Backpacking Backpacks – Your Trips Require Packing These Items

Your Backpacking Backpack Should Contain Everything You Need And Nothing You Don’t

Backpacking backpacks type hiking trips require a lot of planning and forethought into preparation. No need to sweat the small stuff. With smart outlining and a good list, you’ll have everything sorted and organized within your trekking backpack in no time. Chances are this is not your very first hike.  Maybe it has been awhile since you’ve been on an excursion, in which case, you can consider this a refresher course.

  • Get yourself a large hiking backpack 60 liters or more
  • Many hikers carry a secondary 30-45 liter daypack or sling bag for shorter jaunts from their main camping area.
  • Make sure you have a broken-in pair of supportive hiking boots or shoes. You may want to pack a pair of lightweight sandals for relax time.
  • Hydration bladder or refillable Nalgene 32 oz. wide mouth water container with purification tablets to turn natural water sources into bacteria-free drinking water.
  • You will need a warm sleeping bag, a sleeping pad to put under you, either on the tent floor, or the bare ground for cushioning.
  • Microfiber travel towel

Backpacking Backpacks Bag – Clothes To Bring

  • Pack clothes that fold up small; 3 T-shirts and 3 pair of under wear, (Commando while trekking is not advised)
  • 2 pair of lightweight pants.

Choose moisture-wicking shirts and pants. Get yourself a mesh laundry bag to separate dirty clothes from clean.

Thin hiking pants like Craghoppers work well. Some shirts and pants are impregnated with mosquito repellent.  At lakes, streams or ponds, you can rinse your clothing out and it will dry overnight. This prevents you from having to carry so many multiple items.

  • Lightweight fleece jacket for summer, Down jacket for Fall/Winter
  • 4 Bandanas
  • 1 pair water-resistant gloves
  • 1 Hat    Straw or canvas for summer   Wool with ear flaps in Fall/Winter
  • 1 Security Belt with secret cash and credit card pocket
  • 1 Pair Technical Sunglasses

Backpacking backpacks excursions cause your eyes to take a beating from the sun, and even a few days of backpack trekking can put you at a higher risk for retina cancer. Choose a high-performance product with polarized, interchangeable lenses (rose-colored ones are best in low light)

Hiking Backpack Balanced Weight Is Essential
  • Backpacking Backpack Hiking – First Aid Kit And Toiletry Items

Most stores sell a very basic first aid kit. Grab one and add the following to customize it to your needs.

  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Tissues 
  • Sweat-proof Sunscreen  – at least 50 spf – Reapply every 90 minutes while backpack hiking
  •  Razor & blades or disposable razors
  • Shaving gel   
  • Personal medicines and prescriptions such as inhalers
  •  Ibuprofen or Tylenol
  • Throat lozenges
  • Disinfectant Wound spray
  • Benadryl  – Things in the wild can make you itchy
  • Imodium Tabs –  for diarrhea (it can happen)
  • Waxed dental floss – Also makes a super strong stitching material for gear repair
  • Bug Spray   –  At least 40% DEET protects against mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and fleas, but it isn’t so great for your gear. Use a formula like Picaridin instead, which is just as effective as DEET and won’t destroy your technical fabrics.
Many Hiking Pack Essentials Take Up Little Room

 Backpacking Backpacks – Camp Stove

  •  A good hiking bag camp stove is fast (for boiling water), fuel-efficient, and minimalist. I’ve used the MSR Pocket Rocket which only weighs 3 oz.  For windy conditions, the MSR Wind Boiler Stove System has an enclosed wind-resistant design, but it’s a bit pricey at $130.     Wind Boiler also makes a $20 Coffee Press for die-hard coffee lovers at camp, which barely weighs an ounce.
  • Stick to 1 plastic plate to rewash and use, and 1 lightweight cup and bowl.
  • Choose a spoon or fork made from titanium, which is durable, non-toxic, and weighs less than an ounce. Or get a combo spoon/fork from Light My Fire, called a Titanium Spork ($15) available at REI.

Backpacking Backpacks – Hiking Tools and Gadgets

Hiking rucksack handy items you will be glad you have every time – well worth the space in your backpacking backpack.

