Backpack Bag – 5 Items You Mustn’t Leave Home On A Backpack Trip

backpack bag
A Prepared Backpack Hiker Is A Happy Hiker

A backpack bag normally includes hiking gear and your daily essentials for the length of trip you’re taking.  Most of us can figure out the basics, such as food, water, sunscreen, extra clothing and a sleeping bag.  Have you ever taken a vacation or day trip where you wished you had included something in your travel bag that you didn’t?  Here are 5 main things that you won’t want to leave behind for the best hiking experience.

Hikers May See More Than Gorgeous Scenery Along The Trail

There Are Many Wonders To See On A Backpack Hike

How great is the fact that today’s cell phones have considerably high resolution cameras?  This means you can leave a bulky camera at home, or even carry yours in your hiking bag.  But what if you see something in the distance that you aren’t quite sure what you’re looking at and wish you could see better?  A good set of binoculars are a hiker’s best friend.  You might see wildlife from afar that is dangerous to approach for a closer photo op.  Maybe you’ll spot a owl or hawk in the distant tree branches that you’d like to get a better view of.  You may want to examine the terrain of a nearby mountain top before climbing.  Get a better look with your binoculars. They come in lightweight styles that you can hang around your neck or pack in your backpack.

Backpackers Need A Good Night’s Sleep

Hikers Need Great Sleep To Continue Their Journey

Backpack bag hiking trips can be exhausting which makes it imperative that hikers have a comfortable sleep that a sleeping bag alone placed directly on the ground cannot always provide.  A backpack sleeping pad with high R-valueof at least 5-6 with amplecushioning provides insulation from the ground. For a restful night, you’ll be glad you packed a lightweight sleeping bag pad with cushioning from the cold wet ground.  Every ounce counts when you are carrying your cargo on your back, but an ultralight pad, not to be confused with a full size air mattress, can weigh less than a pound.

For product information and in-depth reviews check here:

All Purpose Fixer Upper For Hiking Jaunts

backpack bag
The Perfect Hikers Tool

A hiking excursion must-have item in your hiking backpack that is worth its weight in gold is duct tape or duck tape, whatever you want to call it.  Having personal experience with this magical wonder tape, I have used it for literally hundreds of temporary fixes while hiking on the trail.  You can patch, heal, create and even replace numerous broken or ripped articles in a flash with this simple adhesive. Depending on how long your hiking trek is, you can take the whole roll or simply wind several yards on a pencil for a lightweight fixer upper.

Stuff happens on a hiking trip that you can’t always foresee.  Rips in tents, sleeping bags, footwear and many other items can be mended easily with duct tape.  You can use it for so many unbelievable purposes, even as a medical bandage. 

For a list of fifteen basic uses for duct tape while hiking, go here:

Backpack Hikers Need To Light Their Way

Night Hiking Requires Great Illumination

Many hikers disagree on whether a headlamp or a flashlight is the better device for lighting up darkness when hiking or camping.  I tend to lean toward a headlamp because I want to have my hands free.  Dropping a flashlight and having it roll down a mountain was not a favorite moment of my hike. The lightweight quality of a good headlamp is between 5-6 ounces.  A flashlight with batteries could weigh considerably more.  You can easily strap your headlamp to your backpack or other items for illumination. A headlamp can be versatile if there are times when you prefer to hold it or clip it on your vest to keep the trail lit up ahead of you.  If you like carrying a flashlight, you may want to consider a headlamp as a backup light source during the night for off trail nature calls.

C’mon Baby Light My Fire; Trekkers Be Prepared!

backpack bag
Survival Might Include Keeping Warm

Every backpack bag, even if you are only headed out for a day trip, extra sealable plastic bags are a must. Anything could come up causing you to extend your backpacking trip overnight.  Temperature changes happen rapidly at night and keeping warm may end up being a vital part of survival.  Most hikers carry a multi tool that could be used to cut some kindling wood, but starting a fire without matches or another means of lighting it, is crucial.  More importantly is keeping whatever you choose to bring to start a fire DRY. 

Unexpected rain could render your phone unusable if it gets really wet.  Plastic bags keep it from getting wet. Plastic seal bags are a must in your backpack for so many unforeseen uses.  You can put a bunch of dryer lint in a bag with your matches or lighter to keep it all dry for use in an emergency.  This is something that will not weigh you down and you may never use the extra bags you carry, but you’ll be glad to have them along as a means of keeping numerous important things protected and dry.

Hiking Is Better When Your Journey Includes Preparation

Nature Trail Backpacks believes a prepared hiker is a successful hiker.  We want you all safe out there. The best part of reading and learning from other hikers is the wealth of information one can give to another.  Your comment below will be appreciated by less experienced hikers, so please mention the most important thing (other than the obvious) that you always pack for a hiking trip. Thank you and happy hiking!

Hiking Pack; Depression and Mood Changes During Backpack Hiking

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There’s Plenty To Discover On A Hike

Hiking pack nature jaunts are becoming more therapeutic as scientific evidence mounts. The fact is that exposure to nature has a direct link to mental health. This is the reason why more hiking and nature trails at the outskirts of large cities are offering urban hiking areas.  City residents are known to have a 20% higher risk of anxiety and an alarming 40% increased risk of mood disorders when compared to rural dwellers.  Have you ever wondered why you love watching sunsets and feel happier when the sun shines?  Let’s examine the premise that hiking is an effective means of controlling depression and mood disorders.

Research Proves Hiking In Nature Impacts Your Mood

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Happiness Is Being In Nature

Stanford conducted a study of two groups of people, some exposed to natural outdoor nature settings and others to urban traffic areas. The test was for a period of ninety minutes. Those in the urban areas showed significantly different findings.  Researchers conducting the study measured heart and respiration rates and performed brain scans both before and after the walks.  The participants also filled out questionnaires. Check out the findings HERE.

Grab A Backpack And Find Your Own Hiking Discoveries

hiking pack
Backpack Hiking Opens A World Of Discovery

Hiking pack trekkers don’t really need a scientific research study to discover how or if their mood improves while they’re hiking. If you tend to be a naysayer, you may scoff at the idea of insects, exercise and fears of many kinds. You can easily talk yourself out of even trying a first time hike. Negativity is just some folks middle name no matter what the situation bears.  Obviously, just because you head out hiking, it does not mean you no longer have to take anti-depression medication.  Everyone’s situation is different. Hiking is a form of relaxation for many, but your doctor is the only one who should control your medications. However, you can do your part toward the benefits of mood control in nature.

