it's important to know what you'll need. For instance, hiking shoes are necessary for high-altitude hiking. Another important item is food. If you plan to cook while hiking, you'll need to pack a pot set that includes enough food for everyone, as well as bowls, sporks, and cups.

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You'll also need a drinking system - gravity filters are the easiest to use, but a portable one is better if you have a large group. You may also want to invest in closed-cell foam pads which are lightweight and easy to carry if you are camping overnight for your hike.

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When planning a backpacking trip, there are several factors to consider. Location, number of hikers, duration, and type of trip will all influence which essentials you should bring.

A compass can help you navigate without a map and is especially useful when hiking in unfamiliar terrain. Besides providing precise directions, a compass can also provide you with a topographical map of the hiking area. You can also use your compass to view the weather forecast and keep up to date with current conditions.

A good multitool can help you repair gear, help with first aid, and prepare food in an emergency. A pen and paper are also indispensable.

Bringing a daypack can help you save on weight. It can also be used to carry extra clothes and food. A weatherproof journal is a great idea, too.

What Should I Pack In My Backcountry Backpack?

The most important thing to pack for hiking in the backcountry is water. Some hikes will require up to 10 liters of water, while others may require just two.

Water is essential for keeping the body temperature stable, transporting nutrients through the body, and disposing of metabolic waste products. Not getting enough can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms, including cramps, disorientation, and lethargy.

Ideally, you should only pack your sleeping bag in the center of your pack. The rest of the items should be placed on the outer part of your pack, as this will distribute the weight evenly. This will also keep you balanced.

female hiker eating a sandwich

What Is The Best Hiking Food?

When you're hitting the trails, choosing the right food can be as crucial as selecting the right path. As a camper, you know the importance of fueling your body with the right nutrients while keeping your backpack light. So, what's the best hiking food?

Energy-Dense and Nutritious

Firstly, it's all about energy. On long hikes, your body is burning calories at full speed. High-energy foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are your best friends.

They're not just calorie-dense but are packed with proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins. Think almonds, sunflower seeds, or even a handful of dried cranberries for that quick burst of energy.

Lightweight and Convenient

Now, let's talk about convenience. No one wants to lug around heavy cans or perishables. This is where dehydrated meals come into their own.

Just add hot water, and you've got a meal that's both filling and feather-light. Instant oatmeal or quick-cook pasta can also be a game-changer for a quick, satisfying meal after a day of exploring.

Non-Perishable And Durable

Durability is key. Foods that can withstand a bit of rough and tumble are ideal. Jerky, hard cheeses, and whole-grain crackers are excellent choices.

They're not only resilient but also provide a great mix of protein and carbs to keep you going. Plus, they won’t spoil easily, which is a huge plus on multi-day treks.

Taste and Morale

Last but not least, let’s not forget taste. After a long day of hiking, a delicious meal can lift your spirits like nothing else. It’s important to pack food that you actually look forward to eating.

Maybe it's a piece of dark chocolate after dinner or your favorite trail mix – these little treats can boost your morale immensely.

In a nutshell, the best hiking food is that perfect blend of nutrition, weight, durability, and, yes, a bit of indulgence. It's about fueling your adventure without weighing you down, both literally and figuratively. So pack smart, and happy hiking!

What Is Best Beverage To Drink While Hiking?

The best way to know when you are dehydrated while hiking in the backcountry is to pay attention to the signs that you are feeling thirsty or tired.

If you feel thirsty or tired, your body may be dehydrated and you should drink water or sports drink to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can be dangerous and may require medical attention.

Aside from water, you may want to consider a sports drink or electrolyte tablet. These can replenish electrolytes lost through sweat. You can also drink coffee or energy drinks, but try to balance these with water.

Avoid alcohol, soda, and fruit juice, as these can cause dehydration. Drinking water helps to rehydrate faster and it also contains minerals and other vitamins that the body needs.

What Is The Best Outfit To Wear When Hiking?

When it comes to hiking, wearing the right clothes can make a significant difference in your comfort and safety. The ideal hiking attire balances functionality, comfort, and adaptability to changing weather conditions. Let's break down what makes for the best hiking clothes.

Layering for Comfort and Function

Layering is crucial for hiking. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep you dry. Materials like synthetic fabrics or merino wool are ideal. Add an insulating layer, such as a fleece or lightweight down jacket, to keep you warm. Top it off with a waterproof and breathable outer layer to protect against rain and wind.

Hikers with backpacks outdoors

Choose Durable and Comfortable Materials

Durability is crucial, but so is comfort. Opt for materials that are tough enough to withstand the rigors of the trail but are also comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Nylon and polyester are popular choices for their durability and quick-drying properties. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture, which can lead to discomfort and even hypothermia in cooler conditions.

Protective and Practical

Your clothing should also offer protection from the sun, insects, and abrasive plants or rocks. Long sleeves and pants are a good idea, even in warmer weather, for this reason.

Look for clothes with built-in UV protection and consider a hat and sunglasses for additional sun defense. If you're hiking in an area with lots of bugs, clothing treated with insect repellent can be a game-changer.

Footwear Matters

Your feet are your primary mode of transportation on a hike, so proper footwear is essential. Choose hiking boots or shoes that provide good ankle support, grip, and comfort. They should be well-fitted, with room to wiggle your toes, but snug enough to prevent blisters.

If you're tackling rough terrain, high-ankle hiking boots offer extra support. For lighter trails, a sturdy pair of trail shoes might be sufficient.

Accessorize Appropriately

Accessories like gloves, a hat, or a neck gaiter can provide additional comfort and protection. In colder weather, a beanie and gloves are essential for retaining body heat. A breathable hat is great for sunny days, while a neck gaiter can protect against wind and sun.

The best hiking clothes are those that keep you dry, warm, and protected, adapting to changing conditions while being comfortable enough to move freely in. Remember, the right clothing not only makes your hike more enjoyable but also keeps you safe on the trail.

It is essential to be well-prepared before embarking on a backcountry hike. Having the right supplies, knowledge of the terrain, and an understanding of safety protocols are all important considerations that should be taken into account before setting out. By taking these precautions, hikers can ensure that their experience is both safe and enjoyable.

About the author 

Susan  -  I love camping and everything that goes along with it. I live in a part of the states that has four seasons so I mostly just go during the summer. I find the best camping hacks and the best camping equipment, so you don't have to.

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