  • Super Glue 
  • Head lamp 
  • Carabiners 
  • Multi- purpose tool/  Hunting Knife
  • Sewing needle  (for gear repair) Use your waxed dental floss as thread
  • Small roll of duct tape (fixes so many things)
  • A Compass (make sure you know how to read it)
  • Lighter and Backup Matches  –  You should bring a backup pack of matches that will light no matter how wet they get. Coleman’s waterproof matches are good.

You’re all set now, so happy camping.  If you have room in your hiking bag and there is something else you feel you truly want and need, my motto is, “Which is more important, safety or packing light?”  Go ahead and pack that hiking backpack and hit the trails!

Hiking Backpacks Being Used By Many Non-Hikers

Hiking backpacks are being used more than ever by the non-hiking world. Hiking bags have been embraced by people for many every day uses. You may have noticed yourself that people are carrying hiking packs more frequently for various reasons. We are not talking about the students who use a backpack as a book bag, we are referring to the sturdier and better quality internal frame backpack that seems to be trending right now.

Hospital Staff and Caregivers

Hiking Backpacks – What If We Don’t Need That?

Hiking backpacks may seem like something you wouldn’t use. What possible reason could you have for a hiking backpack if you haven’t taken up that awesome sport as of yet?  I was recently at the hospital while my husband had a procedure. I had plenty of time to people watch and was amazed by how many medical professionals, family members and hospital staff were wearing backpacks. All sizes, colors and styles were represented. It should not have surprised me when I think of how awesome it is to carry all of your “stuff” in one place where you have easy access and organization of said “stuff.” It suddenly made total sense.

Hiking Backpacks – We’ve Got Your Back

Hiking backpacks hikers are not exclusive to the multi-function capabilities of a nice strong rucksack. Hiking is not the only reason to own a hiking bag.  Be aware that if you make the mistake of buying a cheap backpack from a department store, you will be very disappointed before long when you attempt to carry your belongings and the seams rip, zippers malfunction and worse yet, a strap breaks because those types of backpacks are not meant to carry much more than a lunch bag, maybe a book or two and a few personal items. Hiking bags are meant to withstand the elements without getting totally soggy inside and out. They are made with dense materials to support the weight of your essentials. They have substantial quality seam threading, zippers and water repellents for times when you use your backpack outdoors. In short, they are made that way for use as an outdoor backpack, but is all that quality a waste if you don’t? Not hardly.

Hiking Backpacks Fit The Bill

Shoppers And Tourists

A 70 liter external frame backpack is not needed to carry your daily necessities, it would be way too big and not suit the purpose of just transporting a medium-weight load. Unless you are climbing mountains or thru-hiking on a daily basis, you don’t need a pack that large. It may seem overwhelming to you to try and figure out what size and type would be just right. That’s where a sturdy little day pack comes in. Maybe initially you will use it for carrying a laptop, gym clothes, extra change of clothing and some personal items (yes adults have sleepovers too). If you decide you want to start hiking for fitness or fun, a daypack backpack would be your first purchase anyway since it is useful for food, water bottles, camera, binoculars and a light jacket. Day hiking bags are used on a daily basis by thousands of non-hikers. Even mothers are discovering the vast usefulness of a day backpack as a diaper bag which is so much easier to carry, leaving both hands free and has lots of organization and storage compartments.

Hiking Backpacks – Examples of Non-Hikers Who Use Them

  • Healthcare workers, including home health aides, hospice workers and hospital staff
  • Office Workers both in the office and in the field
  • Travelers, both airline workers and travelling tourists plus photographers
  • Any female who carries a large purse, briefcase or tote, any male who doesn’t want to carry a purse, man bag or briefcase.
  • Beachgoers and sightseeing tourists
  • Power shoppers
  • Sports participants and their fans in the bleachers
  • This list could be endless
Travelers Use Hiking Backpacks