The kind of anxiety and depression that can directly affect you is from daily life situations. Everyone faces work, family, finances and relationship pressures that affect the brain in a negative way.  Studies have proven that there is a direct psychological benefit to hiking in nature, even if just for an hour or two.  Have you ever had your mood change after a gloomy miserable day when the sun comes out?  Have you experienced awe when noticing a rainbow or a field of wildflowers in full bloom?  Do you enjoy the glorious change of colors in Fall or the way sunlight sparkles like diamonds across water?  That is the connection between nature and being positive on the human brain.

Pretty Versus Ugly While Trekking In Nature

Surround Yourself With The Calming Effects Of Nature

OK, so you determine you like rainbows and sunshine, but you are not crazy about mosquitoes and peeing in the woods. Fear and negativity can cripple you and become a catalyst for never trying anything new.  Backpack hiking is completely different from sitting on your local park bench hoping to catch a few rays.  There is very little to discover, except maybe a pigeon or two and a child playing with a ball.  Once you hit the trail with a hiking backpack, you are on a journey with incredible observations right before your eyes.  You can wear bug spray and conquer other outdoor worries if you really want to. 

A hiking pack interest may benefit from checking into local hiking groups to tag along with until you feel comfortable going solo. Why not alleviate your apprehensions by advice, experience and how others handle similar nervousness?  The unknown is always scary, so doesn’t it make sense to dispel your concerns so that you are more open-minded to the benefits of hiking with a trekking backpack?

Find a local hiking group where you live.

Hikers Brains Perceive Nature In Many Positive Ways

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Hiking Pack Trekker Taking In The View

Hiking pack trips have been researched in a growing field of ecotherapy. It’s been found to have a very strong connection between time in nature and stress related ailments. The therapeutic benefits of hiking eliminates the constant loop of negative thoughts that can take over your brain. When you are stressed, anxious or just feeling blue, the negati The calming of nature sounds, such as a running brook, bird calls or leaves blowing in a breeze helps focus the brain on positivity and pleasantness..  Even the greenery and trees calms Cortisol stress levels and lowers blood pressure. The pleasing visual stimulation you experience as you walk the hiking trail also has significant tranquil effects on your mind.

Rethink your connection to tech devices and constant exposure to people and adversity.  There is incredible value in quality alone time within an outdoor setting. Even with a friend or spouse, when you hike together, your enjoyment of the surroundings will improve your mood.  It’s good for you to disconnect from the daily grind to reconnect with each other in a natural setting. Being among pleasing sight and sounds will affect your emotions, tranquility and peacefulness.

How Much Hiking Time Helps Stress?

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Even A 30 Minute Hike Can Be Mood Changing

You may feel that it’s stressful just trying to carve time out to go hiking and pack the stuff you need. Next thing you know, you’ve talked yourself out of going.  You’re doing yourself a disservice if you let this happen. In the fast paced world we live in, you owe it to yourself to do all you can to bring serenity and peace into your life the same way exercise is healthy for the body.  And yes, hiking is incredibly good exercise, even on a short hike.  The gift of 20-30 minutes a minimum of three days a week is beneficial beyond measure.  Adding a weekend in the woods of hiking and camping overnight with a hiking bag every month adds even more value to your healthy state of mind.

Trekkers Can De-Stress With Nature’s Sight And Sounds

Hiking Pack Trips Calm With Sounds Of Nature

Can you honestly say you would not benefit from a mood boost?  Life can get you down, but being in the great outdoors changes that. It is the best means for lifting morale and creating a positive vibe as you hike.  There’s a reason why white noise machines are sold with nature sounds of water, birds, rain and wind. The sights and sounds you experience while nature hiking can be of great benefit. Only hearing the sounds without seeing what you are hearing is not going to give you the best results. Get outdoors and enjoy the earth with everything it has to offer.  Sun, clouds, rain and greenery all have positive impact.   Nature Trail Backpacks wishes everyone good health and happy hiking!

Day Hikes Near Me; Urban Hiking Is On The Rise

Day Hikes In Urban Areas Are Trending

Day hikes near me is an internet search hikers can do to familiarize themselves with suburban local hiking trails.   Many cities offer their residents urban areas to get away from the hustle bustle of hectic city noises and commotion. Here is why backpack hiking is so popular, making it the perfect escape from work-week blues and high stress living.  Find out how you can enjoy nature even when you live in or visit a big city without driving for hours.

Check here to view exceptional places for hikes:

Hiking Can Be Enjoyed In Urban Areas

day hikes near me
Getting Away From City Life For Awhile

Who says living in a big city that you can’t enjoy the glorious outdoors?  Even if you spend your day riding the subway and walking on busily populated streets, there is refuge for city dwellers. Hiking in an urban environment has become a popular activity among city dwellers.  Local governments have acknowledged this trend offering hiking trails covering different levels of terrain. Cars, smog, transit traffic; they can be avoided as you take time to heighten your senses in a natural setting, all while getting in some body movement.

 Notice I didn’t use the dreaded word “exercise.”  Seriously, donning a hiking backpack for a day of exploring is the most fun form of that dreaded thought. A hike is not, repetitious or monotonous and it doesn’t require paying for a gym membership. There’s no need to walk the same park over and over just to stay active.

Day hikes near me is information that will have you on a hiking trail pronto, instead of driving hours or days for a taste of the great outdoors. We’re not talking about a stroll through treed sidewalks of a neighborhood park and enjoying a bench on a sunny day. We’re talking about the thrill of actual backpack hiking on trails that are available close to home giving everyone the opportunity to do mini hikes, day hikes or camp for the weekend.

Backpackers; Why Go It Alone; Why Not?

day hikes near me
Social Hikes Are Lots Of Fun

Sometimes you may feel as if you need to escape everything and everyone, so hiking solo is a great option.  If you are more of a people person and enjoy time spent with fellow hikers, there are groups available. You could even find a local partner through these urban groups and make it a social event.

