10 Backpacking Essentials to Carry On Any Adventure

Planning an adventure and wondering some of the most important items to pack? Mostly, you don’t want to carry unnecessary items that will only add you more weight. The good news is, there are a couple of backpacking essentials to carry that will make your trip a great success.  

Remember, it might get tough selecting these crucial items needed for your next adventure. However, if you have the right information, then packing will be easy.

In the year 1930, The Mounta​​​​ineers  climbing club in Seattle  put on together a checklist of emergency gears which were called ‘the 10 essentials’. The list has been slightly modified today to suit the needs of different outdoor enthusiast. This guide provides you with a detailed guide on some essential items that you should carry on an adventure.  

Our Backpacking Essentials Checklist

The following are the 10 backpacking essentials to carry on any adventure;

  • Navigation compass and map
  • Sun protection includes items such as sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Illumination which includes a flashlight or a headlamp.
  • The first aid kit or the supplies
  • Source of fire; waterproof lighter or matches
  • Nutrition; more of extra food
  • Hydration; this includes extra filter or water
  • Insulation; these are extra clothing to keep you warm
  • Tools; carrying of multi-tools
  • Emergency shelter; this includes carrying bivvy or a blanket

Optional; communication devices can be optional and vital at the same time. Devices like a walkie-talkie or a cell phone are important.

Backpacking Essentials to Carry On Any Trip

Most travelers end up at their destination disoriented without any idea of what to do or where to go next. For experienced travelers, a checklist is a must have. You have to know and must have all the backpacking essentials to carry on any trip.

For that reason, we have shared our findings on a long term research on what travel items you can never leave behind. And this applies for any kind of trip or adventure. Most of the essential travel gear we have discussed applies for anyone. Be it an angler, camper, trail runner, hiking and more.

Below are the 10 backpacking essentials to carry whenever you are traveling or going for an adventure:

1. Navigation and Communication

Navigation as a backpacking checklist includes carrying a compass and a map to guide you when it comes to direction. Today, this has been substituted by mobile phone applications which are more accurate. But it is advised to carry on a physical compass and map because a phone can be out of service or run out of power. A map and a compass are used to find the final destination and navigate the shortest and safest way to arrive there. Additionally, you can carry a portable GPS device to avoid getting lost when hiking or during other outdoor activities.

With modern society, cell phones are becoming a necessity in social life. This is a bonus to the checklist as you may get stuck and want help. Also, you may want communication to keep in touch with your family and friends back home. 

backpacking essentials to carry gps

2. Sun Protection

With adventure, the sun can be a killer at sometimes and you can find yourself being stuck outside. Moreover, carrying sunscreen or sunglasses as backpack checklist for adventure is very crucial. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a good hat keep off the rays and adventure rolling. It is good to never forget your sun protection gear with recommended to carry those which blocks UVB and UVA.

3. Illumination for Night Use

Sometimes you can engage in some activities at night. So, carrying a flashlight or a headlamp is very important to help you see at night or in dark caves. A headlight or a flashlight should be very bright with long lasting charge. Carrying a backup charging system such as power bank is a wise move. This is because the illumination source of light can go down and need a recharge. 

4. First-Aid Kit

Going for adventure means you are stepping out into areas that are quite full of incidence causing accidents occurrence. A bad injury can happen when you out for an adventure. So, carrying a first-aid kit is crucial. The kit should be full of supplies that will help you handle different injuries.

first aid emergency kit

5. Source of Fire

When you are outdoors, you will probably spend most of your time outdoors. If you are camping with friends and it is cold out there, you can set up a bonfire. This will help at night when it gets cold you need to get some warmth. Carrying a source of fire that is waterproof is quite advisable since it may get rainy and the matchbox gets all wet to light up a fire. Again, you will need fire to cook your food.

6. Nutrition

Starving during an adventure is a very bad idea which can get you exhaust and even get you killed. Extra food is needed when going on for an adventure. You need to pack even more than you think you may want. The nutrition should be of high calories and dense food that can last you more during the adventure. Dense food in high calories gives you going the longest which is what you need when in the adventure.

7. Hydration Pack

A bad situation is when you get dehydrated during an adventure; the worst is when you have no water. One can go long without food but cannot go on long without water. Packing of extra water is much essential when going for an adventure. Packing water treatment tablets or drops can be of added advantage as you can purify your own water on the adventure. There are water bottles which can also treat lake water.

8. Insulation from Cold

The last thing you want during an adventure is to get cold. Carrying extra clothing or a blanket is very essential during an adventure. Cold can get you sick with pneumonia which can get worse within hours. Another concern is hypothermia when you are stuck all night in cold. Cotton clothing will keep you warmer.

9. Tools 

Carry multi-tools that have knives, pins and extras. This can be used when you want to cut off something or sharpen a stick to hold tight your canvas tent when sleeping. There are tools such as Leatherman multi-tools which has eighteen different tools. This tool includes; blades, scissors, bottle opener, multiple screwdrivers, and pliers. This tool is essential in a time of emergency, when changing on batteries or when cutting on an item.

backpacking essentials to carry

10. Emergency Shelter

Unfortunately, things can worse during an adventure and you might get stuck as you wait for rescue. Packing on emergency shelter is very vital as it helps you to stay warm as you wait for rescue. A bivvy, a backpac​​​​king tent or a blanket can provide you with great shelter outdoors. 

Final Words

We chose to share these 10 backpacking essentials to carry when traveling, because of our travel experiences. Most of the backpacking accessories and gear discussed above can be of great help at a crucial moment.

Remember, adventures are more fun when you have all the items you need. Leaving some important items behind can end up ruining your trip. Ensure you counter check your list more than two times before leaving for adventure. However, with the miss of a single item, you can compromise your adventure and get you stuck. Most important, no backpack checklist item is less important than the other. Do not assume nothing will happen or all will be alright during an adventure.

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