Hiking backpacks come in many sizes. The best answer to the question of who could benefit from carrying a small backpack is literally anyone. Unnecessary strain and discomfort can happen from improperly carrying things every day like heavy purses, book bags and totes. Save your back, your hips and your mind. Your often-used items that you need ready access to without rummaging through a deep bag can be organized for easy retrieval in a daypack backpack, even for non-hikers. Hikers already know how advantageous they are.  When will you give it a try? We’re here for you at

Hiking Bag Essentials For Beginner Hikers

Enjoy The Benefits Of Backpack Hiking

Backpack hiking with a hiking bag has many elements that you are looking for to gain fitness, experiences with nature and non-stressful zen time for yourself.  You’ve made up your mind that you want to start trail hiking. If you are wondering what to bring in your hiking pack and how much is too much, you are not alone. Let’s examine what the essentials really are.

Outdoor Backpack Hiking Sustenance

If your hiking pack has a hydration bladder, you will fill it with fresh water from home. Hydration throughout your trip is vital. If you don’t have a hydration bag, you will pack at least 3 water bottles per day of your trip. That can amount to a lot of weight in your outdoor backpack. If there is fresh water available per the map of the area you are hiking, you can refill your bottles, but you will need to add purification tablets or drops to eliminate getting sick from what you thought was fresh water. This would eliminate having to carry so much for the day. Obviously you aren’t going to bring your whole fridge or pantry, but you will need nourishment and . That means food and water.

Don’t weigh your hiking day pack down. Carry protein-rich food and snacks not requiring refrigeration.  Sample packets of things like mayo, cream cheese and peanut butter are a very handy tool. Bagels, granola bars and beef jerky, along with tuna and chicken packets are great foods that won’t weigh you or your daypack down.

Backpack Hiking Gear And Tools Every Backpacker Should Carry

Backpack hikers will need a map and a compass for navigation. Your phone can provide certain GPS but never count on that alone in case you lose cell service or the battery dies. Always bring a flashlight or headlamp, even on a day trip in case you spend longer on the trail than anticipated, which is easy to do. Your backpacking pack should always have matches, a lighter and fire starters for any trip. Bring a whistle to call for help with three short bursts. It’s vital to have things you hope you’ll never need, but will be darned glad you have them if you do need them. Always handy to have is a multi-purpose knife tool for using on things you couldn’t even imagine, yet will be worth its weight in gold.

Easy To Carry Essentials

Hiking Backpack Personal Items And First Aide

Your hiking pack must have a first aide kit assembled and in your outdoor backpack. You can buy a ready-made kit or put your stuff in a ziploc bag. Be sure to include, assorted size adhesive bandages, antibacterial cream, a needle and safety pins, duct tape, ibuprofen or Tylenol, alcohol wipes, sunscreen, SPF-rated lip balm, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, vinyl gloves and toilet paper. Sunglasses are important to protect your eyes.

Trail Hiking Clothing Items

Ready for your backpacking trek? Layering is the best approach, because some instances you may find yourself colder or hotter than when you first started packing for that trail hike. Choose fabrics for shirts and pants that have moisture-wicking properties such as synthetic gym wear. Ultra-fine merino wool is the best choice for socks (bring an extra pair or two.) Cotton doesn’t efficiently remove moisture away from your skin, takes a very long time to dry, and is a poor insulator, so it is not the right choice for hiking. Bring 2 pair of underwear, 2 T-shirts (one long sleeve and 1 short) and lightweight pants for a base layer. Roll up convertible pants are great because if your day gets hotter or colder, you can adapt. Heavier pants can be worn over your base layer if needed.

Bring a fleece top and heavy jacket, depending on time of year and climate where you are hiking. Lightweight down jackets or insulated synthetic jackets with an adjustable hood are preferable. You should always pack a lightweight water-repellant wind breaker also. Choose rain pants and coats that are waterproof and breathable. Staying dry is paramount to avoid hypothermia.

Keep those feet, head and hands warm and dry. A good hat, depending on weather climate, should consist of one for warmth and one for sun protection. You’ll need gloves for warmth and also sun protection, full or half-fingered. Look for some with 50 or 30 UPF. A cotton bandana has many uses other than your head. It can be used to keep sun off your neck.