There are plenty of mountains, parks, meadows and exquisite scenery to keep you motivated. The routes will take you across the city and the outskirts of the area you’re in.  Keep your hiking pack ready with plenty of snacks and water as you navigate easy walks leading to more strenuous challenges

Some Big Cities With Backpacking Hike Trails

day hikes near me
Leave The City Behind

BOSTON  Explore the Blue Hills Reservation, which encompasses over 7,000 acres. Hike along the Skyline Trail for the best views of the Boston skyline. The trail winds its way up several hills. A great place to visit is the  unique Rose Kennedy Greenway. This is the only fully organic park in Boston and one of a few in the U.S..

SEATTLE  has some wild refuges right in the city and plenty of nearby trails that can be hiked year round. Bask in the beauty of waterfalls and fabulous forests. Hiking the 3.5 mile Maple Valley trail is a must.

PORTLAND  the city has detailed urban trails mapped out so hikers can access the great outdoors easily. Try the Alameda Ridge and Stairs route.

Urban Hiking Can Also Be Done Here

Salt Lake City is known as an Olympic host.  Hikers have the best access to the outdoors boasting one of the fittest populations in the country. There are ample ski resorts, preservations and mountains that give residents and visitors plenty to do, but nature’s bounty can easily be found minutes from downtown. Click here to see where they are:

Austin TX  with warm weather nearly year-round, has more than about 20,000 acres of parks in the city alone like  the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail. You get 10 miles of hiking paradise.

Chicago has an 18.2-mile lakefront trail that goes north to south from Rogers Park to Calumet Park. For an alternative, check out the Montrose Beach Tour, which is one of the few places with a hill and a view in Chicago.  For more listings in this area, see

Even New York City Has Urban Trekking Trails

Ft. Tyron Park is a massive hiking park that lies at the top of Manhattan. After a hike and possible museum stroll at the Cloisters, you can enjoy a perfect nature and culture experience without even leaving the city. Have a picnic lunch at Heather Gardens, a three acre home to trees, shrubs, and perennials, including dozens of varieties of heaths and heathers.  This picturesque area provides color, texture, and interest to all hikers. You can explore the many birds, butterflies, and other beneficial wildlife and insects.

Check out other NYC places to hike

Feedback For Hikers On A Local Level

day hikes near me
Hiking Is Nature’s Nurturing Moments

A day hikes near me search will help nature enthusiasts who live and work in large cities that crave being part of the great outdoors. Naturetrailbackpacks believes we all have a love of nature in us that needs to be explored through hiking. You don’t have to let your geographic location keep you from enjoying areas for hiking that are practically right in your own backyard. Do you have hours to devote to travel? There are times when you need a place closer to home to get your nature fix. We have not covered all of the great urban places to hike here, so please help others by commenting if you have an awesome place for hiking near you. Happy hiking to all!

Trekking Backpack | Hiking With Kids; Is It Worth It?

trekking backpack

Trekking backpack hikers love their outdoor hiking adventures.  They already know how awesome it can be.  They also know the obstacles that could surface and what it takes to endure unforeseen situations on a hike. Those of you that now have a family, have you given up your hiking pack and trekking poles because you have kids?  Do you wish you could share the experiences you’ve had over the years but you fear bringing kids along might be a hassle?  The good news is, yes you should introduce kids to hiking. Here is how you can get them involved and eliminate struggles to make it a great experience instead of a nightmare.

Build Up The Hiking Anticipation

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Prepare Hiking Essentials For Packing In Your Backpack

As a kid, I used to dread the announcement of yet another Sunday drive. I found it boring and whined all the time about having to go. Sound familiar? Part of the secret of building kids interest is in the “announcement.” When you throw the word adventure into the description of what you have planned, you’ll automatically peak a child’s interest.

Start by assembling the items you’ll need to take on your hike and let the kids help you gather things. Allow them to have some ideas of their own. You’ll want to explain that the more they bring, the heavier their backpack will be and to keep that fact in mind. If the kiddos feel like they are part of the planning and preparation, they will be more involved in the end game. Once they pack their hiking bag, have them try it on and let you know if it’s too heavy so that you can make changes at home instead of on the trail. This eliminates discomfort and complaints that can ruin your outing.

Click here for a complete list of what you should take with kids on a day hike.

Backpackers; Go Prepared, Have A Plan, But Be Flexible

trekking backpack
A Hike With A Child Sparks Their Imaginations

Trekking backpack hikes will need to be researched by the parent. Easy day hikes that will take approximately 3-6 hours work best initially. This, of course,depends on your kid’s age (s). Children don’t always have a lengthy attention span, so don’t overwhelm them the first few hikes. Leave them craving more and next time you plan a hike, their enthusiasm will make the trip even more fun. Keep them on the trail, but allow plenty of time to explore nature, turn over some rocks and to view things they have never seen before. If you rush them along to reach a certain point by a certain time, they won’t enjoy the experience. You won’t want them cranky and pouting over not being able to find more bugs or having to move on while they are exploring something in particular.

Pack Plenty Of Backpack Hiker Food, Water And Snacks

Picnics On The Hiking Trail Are Always Fun

Whether in school or play, kids do not physically or mentally perform their best if they are hungry or tired. Be sure to include several snacks and a nutritious lunch in your hiking bag. If you choose the foods kids and adults need to consume for the energy required in hiking, everyone will benefit. Water is vitally important also. Take enough so parents and children stay well hydrated throughout your hiking trip.

You may wonder how much is enough? Find the answers here.

Learning Is Growing On The Trekking Trail

Nature Is A Classroom

Trekking backpack jaunts work well with kids, because they are always drawn to things that make them wonder. The million questions they ask hourly is proof of that. When you take your child(ren) hiking, you open up a world of learning by discovery for real instead of a textbook. They can see nature up close and personal. You won’t question whether taking the kids hiking is worth it or not. Their wonder will be contagious to you and you’ll end up learning from your child. Teaching each other about exploration within the great outdoors is worth every minute spent together.

Help Other Hikers From Your Experiences

At Naturetrailbackpacks, we advocate adults and children spending time seeing life through the eyes of nature. Whether it’s a trail, mountain, hiking path or deep forest, every single hike is different. We urge you to leave a brief comment on positive or negative experiences when hiking with kids. Opinions may vary, but we accept and appreciate all input, as do our fellow hikers. Happy hiking!

