All the Essentials for Backpacking

All the Essentials for Backpacking

backpack-travelDo you love backpacking? Do you enjoy the thrill of packing up and setting off with friends or by yourself to discover new and different things in the world? I personally find it absolutely thrilling to get back out into nature and see a different side of the world that most of us unfortunately don’t have that much access to. This article is designed to give you an inside look at the essentials that you must pack for your next backpacking adventure. Please feel free to write to me and let me know if there is anything I may have missed or you would like to add to the list.

It’s important to remember to pack only the essentials on your backpacking trip. Too much baggage will weigh you down and it’s not about the material possessions you bring with you on the journey. The following list is intended to keep your pack lights, your feet from becoming too sore, and enjoyment to your quest.

Map & Compass:

This item is an absolute must! Without a map or compass how can you expect to make it anywhere on time or with direction? A map or compass will allow you to properly track your progress and your journey which can be very important especially in harsher environments like Alaska. These don’t take up much space at all so you’d best pack both.

Sunscreen and Lotion:

For the sake of your skin please pack these essential items. The sunscreen will aid you more than you know against and unforgiving sun and the lotion can be used to sooth dry or peeling skin. Pack the sunscreen and lotion and thank me later because I can guarantee you’ll use your fair share of it.


Here is where things may become a little tricky because everyone seems to have a million favorite pieces of clothing, however this is only about the essentials. You must be very critical when packing for your trip and really ask yourself if you’ll be wearing all pieces of clothing regularly. Items to definitely pack are warm socks, a rain jacket, durable pants, sturdy and comfortable boots (water resistant), and a few shirts. Consider where you are going and the time of year to better prepare packing.


This one is a given in any trip. Pack a small flashlight with a long battery life and high power output. You may not being using it every single night but it’s vital to have an illumination device handy if you need it at a moment’s notice. Good flashlights are relatively cheap and come in a wide variety of sizes. Some even contain extra storage compartments for other things.

First-Aid Supplies:

Without first-aid supplies you may find yourself in trouble in case of emergency. Make sure to have bandages, rubbing alcohol, gauze, ibuprofen, scissors, and medical tape for your trip. You never know when you’ll need to clean a cut, wrap a wound, or cover a painful blister. Always have first-aid supplies on these trips.

Ways to Make Fire:

Pack waterproof matches along with a lighter or two. Keep these items in different locations on your pack in case one area gets wet or ruined, you have other options. You must be able to make yourself a fire in the nights to keep warm and cook whatever food you caught or packed with you. A comforting fire for each day of your journey will be your best friend.

Food & Water:

Packing food can be difficult on the types of trips. You obviously can’t pack anything too bulky and it must not be something with a short shelf life like chicken or pork. I suggest packing nutrient-rich items like wild rice, beans, mixed nuts, and even some sugary treats to keep you up and active. I would also recommend oatmeal and peanut butter for extra fuel and not being weighed down with heavier items. Pack water bottles as well, preferably ones that can filter water for you so you can get clean water anywhere there is a body of it.

Thank you for reading my short article on backpacking essentials. Please be sure to check back again soon for more updates on travel tips or developing news stories.

Joshua Stubbins