Hiking boots that you have already broken in are crucial for avoiding blisters. Since we are basically referring to day backpacking trips in this article, you can choose ankle high or low-cut boots. Always choose quality full-grain leather for durability and to keep your feet comfortable and dry. Make sure you have a good fit for better stability on rougher terrain with a snug fit at the heel and wiggle room for your toes.

It may sound like you are carrying quite the load for a short trip, but these are the hiking essentials, things you are almost guaranteed to need at some point on your trek. Keep what you don’t use handy in your hiking bag for the next trek out and just add to it. The important thing is to follow through with your plan to discover backpack hiking and spend time in nature. You will make memories and have stories to tell forever with each new expedition.  Happy hiking!

Large Backpack Hiking -Surprisingly Awesome In Virginia

Large backpack hikers are a community all their own consisting of avid nature enthusiasts who love to explore the Great Outdoors. I find myself always researching new places to hike and new excursions to enjoy. If you find yourself looking to reach new heights and conquer new summits on the map, I urge you to take the State of Virginia into serious consideration.

Triple Crown Point Hiking Blue Ridge Mountains VA

Large Backpack Hikers Visit The Black Ridge Trail

The Black Ridge Trail

Large backpack users visit this area which is one of my favorites on the Blue Ridge Parkway. You will enjoy not always having the great views obstructed by trees with barely any sunlight. A portion of this trail from a stretch of the Rock Castle Gorge Trail that runs from the Rocky Knob Information Station to Grassy Knoll provides a nice open view of gorgeous scenery. The rest of the hike remains interesting for it passes farms and the ruins of a mountain home.

Large Backpack Trekkers – Other Great Hiking Places Include:

  • Buffalo Mountain Trailhead  –  Short walk to the summit with 700′ elevation
  • Hidden Valley Lake –  4.5 mile moderate hiking trail 3500 above sea level, Abington VA
  • Stiles Falls – 4.1 mile moderate hiking trail with waterfall near Roanoke VA
  • Old Rag Mountain Loop Trail – 8.6 mile challenging hike in Shenandoah National Park
  • White Oak Canyon Trail – 6 mile moderate hike with creeks and 6 major waterfalls
  • Massanutten Storybook Trail – Easier hike with stunning views overlooking the valley
  • Cascades National Recreation Trail –  4 mile easy hike featuring Cascade Falls- Scenic Lower Trail
  • Powhatan State Park – Powhatan VA, Very clean. James River hiking trail well maintained.

Devil’s Fork Loop Trail

Devil’s Bathtub

Large backpack hikers love the Devil’s Fork in Ft. Blackmore, Virginia. It is perfect for true backpack hiking enthusiasts. During the 7.2 mile round trip trek you’ll be hiking over boulders of 13 creeks, so be sure to plan your visit during low water conditions. The highlight of the trail is the spectacular Devil’s Bathtub, a naturally smooth swimming hole.

Large Backpack Hikers May Sometimes Prefer Cabins To Tents While Hiking

Appalachian Mountain Cabins in the beautiful mountains of scenic Southwestern Virginia has unique and private cabins in a wooded setting that are perfectly suited for family vacations and romantic weekends.  Pool and park privileges are included at the adjacent Natural Tunnel State Park where you can do a day backpacking hike with a picnic in your hiking bag and have a less “out in nature” night.

Large Backpack Hiking With Non-Nature Lovers

“Glamping” Cabin

Not everyone likes hiking, (can you even imagine?) so the “Glamping” cabins may be an alternative when vacationing with family or friends. Some of you can go off hiking for the day or even overnight while the not-so-adventurous remain behind in comfort they are happier with. It’s a win-win for everyone. There are cabins available near Charlottesville VA with up to a 10 guest capacity. Guests will be nestled in the middle of a quiet forest next to the river, a short distance away from Virginia’s famous Shenandoah Valley. There is private land with nature trails, Buddhist gardens, hammocks, and frog ponds and you can even splash in the Rockfish Gap River.