Lightweight Backpack; Should You Be Hiking Like A Girl ?

Lightweight backpack hikes by women, female hikers are becoming more prominent among nature enthusiasts by completing thru-hikes and extremely challenging treks through the wilderness.  Whenever women take a spotlight in previously male-oriented sports, job or task, it empowers all women to try.  It changes perceptions that the former “weaker sex” cannot or do not have the male stamina to successfully hike.  Men make awesome hikers also, of course, but when you hike like a girl, this is what you can expect.  It might not be a bad idea for men to take some of these tips from the ladies and benefit from them.

Venus Versus Mars Trail Hikers

Statistically women are more organized then men, not all, but dare I say most?  Packing a hiking backpack is no easy feat.  Remembering to bring everything and fitting it all inside your hiking bag is a challenge every new hiker experiences. Ladies tend to learn more from the influential women in their lives while growing up. Do you recall watching your mom pack assembly-line lunches for five kids, washing and sorting mounds of dirty clothes, and preparing meals with chopping, cutting and following recipes day after day? Those were life skills you were learning without realizing it. Women tend to be more inclined to make lists of their gear, toiletries, food, water and other essentials. Men tend to just toss things in a bag with a mental check list. Either way will get the job done, but forgetting something is less likely when you make lists.

Lightweight backpack hikers, both men and women, walk differently. It is documented that men tend to be more competitive when hiking with a buddy or in a group. Women, wouldn’t you agree that you are in more of a zen mood than a competitive challenge while hiking? Ladies may tend to walk slower to savor every sight and sound. It’s not about ability, it’s about thought processes between the species. Hiking, whether fast or slow is beneficial to our mental health as well. Walking amidst nature helps men and women shift your mood from the right hemisphere to the left. This does wonderful things to your brain, such as producing calmness and a feeling of peace.

Hiking Challenges Women Face On The Trail

Women face many of the same challenges men do on the hiking trail. However, uniquely to females, they are constantly thought of as crazy, unequipped or just plain too “delicate” to hike like a man. They constantly face obstacles and situations that men often escape. They not only fear the wild animals in nature, but also the sexual predators who feel that a woman on the trail is fair game for their lust. Women hikers can and should learn that they don’t have to be less safe when they backpack hike solo just because they are female.

lightweight backpack
Get Your Hike On With Self Confidence

A backpacking experience is virtually no different from male to female. There are still wilderness encounters, terrain challenges and confrontations with wild animals plus severe weather. Hikers of both genders will face similar occurrences at one point or another. Learning the knowledge and skills required for hiking is not limited for either sex as both can grasp the master the elements for a successful hike. Therefore, it should not be assumed that a man is brave for heading out into the wild alone, while a woman be considered crazy for attempting the same trip. The best element for either gender is common sense and awareness of the environment they’re in.

Does Backpacking Weight Make A Difference?

A lightweight backpack will be more comfortable for any hiker. Due to physical stature, it is more difficult for women to carry heavy backpack loads. While hiking, if you keep your hiking pack weight at or around 25% of your body weight, you will do fine. Obviously the weight of your pack will fluctuate as you hike as you lessen the load of your food and water.

Here’s how much your backpack should weigh when packed.

Lady Hikers Deal With Things Men Don’t Have To

Backpack Hiking Is Not Gender Specific

Lightweight backpack females will encounter hygiene and elimination issues that are different scenarios from men on the trail. It’s a total myth that women should not be hiking while they are menstruating because it will attract bears. Men do not have to deal with the cramps and weakness from blood loss during menses. The pads and tampons, along with cleansing wipes used, must be packed out, not buried. Stick to easier hikes during this time. You are not a “weaker” sex during this time, you are just being considerate of your body functions as a female. Save the more strenuous hikes for the rest of the month.

Trekkers; Listen To Your Gut On The Hike Trail

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Solo Female Hikers Feel More Confident With Every Hike

Women tend to have stronger instincts and tend to pick up on body language and verbal clues more than men seem to. If you are questioning a hiker you encounter or something feels uncomfortable in your environment, listen to your intuition.

Find out how to deal with women’s hiking issues for a safer backpacking experience.

Precautions Make Hiking Backpackers More Aware

Hiking Gives You Empowerment

During a lightweight backpack hiking trek, I believe men and women perceive danger differently. Hiking like a girl is being more cautious than their macho counterpart in many instances. Being afraid is not a bad thing when you first begin to hike. It will heighten your senses and keep you alert to everything around you. Having that increased level of awareness or hesitancy due to the unknown is the armor that protects you in the wilderness. Men may feel the initial fear but will brush it off feeling that displaying a “manly” persona is what is expected of him. Every hiker begins nervous and leery of that first few hikes. Keeping a certain level of uneasiness doesn’t make you weak, it keeps you cognizant of your surroundings, which is a good thing.

Trekkers Bottom Line; A Combination Of Traits Is Best

Men And Women Can Accomplish Incredible Hikes

Have you ever heard that a couple with ying and yang make the most successful relationships? The same holds true for hiking. Men and women can learn from each other. There is no “weaker” sex when it comes to backpack hiking. As time evolves, more and more women are taking up hiking and having a blast, whether in a group or solo. Both genders have to learn very basic information and then fill in the blanks with research, group hikes and downright experience on the trail. As a hiking community, we can all learn from one another. Naturetrailbackpacks encourages readers to leave a comment below to help other hikers if you have encountered hiking issues as a female, and how you conquered them. Male and female hikers are always wished happy hiking!

Water Backpack; New Hikers Are Least Prepared For This!

water backpack

A water backpack is a big consideration if you are a nature enthusiast who has not tried hiking yet. Are you interested in spending time in the wild with a hiking bag and camping under the stars? Do you hate drinking water? In order for a hike to be successful, you will need to take adequate food and water to sustain yourself for however long you’ll be hiking the trails. You may be surprised to learn the most crucial mistake beginner hikers make when they begin hiking excursions. All too often, hikers forget or don’t realize just how much water their bodies need while hiking. If you’re reading this, you’ll have nothing to worry about because you’ll be informed with this article.

