Beginners might be wondering what to pack for an overnight hiking trip. With tons of products and hiking gear on the market, it can be tough to set up your backpack for the first time.
Being outdoorsy ourselves and doing a lot of hiking and camping trips here and abroad, we have a good understanding of what should go into your bag. Here is a list of essential hiking gear that you should consider when packing for an overnight hike:
We’re not talking about night creams, wine bottles, or relaxing music here. When you’re out there in the wild, the closest thing to having a home is having a decent tent that fits at least two people. The extra personal space allows you to keep your packs inside the tent while giving you enough room to sleep and move around.
It’s a good idea to pack a groundsheet and a lightweight sleeping bag. Avoid heavy sleeping bags and focus more on bringing something that won’t take up half your backpack. Consider bringing some insulated sleeping mats especially if you’re camping out in the cold. But if you’re not and just want to sleep somewhere toasty, create make-shift lining using mylar and thermal blankets.
You don’t want to end up eating crackers after spending the entire day hiking. A compact stove and some easy to cook (or pre-heated) food good for one to two people is what’s needed.
Try to pack multi-use utensils and multi-tools that won’t weigh you down. Multi-purpose biodegradable wet wipes are also recommended for overnighters who need an all-around cleaning buddy.
You’ll be carrying your food all day, so pack lightweight but nutritious food. Freeze-dried meals are great for these kinds of hikes. Pack snacks like muesli bars, nuts, and dried fruits - yummy treats to keep up your energy levels.
When packing water for cooking, drinking and cleaning, it’s advisable to take two to three liters per person per day. Find out if there is a water supply near the campsite so you can refill and learn how to make drinking water safe - tummy issues can make a hike miserable.
You will only need to bring one set of walking clothes, one set of warm clothing, and another dry set to change into at night. Your clothing should be lightweight and sweat-wicking, easy to wash and quick to dry.
It also helps to bring two pairs of socks, one for walking and one for sleeping, a hat to protect you from direct sunlight and a pair of decent boots. Since you’re going to do a lot of walking, having a good pair of boots is a must, and break them in before you hike in them to avoid blisters.
The Little Things
Here’s a quick inventory for you to tick off:
- Hygiene stuff
- Pocket multi-tool
- Matches or lighter, torch, and fire starters
With a few hikes under your belt, you’ll have a better understanding of what you’ll actually need.
Remember these two things:
- If it doesn’t help in keeping you alive, it’s a luxury
- Don’t carry more than one-third of your body weight - you may need to reassess what you’re taking.
Do you have packing tips of your own? Share them with us by commenting below.