What a great state Virginia is to visit.  There is something for everyone with nature being forefront, yet not forced on anyone who likes a different approach to leisure time. There are plenty of forests, mountains, streams and hiking trails. You can also opt for great restaurants, day spas and a movie at night. They say “Virginia Is For Lovers”, that has been their state slogan for a long time.  I say Virginia is for everyone.  Happy hiking…or whatever makes you happiest.

Outdoor Backpack Hikers – Guess Who’s Among Them?

Hiking Is Very Popular With The Older Generation

Outdoor backpack hiking is not just for young people in their twenties. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages are recognizing the numerous health benefits and the calming effects of the light cardio workout from flat or moderate incline trail walks. Surprisingly, in a world of “cut and paste” joints, many seniors are taking up hiking to strengthen their core and improve their muscles and joints to eliminate these procedures, with enjoying the beauty and wonder of nature as an added plus. How does hiking help the body?

Outdoor Backpack Hiking – Have You Forgotten How To Play?

Kids Climbing Trees

Outdoor backpack hikers understand what it’s like to play outdoors. We all started very eager to play outside as a child. We would run and climb, twist and bend and get stronger because of it. The statement “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” is very true. We become adults in a career-driven world and may not take the time for outdoor activities.  When a family comes along, we have an opportunity to play alongside our children, which is very good, but there could be an 8-10 year span where that kind of play may not be all that physical. That’s a long time to let the body be in a randomly active state. Muscle mass and function begins to deteriorate in your 30’s. Inactive people can lose 3-5% each decade after age 30.  Some loss is natural age-related progression, but you can control how much and how fast you decline by being as active as possible on a regular basis.

Outdoor Backpack Exercise – Gym Or No Gym?

My feeling on this subject is use the gym whenever you cannot be outside, such as during inclement weather. Otherwise, do your lungs, body and skin a favor by breathing fresh air while you are active every chance you get. You may have noticed that even in your early 40’s, your body is not the well-toned machine it was 15 years ago. Think about where it will be 15 years from now. Strength training for adults over 50 is becoming very popular with folks who can’t bear the thought of only sitting on a couch for the next couple decades. They have discovered that backpack hiking has excellent cardio benefits and will build strength in their glutes, quadsriceps, hamstrings and the muscles in their hips and lower legs will regain muscle tone. Carrying a lightweight outdoor backpack adds weight bearing exercise to a very enjoyable experience that won’t seem like boring exercise at all.

Outdoor Backpack Hikes – How Do I Get Started?

Stretching Is Important Before And After Hiking

Let’s get real for a minute. In rare instances there have been hikers in their 70’s who have traversed week long hikes and enjoyed every minute. A more practical approach to hiking, if you are new to it, or if you have been sedentary for awhile, is to work slowly to train your muscles and joints for what your body needs to do. Again, this does not have to be in a gym. But you will have to retrain your weakened areas gradually in preparation of the form of hiking you are interested in.  There is no shame and you will still get multiple health benefits from flat trail hiking. You need not climb mountains to be healthy, unless you want to, but you still have to be physically prepared.

Outdoor Backpack Usage – How Much Must I Hike To Make A Difference?

Let’s say you are 60 and you want to enjoy the Great Outdoors and tone your body at the same time. Hiking a flat trail for at least four hours a week will provide increased endurance, improved balance, a lower risk of heart disease, better blood pressure and you’ll even sleep better at night, have more energy during the day and improve your mood. A walk in your neighborhood is more like a stroll, and although it is good exercise, many aspects that hiking can provide will be missing. Put a little weight in you hiking backpack with 2 water bottles, an extra sweater and some protein snacks, a safety whistle and your cell phone. You are now doing weight-bearing exercise without giving it a thought.

Outdoor Backpack Treks – You Choose Your Terrain

Straight Hiking Or Elevated Hike

Outdoor backpack hiking, when done regularly, will acclimate your body to movement. Once comfortable, you may want to up your game by choosing a trail with more elevation, rockier instead of a paved park trail or longer in duration. Ease into your choices. Be sure to wear warm or cool enough clothing, proper footwear and non-cotton socks to avoid blisters. Get a set of hiking poles or a walking stick to make you feel more secure over rougher terrain. Your balance will improve. Always do a few stretches before you begin your trek to loosen up your muscles. A few toe touches and side-to-side and over-the-head arm extensions will prepare your body. Set out in a normal walking pace. You can always increase it, but you should be able to breathe normally without sweating. Take time to enjoy the natural setting with the beautiful views. This is not a marathon and you are in charge of how long and how far you go. Pack a non-refrigerated lunch and a blanket to stop for lunch and rest. Always plan to be off the trail at sunset. Check your local area for hiking trails close by.