Avoiding Dehydration While Backpack Hiking

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Water Backpack With Hydration Bladder And Drink Tubing

Let’s use the example of an overnight weekend camping trip. You’ll leave mid morning on Saturday and end your hike late afternoon on Sunday. How much water should you consume in that time period? Experienced hikers may know the answer, while beginners may just try to guess. A good rule of thumb is to consume approximately 1 liter, which is equal to one quart, for every two hours of hiking.

Of that approximate 26 hours , you will be sleeping roughly 8 hours of that time and resting about 3-6 hours, depending on your break times for relaxation. Therefore, we’ll “guesstimate” an average of 12 total hours of actual hiking. In this case you would need to consume a total of 6 liters when you drink 1 liter for every two hours of hiking.

As you hike, you may think you are not thirsty because our thirst mechanism doesn’t readily coincide with our actual intake. Not giving your body the fluids it needs to be properly hydrated, aka dehydrated, is pretty serious. When I use the term “water”, it can include any water based beverages such as Gatorade, flavored water or any other non-caffeinated liquid. Straight up water in your hiking backpack is always good for your kidneys because it doesn’t need internal filtering.

When Hiking, I Don’t See Myself Sweating Much

Your adult body is made up of 60%-70% water. Hiking depletes your body of essential fluids, salt and electrolytes because you will sweat, even if you don’t feel like you are. So how much is enough? Frequent sipping of 1 liter of fluid over a 2 hour period of active hiking is recommended. Instead of large gulps, you will help your body retain the fluids more efficiently by drinking slower instead of overloading your bladder. If you do this over the entire time of your hike, even when you don’t feel thirsty, you won’t have issues with hydration.

Hikers; Can’t Recall How Much You Drank? Watch For These Signs

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Drinking Water While You Hike Is Beneficial To A Successful Hike

If you lose track of how much fluids you drank, you may be having so much fun exploring that you may think you consumed more than you actually did. It’s not like you have to write it down but empty bottles in your backpack is a good indication of how much you’ve taken in. What does a body feel like that is dehydrated or needing to replenish fluids? First, you will begin to feel overly tired and not as energized. You may begin to experience a headache. Whenever the body loses more water than it takes in, you are susceptible to dehydration. We lose water through our urine, feces, sweat, skin and breath.

Be aware; when did you pee last? Since you’ll most likely be peeing on the ground, you may not be able to note its color. Your pee should be a light straw color, not dark yellow. You could feel dizzy or light-headed if you are hiking over rough terrain and not adequately hydrated. Your heartbeat and breathing could become rapid. If you feel any of these symptoms, don’t try to drink too much all at once. Continuous sips of water and snacks of cucumber, watermelon, berries and apples work well. Taking a rest break while slowly re-hydrating your body will get your strength back.

Hiking Water Weighs A Ton In My Backpack Bag

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Plastic Portable Or Stainless Steel Reusable Bottles Can Be Used

Your water backpack will have it’s own sleeve to carry a water bladder for drinking water. If not, you can carry your own individual bottles, in fact it’s not wise to rely on a water bladder alone because it could always spring a leak and then you’d be at a loss for drinkable water. If the map in your hiking pack shows sources of fresh water along your hike, such as a creek, lake, river or waterfall, be attentive to the weather. During hot summer spells, your water source could have dried up. Otherwise, you won’t need to carry heavy bottles, you can refill at sources along the trail, which is always ideal when it’s available

If relying on these outdoor water sources, you’ll need to carry purification drops or tablets in your hiking pack. This will avoid sickness from water with bacteria that you can’t even see. Trust me, you don’t want a bad case of stomach pains and diarrhea to ruin your hike. Water that looks crystal clear to the naked eye can easily have harmful bacteria in it. It’s better to be safe than sorry when you are in the wild.

Purify All “Fresh” Water Sources

A water backpack can be a hiking backpack that you add a bladder to, or simply carry water in it. A hydration backpack is predominantly for the bladder and gear tubing without a whole lot of room for your other essentials. The important take away is the knowledge of how hikers can easily become dehydrated while hiking if they are not careful with fluid consumption.

Accidents could always happen while you’re on a long hike, but dehydration is very preventable if you listen to your body and heed this advice. NatureTrailBackpacks community consists of very experienced to brand new hikers. We can all learn from each other. Feel free to comment below your ideas for staying well hydrated when you take a hike. Most of all, enjoy your hikes to the fullest by staying happily hydrated : )

40 Liter Backpack; Who In Their Right Mind Would Go Hiking?

40 liter backpack
Hikers Are Walkers Who Enjoy Nature

A 40 liter backpack can carry just about anything you would need on a day hike or or possibly over night. Hiking packs are sold by total liter capacity, usually ranging from 17 liters to 100 liters. The range from highest to lowest capacity is dictated by how long of a hike you are taking. The amount of gear required for longer hikes would require you to have a larger backpack. But who in the world wants to carry stuff on their back and walk and climb with it? Avid hikers, that’s who! Here’s how to break down hiking backpack sizes for particular types of hikes and duration. This information will help you know what size you would need for your hike.

Short Backpacking Day Trips

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40L Backpack Is A Great Size For A Day Backpacking Trip

Hiking is trending as a favorite past time and sport for many nature enthusiasts. A hiking pack in the range of 20-35 liters is perfect for a day hike because you need to carry enough water and food. You can take it slow by doing a 1/2 day of hiking with an outdoor backpack in the 17-20 liter range. This is because you’d require less gear and necessities for a shorter time. Typically, when hiking for the entire day, your hiking backpack would need room for adequate drinking water. It is vital that you stay properly hydrated throughout your hike. You can obviously carry less if there are fresh water sources along your hiking path.

Hiking For A Full Day And Staying Overnight

Your 40 liter backpack will provide enough space for carrying your essentials. If you enjoy the outdoors and camping, there’s no reason not to fall in love with hiking. If you find yourself confused about what size backpack is right for you, it’s similar to an overnight bag or a full size suitcase when travelling. Suitcases are measured in size and hiking packs by liter capacity. You judge the size you need by how long you’ll be away and what you need to bring. For example, extra time means you’ll need more clothing in a suitcase. Your hiking backpack needs more liter space when you hike longer for food, water,clothing and gear.

