Written by Roxana Oliver
Making a decision to go on a hike or cycling trip is a great idea, and it will definitely leave you with many unforgettable memories. Of course, in order for everything to go down as planned, you’ll need to bring along the necessary gear. The list of items to pack for the trip will greatly depend on the length and nature of your adventure, but if you’re not traveling by car, you should avoid anything that could slow you down or limit your freedom of movement.
Check out the following list of backpacking must-haves and pack more stuff only if you’re absolutely sure you’ll need it:
Choose the right backpack
If you’re not bringing a tent or sleeping bag along for the trip, the best option is to go for a backpack with a 40-45 liter capacity. With the right backpack size, you won’t be tempted to pack unnecessary stuff. When backpack shopping, pay attention to the quality: the luggage unit has to be sturdy and durable, but it shouldn’t cause you any discomfort. The straps should be as wide as possible: thin straps can cut into the skin and cause pain and sores. Also, waterproof material is another point on the list of necessary requirements which a good backpack should meet.
Proper navigation essentials
The best way to enjoy your adventure is to ditch navigation worries. Take the necessary preventive measures and bring everything that can help you keep track of your location and progress 24/7. A detailed map and a compass are a must–have, but if you want extra navigation security, you can also pack a GPS unit and altimeter watch.
Adequate sun protection
Traveling on foot or bike will expose your skin to harmful UV rays, which is why you shouldn’t forget to include sun protection essentials on your backpacking list. Sunscreen with high SPF will keep your face and body protected from UV rays that can damage the skin. SPF lip balms can also come in handy if your lips dry easily.
Also, think about accessories such as a wide-brim hat and sunglasses that will keep your eyes and head safe from the bright sun. Camping hats made of cotton are foldable and won’t take a lot of space in your luggage, but you have to be extra careful with sunglasses. Brands like the high-quality Dragon sunglasses are perfect for backpacking as they are sleek, durable, and easy to slip into narrow spaces or pockets.
Necessary clothing bits & pieces
Regardless of the season, you should pack warm clothes, especially so if you’re going to spend the night in the open. A good waterproof jacket or vest and warm pants can really mean a lot when you’re trying to stay comfortable at night. For short trips during summer months, you can get away with a raincoat, but during winter and colder seasons, hats and gloves are essential as they will prevent heat from escaping from your body.
Food & emergency tools
Together with the first-aid kit, a day’s supply of food and bottled water is a point you shouldn’t overlook when packing under any circumstances. Bring foods that can stay fresh for longer periods of time outside refrigerated storage. Also, tools such as knives, matches, and flashlights will make useful additions to your backpacking list.
Once you have your trip essentials ready, you can decide for yourself whether you need or have room for other items that might come in handy. Instead of loading yourself with unnecessary backpack bulk, it may be a good idea to bring along more money so that you can restock your supplies if need be.
About the author
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter and facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.