No matter what your age or current physical shape, you will love the empowerment of accomplishment when you ease into backpack hiking. Your body will listen and yield to your commands. Your lungs will breathe in fresh air and Vitamin D will be absorbed into your skin from the sun. Age is not your dictator, your mind rules your actions. Incorporating day pack hiking into your routine will benefit every body of every age.  Happy hiking!

Gym Or No Gym?

How Do I Get Started?

Hiking Backpack Trends For Everyday Use

Hiking backpack usage has increased over time. Regardless of how you are traveling, whether on a bike, airplane or on foot, you want all of your carry essentials to get there safe and sound just like you expect to. Our methods of accomplishing that have changed over the centuries from all types of boxes to luggage to a current trend in hiking backpacks. We’re not talking about a kid’s book bag style, we are referring to an actual hiking backpack that can withstand weight and has comfortable carry features for the load you need to carry. Different modes of travel require different types and sizes of backpacks. Let’s break it down to which one would work for your needs.

Hiking Backpack        

Great Little Daypack

Hiking backpack trips have hikers carrying this outdoor backpack. You may think you need to go off on a 3 day hike for using a pack like this. Not true.  Many people are opting to use daypacks for air travel, bicycling, and on cruise ships. Day tourists, factory workers, folks that work in the field for their job, all find that a backpack is more comfortable to carry than a heavy purse, diaper bag, lunch bag or briefcase. Valuables and necessities such as water, snacks, cameras and sunscreen are easily transported making sporting events, sightseeing, and picnics more pleasurable and less of a burden to bring along the things you need. Most daypacks accommodate your essentials in the form of a main large pocket with dividers and additional separate pockets to categorize items for quick finding. There may be exterior straps and pockets for carrying water bottles or cell phones. More active people are finding that a day pack is a lighter alternative to carry-on luggage for air travel and a more organized method of carrying an extra jacket plus their belongings on any type of day outing.

Hiking Backpack – Larger Size

Large Hiking Backpack

A hiking backpack that is 45 Liters and larger can house your daily needs and clothing with individual organizer pockets completely negating the need for heavy luggage. This type of hiking bag can be used for multi-day trips in the wilderness, but can just as easily be used for mall shopping trips, touring large cities and camping. Whatever occasion calls for carrying more stuff than you might need in a day, you will want a larger pack. The longer you will be away, extra clothing items are needed for changes in weather temperature and more food is needed. Most large hiking packs have compression straps so that you can cinch them down to compact your load tighter which makes for a more comfortable carry.

Hiking Backpack – Tactical Simply Means Better Organization

Tactical Backpack

Your EDC (every day carry) items are determined by you, your lifestyle, your job, or your mission.  A tactical backpack bag is simply one that has multiple pockets, storage and compartments for hydration, food, clothing and gear. These outdoor backpacks are made to withstand the elements and the terrain with tough materials that are water resistant. Those choosing to use a tactical bag are long-distance hikers, law enforcement, hunters, military deployment or high-activity ventures. These bags are specifically  designed to provide comprehensive and modular storage (otherwise known as MOLLE) support. You don’t have to be military or law enforcement to see the uses for a tactical backpack. Anyone desiring great options for storage and ready availability of their carry items will find this type of bag extremely useful for carrying everyday gear such as laptops, tablets, concealed carry and water bladders for hydration.

Hiking backpack bags can cause you to rethink how you carry things now, whether it’s your gym clothes, work items or the endless things that children require you to bring along, even when you are not hiking. Durable backpacks made of quality materials will outlast any college book bag, diaper bag or suitcase. When you are hiking, you know you want something that will not break a strap, a zipper or soak your belongings with a pop-up rain shower. Hiking backpacks have tons of uses, so why not think outside the box and do your back a favor at the same time.  Happy Hiking….or just Happy travel!