Multi-Day Backpack Hiking Excursions

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Extended Hiking Trips Require Larger Backpacks

A 40 liter backpack will not be spacious enough to carry the food, water and essentials you’ll need for an extended trip. Several days or weeks of hiking will require a larger backpack of 45 liters or more, because you will take more items. But do hikers really want to be out in the wilderness for days on end? The short answer is, absolutely!

If loving the outdoors comes naturally to you, you already know that there is exhilaration and challenges during a hike. It’s not recommended that your early hikes be more than a day or two. But when you become experienced at preparedness and your physical capabilities, you will love how hiking makes you feel. Who wouldn’t want to experience adventure at every turn and exploration on every trail? You’ll find that you can easily amaze yourself with every accomplishment you conquer.

Hikers Love Camping During Their Extended Hikes

Camping Under The Stars Is Incredible

Once you gain the experience of hiking with overnights, you will know you are ready to go it on your own. But, until you are acclimated to being in the wild and all it entails, I would recommend camping in designated campsites, for example in a National Park. If you romanticize the perfect hiking trip, you may be setting yourself up for disappointments. Educate yourself before you take on an extended multi-day hike. Take a buddy or mate with you to help each other acclimate to the nitty gritty of wild animal noises, toileting outside in the open and sleeping through a thunderstorm.

Why would anyone put themselves through excessive bugs, bears and three days of straight rain? Nature enthusiasts look beyond those perils and realize the precautions and nuisances are worth the breathtaking scenery and incredible peace they feel during many moments of a hike. If you have a “take the bad with the good” mentality, you’ll endure the pitfalls and relish in the grandeur of reaching that summit.

A 40 liter backpack trip is the best way to start out when you take those initial backpack hikes. If you work your way up slowly to staying longer on the trail, I think you’ll find that every experience is a learning tool for the times ahead. Thru-hikers who take month like hikes carrying 45 lbs. on their backs didn’t start out that way. They gave their bodies a chance to catch up to their goals and prepared themselves for lengthy hikes.

Do You Remember Your First Backpack Hike?

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Day Hikes Prepare Us For Greatness

Nature Trail Backpacks knows a thing or two about backpacks and hiking. Our customers and readers appreciate information shared because it helps them learn and grow from that first few hikes to a week long camping excursion. Please feel free to comment below with tips, suggestions or even mistakes that you made in your early hiking days. As always, we wish everyone happy hiking!

Hiking Day Pack; 5 Hiking Power Foods For The Trail

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Backpack Hiking Requires Nutrition For Energy

A hiking day pack will carry all of your essentials for a day of hiking on the trail, to a mountain summit or wilderness forest. To feel your best and fuel your energy for the hike, you’ll need a good balance of food and hydration. These 5 power foods are what you should eat for your body to perform the way you want it to. The type of food you consume makes a difference when it comes to stamina throughout your hike. You’ll need sufficient nourishment as you tackle any trail.

Hikers Need Specific Foods To Fuel Their Bodies

What Are You Packing In Your Hiking Backpack?

Day backpacking trips are super fun. Spending the day exploring nature is so rewarding because as an outdoor enthusiast you can’t get enough of being outside. But, you will get hungry on the trail. You’ll need energizing foods that aren’t full of fat and sugar because they can make you bloated or feel heavy and sleepy. It may seem overwhelming to make sure you get all of your hiking gear in your hiking bag and that you pack enough without forgetting anything. Now, you have to worry about what food to bring? You’ve got this. Let’s start with breakfast.

As long as you don’t have a long drive to the hiking trailhead, you should eat a healthy filling breakfast at home and properly hydrate prior to your hike. Skip the coffee and focus on carbs and protein. You’ll want to hydrate with 8 ounces of water gradually before you hit the trail,don’t just chug it down. Give your body a chance to absorb it slowly.

Backpack Hiking Requires Carbs For Energy

Carbs Are A Hiker’s Best Friend For Fuel

A hiking day pack journey must be fueled with the right carbs that will convert to energy as you trek all kinds of terrain that will challenge your body. Without proper intake of the right carbs, you won’t be your awesome self. If you expect to amaze yourself with how far you can and what you can accomplish on your hiking trip, treat your body like your car engine. Put the right “gas” into it and it’ll perform a lot better. So, you may be wondering what are the best carbs to consume?

The best carbs to give you energy as fuel for backpack hiking is whole grains like oats and quinoa. You can take snacks such as granola bars with minimal sugar and fat. Whole grain foods and whole wheat bread with peanut butter helps combine the carbs with protein. These food combos are a hikers best friend. Choose fresh fruits that pack well. Soft fruits can get crushed and make a mess in your hiking bag. You may even prefer dried fruits like apples, raisins and pineapple in the form of trail mix combined with nuts. They will give you plenty of vitality as natural sugar that are a fast-acting carb.

Nut butters, like almond or Nutella provide a healthy form of carbs. You can eat them on a bagel or dip apple slices in them. If you are only going on a day hike, you can pack a veggie loaded pasta salad with a vinaigrette in a plastic container. Don’t forget a fork like I did my first hike out…hahaha. Packets of cream cheese and mayo need no refrigeration, so you can use these items on bread or crackers.

Protein For Backpacking Is Essential For Your Body

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Hikers Need To Fortify Their Bodies During Their Trip

Beef or turkey jerky makes a great snack to include in your hiking backpack. You can put soft cheese like cottage or in a small insulated bag or get certain varieties that don’t have to be kept cold, such as cheddar, American, Brie or Gouda. Babybel cheese and string cheese for example, can be kept in your hiking pack for several hours.

Homemade Beef Jerky Is Easy To Make

Meats sticks like hard salami, summer sausage, prosciutto and pepperoni can be safely eaten on a day hike without being kept cold. Dehydrated meats like chicken and turkey are tasty options. Many hikers enjoy the packets of tuna, salmon and chicken that are readily available in grocery stores.

Eggs are wonderful protein. You can bring hard boiled eggs with precooked packaged bacon (found in grocery stores). If you have an insulated cooler bag, they will last longer. If not, make them your first snack on the trail because without refrigeration they are only safe to eat for about 2 hours.