Outdoor Backpack Hiking Experience? How Do I Prepare For My First Trip?

Hiking In Nature Empowers You

Outdoor Backpack Hiking – Go Ahead And Try It

You’re brand new to hiking and you are filled with excitement and anticipation.  Part of you worries that as a “newbie” you will forget something important or fail on your mission. Preparing for your first trek is not as daunting as you may think.  Prepare like a pro, and you’ll spend more time focusing on your hiking camping backpack experience, and less time being nervous about pulling it off without a hitch.

Outdoor Backpack Treks – You Must Prepare Your Body

Teamwork is Helpful On And Off The Trail

Do yourself the huge favor of first preparing your body physically.  A neighborhood walk with the dog is completely different than a hiking trek over uneven terrain of hills and trails to find an overnight camping site. Trust me, your muscles and back will give you all kinds of grief that will spoil your good time in the wild, if you fail to get yourself fit first. Always stretch your back and leg muscles before starting on a hike and when you are done. Work on these same muscles at home or the gym for a few weeks before your first outing.

Outdoor Backpack Excursions – Helpful First Hike Info

For this first trip use a daypack and start out during daylight hours.  Hike for 2-3 hours, take a rest for 30 minutes and then head back.  This type of hiking bag will carry all your essentials for the day and won’t be too heavy. It is essential that your hiking backpack fit comfortably to balance the load on your back.  Most backpacks come with adjustable waist and shoulder straps for customizing comfort. If you are going solo, leave details of your trip with someone you trust.  It’s probably better to take a friend along the first time out, and it’s best to choose a well-travelled trail.

Available at

Outdoor Backpack – What Do I Pack In It?

If you are wondering how you should pack, simply put, lightly!  For a day trip, eat breakfast at home and pack a non-perishable lunch and snacks like nuts, grapes and energy bars. Start by drinking 16 oz. of water before you leave to pre-hydrate your body. Then pack 2 or3 more 16 oz bottles of water in your small backpack.  Staying hydrated is essential throughout the trip.  Snack every hour. Pack a sleep pad to place on the ground when you take a rest. It will keep your clothes dry and provide comfort to your butt.

Outdoor Backpack Hiking – Clothing Choice Is Important                                                                                                

When selecting your clothing, wear T-shirts and bottoms made of quick-drying fabrics, like gym shirts made of nylon and polyester. This material pulls sweat away from your skin and keeps you drier to avoid rashes and chafing. Avoid cotton as it absorbs water and takes longer to dry. Layer your clothing, such as shorts underneath long pants that can be put on or off as temperatures change. Pack a waterproof windbreaker in case of an abrupt weather change. Yes, it happens.

Go Easy On The Feet

Very important, do not wear a brand new pair of hiking boots without breaking them in first. Blisters and sore feet will make your experience a bad first hike, trust me. Choose a supportive type of shoes or boots. Some backpackers insist on over-the-ankle styles.  Your back and legs will appreciate that. Wear wool or synthetic socks, NOT cotton, which retains moisture. Pack an extra pair.

Outdoor Backpack Hikers – Include These Items In Your Pack

Other helpful gear would include sweat-proof sunscreen that needs to be reapplied every 90 min. Use a lip balm with sunscreen and wear sunglasses. a bandanna, which has multiple uses on the trail.  If you pass by water, dunk it in and put it back on your forehead. Shield your neck from sunburn by wearing it backwards.

Don’t Forget These

Wear a hat and bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer, a roll of toilet paper, a knife or multi-tool device and a whistle in case you get lost. Take your cell phone plus a map and compass. Throw in a couple of plastic bags, a trowel for burying waste and some basic first aid items like Bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment and alcohol pads

Follow this basic advice and you’ll be well prepared without over packing. Now all you have to do is have a great and memorable first hike. Chances are there will be many more to follow.  Before long, you’ll be ready to set that daypack aside for a longer overnight camping backpack. Happy hiking!