Trail Backpacks; Yours Should Contain Several Snacks

Great Selection Of Hiking Snacks That Fuel Your Energy

Your hiking day pack trip will go smoothly if you pack four snacks in your backpack. One for mid-morning, one for mid afternoon, and another for after dinner. For example, let’s say you eat breakfast at home and hit the trail about 9am. Your first snack for energy can be around 11am. After that, you may stop for lunch by 1pm and rest awhile. Once you proceed on your hike, your afternoon snack can be around 3:30pm with dinner , let’s say about 6pm. Save a “dessert” snack for the trek back and eat that one 2 hours later. The times can be whatever you choose, this is just an idea of spacing to keep yourself fully energized and physically satiated. Examples of snacks are power bars, trail mix, granola, fresh or dried fruits and dates. A great dessert is a Snickers candy bar or any other brand with peanuts.

Trekkers Lunch; What Are The Best Choices?

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Take Breaks For Meals And To Enjoy The Scenery On Your Hike

Variety in your consumption is always good, but some hikers like to pack minimally and will just eat basically the same thing all day. If it’s nourishing and gives you the fuel you need to hike, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you like different choices, you can get creative with bagel sandwiches, cheese, nuts and crackers, dry cereal or jerky. Individual meat, tuna & chicken packets can be mixed with to-go packets of mustard, mayo, taco sauce or soy sauce. Many of these protein meat packets come already flavored which makes life very easy. Fruit or vegetable puree is available in squeezable pouches making this a lightweight and convenient backpacking item. A super easy suggestion is the ever-popular peanut butter sandwich with fruit spread.

Dining Out While You Are On The Hiking Trail

There’s Nothing Like A Hot Dinner Meal On Your Journey

I have loved picnics since I was a child and my guess is, many hikers do also. There’s just something about eating outdoors that feels special. Your dinner meal can be made ahead of time at home. Quinoa or couscous are great choices when you add a salmon or chicken packet, some raw veggies plus the dressing of choice and bring it in a plastic container. Another satisfying dinner meal is a whole grain tortilla with a cream cheese packet, a pouch of chicken with some hot sauce or canned pineapple wrapped like a burrito.

Complete Freeze Dried Meal In A Pot – Very Easy To FIx

Your hiking day pack can carry dehydrated complete meals that require hot water added to them. This is fine if you’ll be carrying a hikers stove. Many are lightweight and super portable. If you prefer non-cooked food for a day hiking trip, you could mix protein powder with oats and seeds in a peanut butter jar that’s almost empty for a nutritious supper that will fill you up. While you hike, you tend to eat completely different with the focus on food that will keep your body humming like a fine-tuned machine. Of course a steak dinner or some roasted chicken and baked potato would seem heavenly, but on the trail, you’ll want fast and easy preparation with lightweight carry options.

Enjoy Your Backpack Hike With Energy To Spare

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Backpack Hiking Is Enjoyable When You Strengthen Your Body With Food

The proper mix of snacks and meals during your hike will make a difference in your ability to traverse your hiking path. We’ve given you some ideas for lightweight, easy to pack foods that will give you energy and sustain you throughout your trek. NatureTrailBackpacks encourages hikers to help others who are just beginning to explore the wonder of backpack hiking. Please leave a comment below regarding your favorite nourishing trail food and snack that others haven’t tried yet. We are a hiking community that gives tips and ideas to each other so that everyone can experience happy hiking!

Trekking Backpack; Those Feet Were Meant For Hiking

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Trekking Different Terrains On A Backpack Hike

Trekking backpack hiking trips can be your ultimate outdoor experience. There are many things you’ll need to learn before attempting backpack hiking. Information such as how and what to pack, what type of hike to take and what gear you’ll need is important. One of the most crucial aspects of hiking is the comfort of the appendages that will carry you and your backpack load. Here are some ways to ensure the comfort and safety of your hiking feet.

Hikers; Do This Before You Leave Home For Your Hike

Hikers Footwear Is Very Important

If your footwear is not comfortable and well broken in, your feet will suffer from potential blisters and discomfort. It is vitally important that if you are wearing a brand new pair of hiking boots, you must break them in at home first.

Wear them to the the park, or around your back yard with your hiking socks several times. This will give the material a chance to stretch and conform to your feet. If your hiking footwear is not new, you are all set. Just check for heel wearing that could throw you off balance. It may also cause your gait to be uneven, which will create back pain, and affect ankles and calves as well.

You may want to place inserts in your hiking shoes for added cushioning and relief to avoid plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia can take quite a beating while hiking. This thick band of tissue, when overused, begins to form tiny tears. When you don’t protect your heels on your hike, over time, this can lead to pain, irritation and swelling of the ligament. Taking frequent breaks during a hike and getting off your feet is well worth avoiding feet issues.

Blisters Can Bring Your Hike To A Screeching Halt

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Painful Blisters Can Ruin Your Hiking Trip

Trekking backpack preparedness for the sake of your feet is the smartest thing you can do. It will mean the difference between an enjoyable hike, or one that finds you in pain. Wouldn’t it suck if your trip had to end too soon? Prevention of blisters is much easier and less painful as opposed to the treatment you would have to follow. The fit of your hiking boot/shoe should be comfortable with some flexibility. You should not feel any seams rubbing your foot.

If you wore your new hiking boots at home before your hike, did you notice anywhere that felt pinched, cramped or rubbed? You’ll need to check to see whether your socks or the boots caused it. If you notice any “hot spots” on your feet, these reddened areas are precursors to an actual blister. This will be your clue that something needs to be altered with your socks of boots. Your socks should not be bunched up within your footwear. Many hikers like to use a sock liner to help wick sweat away.

Your Hiking Boots Must Fit Properly

Trekking backpack footwear for hiking is designed to be supportive on your feet during your jaunt, especially while you are carrying a loaded backpack on different types of terrain. Assuming you break your new shoes or boots in before hiking in them, they still will not feel as flexible like a regular sneaker or running shoe, Since they need to be both comfortable and stabilizing to your feet and ankles, you may notice a bit of stiffness that you’ll adjust to after wearing them repeatedly.

Trekkers; A Word About Appropriate Socks

The Socks You Wear Play An Important Role During Hiking

Hikers will agree that a good pair of socks worn for hiking is a must have to complete the total comfort of your feet. You may not think a simple thing like a pair of socks would warrant such careful consideration. But alas, there are many aspects that make your hiking socks either great or horrible. Mostly, the material is important. 100% cotton anything is comfortable to wear, however, it holds moisture and does not dry quickly. Instead, you’ll benefit from a moisture-wicking cotton/synthetic blend or wool, which many hikers swear by. Look for a form-fitting toe and added arch support with some underfoot light padding. Pack more than one pair in your backpack bag.

Trekking backpack hikers need lightweight socks that are highly breathable in a crew length for extra shin protection when hiking off trail. A shorter micro-crew sock height is suitable for both shoes and boots during summer hikes.

Hike Enthusiasts Get Sweaty Feet , So What?

Rest And Air Dry Your Feet During A Hike

Wet and sweaty feet are an inevitable truth that coincides with hiking in a prolonged and wet environment. You can’t prevent your feet from sweating, and you may cross creeks or hike through rain showers. It can be exhausting to keep your feet dry because not many “water resistant” boots, shoes or socks keep your feet perfectly dry in hiking conditions that are often variable. Even though waterproof shoes may drain and dry quickly, you will still get wet even if it’s just from sweat.

Trekking backpack hikes are not as harsh on your feet when you stop mid-day and air dry your feet without your socks for 20-30 minutes. Take that time to eat lunch or take a power nap. Change your socks (yes, always carry extras in your hiking bag) if they are really wet. Change them again when you make camp at night. Don’t wear wet socks while you sleep assuming they will dry overnight on your feet. Application of a wax and oil based foot balm will help wet feet tremendously while you’re sleeping. Apply a new coat in the morning before hiking again.

Backpackers With Healthy Feet Have Better Hiking Treks

Tried and true prevention and treatments have been used by hikers for centuries. Nature Trail Backpacks hiking community and readers benefit from feedback to each other. Feel free to comment below whatever measures you wish to share from your hiking experience to keep your feet dry and healthy during your hike. Together, we will make every hike just a little bit greater. Happy hiking!

Backpacking Packs; What’s So Great About Fall Hiking?

A Blaze Of Color In Nature’s Beauty

Everyone seems to anticipate when the calendar approaches spring and ultimately summer. After being indoors all winter, we anxiously relish being outdoors. But do you find yourself , somewhere around mid August, getting psyched for cooler weather? Do you look forward to the change of season that brings an explosion of colors in nature? Here is why hiking in Fall is such a pleasure and is easier to do in Fall compared to any other season.

Weather Temperatures Make Hiking Treks More Comfortable

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Family Hikes Are The Best

Backpacking packs are used on hiking excursions in all seasons. Do you gravitate towards the outdoors as soon as Spring approaches? That’s because you may have a huge dose of cabin fever. However, even spring has a lot of wet weather and cooler temps than you may be comfortable with. Hiking can be a hot and sweaty endeavor in summer. But there is something about the cooling temps and the crisp Fall air that give us more energy and stimulation. Summer hiking and camping is so much fun, but autumn is meant for leaves crunching under your feet and a different smell to the earth. Even the birds of fall are distinctively different.

Fall seems like the perfect season to trek off on a hiking journey. The days are warm and the nights are cool, but not super cold. Camp fires are great to warm up with when it’s not so hot that you sweat when you sit around them. Your body will feel invigorated when you navigate a hike once the air chills down. Observing Mother Nature gradually prepare for winter, in Fall, you have a window of about 8-10 weeks of glorious changes in landscapes, weather and climates. There’s something magical about your camping tent when it’s dusted with a light frost in the morning.

Landscape Changes During Autumn Backpacking

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Changes In Scenery Are More Evident In Fall

Backpacking packs take us on journeys, sometimes to the same place. If you were to take the very same hike twice, once in spring and again in fall, the landscape visuals would be totally different. In many regions, spring offers a scarce hint of green after a winter of brown. Come fall, the gorgeous reds, yellows and oranges create the colors that make such incredible summit views. Breathtaking vibrant shades of burgundy and purples adorn the foliage from all angles, just waiting to be witnessed by spectators and backpack hikers.

Hiking Trekkers Thank God There Are Less Bugs

Playing outdoors is so much better in the fall. Heat and humidity brings many flies and mosquitoes that are annoying during a hike. Black flies aren’t prevalent in the cooler months. In most areas mosquitoes aren’t bothersome once temps fall below 50 degrees. Snakes become less active during colder weather. They don’t hibernate, but they tend to not travel about. Flies and gnats die outdoors until warmer temperatures in late Spring.

Backpacking packs trekkers, you must be aware, unfortunately, that ticks are everywhere you go during all seasons. The best place for you to avoid them is in higher elevations above 8,000 feet. They don’t like colder temps, so they may less abundant but they can be carried on wild animals by keeping warm in heavy fur.

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Autumn Air Has Less Flying Bugs

Backpacking In Cooler Weather Has Many Pluses

Backpack Hiking Fall Colors

Once summer is over, you’ll find that activities such as beaches, swimming and picnics diminish with cooler air temperatures. The heavy vacation season is over, which makes Fall the most opportune time to hit the trails with your hiking backpack. Summer seems to bring heavy crowds, less space at campsites and a longer waiting lists for hiking permits in certain areas. You will love having more trail space to yourself and being able to get the hiking campsite you like before others beat you to it.

Fall Is My Preference For Hiking Treks

Backpacking packs loaded and ready for a hiking day in Fall bring excitement and anticipation. I may be prejudice because I was born in October, but I have always loved the cooler crisp air during a hiking jaunt. The the palette of colors during Autumn will make you take pause and be filled with Nature’s “zen”. You may find that even the sky seems bluer with less clouds on a glorious day of hiking. Why wouldn’t hikers love using less bug spray, plenty of open air trails and picturesque summits? Each season has it’s own merit, but I think you’ll find fall wins the crown for king of the nature landscapes. Your opinion matters to Nature Trail Backpacks . Please comment below which season you love to hike in the most to help beginner hikers to see different viewpoints. Happy hiking!