Camping Backpack – How To Plan Your Overnight Hiking Trip

camping backpack
Pack Wisely For A Great Hike

Camping backpack trips require info like what essentials to pack, where to go and how to prepare. That may seem overwhelming. You may want to give it a try, but not knowing how to get it all together might seem like a daunting task. Are you worried you won’t pack the right things in your hiking bag and be stuck in the wild without something crucial? Why not enjoy the Great Outdoors overnight instead of just for the day?  Here are some ideas and pointers to consider that will alleviate your anxiety allowing you to simply hike on and get your zen going.

Trekking Backpack Selection Is Crucial

A camping backpack that is well equipped means choosing a hiking bag to carry all the necessities you’ll need for a few days of overnight hiking. You will need a hiking pack that stands up to the elements of rain or moisture in the air. It should be made of sturdy material that will endure the weight of your camping equipment plus essentials, and is one of quality workmanship.

If you are new to hiking and camping and have never experienced the extreme hassle of a broken backpack zipper, it’s not pleasant. A broken backpack strap will have you frustrated beyond belief. Do yourself a favor and stay away from cheap department store backpacking backpacks.  You won’t be just carrying a few books and a lunch bag; you’re not headed off to school. Also vital is a quality pair of waterproof hiking boots that you have worn a bit to break them in. Trust me, blisters are not fun.

A Camping Backpack Will Carry More Than A Day Hiking Pack

Your trekking backpack , which is just another name for a hiking or camping backpack, will need to carry certain camping gear such as a backpacking tent. It may be either a one man tent or a 2 person tent depending on whether this is a solo hike or not. Try to keep it around 3-4 lbs for ease of carry. It’s wise to have a camping mat to put between the floor of the tent and your sleeping bag for warmth and dryness, and for sitting at the campfire to keep you dry from ground moisture.

Typical Overnight Trekking Gear To Bring

You’ll need a sleeping bag that is lightweight but provides insulation from the cold ground. Some folks use a camping pillow. I often use my hiking pack as a pillow. A battery-powered lantern and a flashlight with extra batteries is a must have. You should always bring matches in a waterproof container even if you don’t plan on making a fire. If you plan ahead, you can save some dryer lint and pack that for an excellent lightweight fire starter.

Camping Backpack – Tools For The Trail

Your outdoor backpack should always contain a waterproof map, a compass (learn how to read it before the trip) and your phone with GPS. You shouldn’t count on just your cell phone alone, because some remote areas may not have cell service or your battery could die, with no way to recharge it in the wild.  Carry some basic tools such as a Swiss army style knife, a headlamp, and zip ties.

Preparing Hot Camp Food

Even if you are not a cook, you may want a lightweight (less than a pound) backpacking stove that can boil water fast for dehydrated food, coffee or soup. You will need to consider the fuel type you will be using and what equipment comes with your stove. All-in-one options prevents the need to bring separate pans and cups. I love my MSR Pocket Rocket. It’s compact, lightweight and inexpensive. Bring a Spork with you , which is a combo spoon/fork, or some plastic forks and spoons since they are light weight. If you bring plastic cutlery, you risk breakage in your hike bag.

Camping Backpack Food To Bring

Dehydrated Foods Are Quick And Easy To Fix

Backpack bags carry your essential food and water for the entire length of your excursion. You shouldn’t laden your hiking pack with heavy canned goods. Camping while hiking is different than driving your car to your camping spot where you can bring all kinds of dishes, pots and pans and silverware along. You need the minimal stuff that is lightweight.

Dehydrated Camping Food Is Good

Dehydrated food that only requires boiling water is as simple as it gets.  Lightweight non-refrigerated breads, granola bars, ramen noodles and beef jerky are popular. You need a good combination of protein and carbs for nourishment while hiking. I like the brand Good-To-Go since it tastes like real food, not cardboard. Individual packets of peanut butter, cream cheese, mayo and jelly are lightweight food options. Packets of tuna, chicken and salmon are also good choices. It makes sense to keep your food in a bear canister (even if you are not in bear country) to not draw any critters to your camping area.

camping backpack

Many Hikers Use Hydration Drink Systems

A hydration backpack with a sleeve for a hydration bladder can holds a day’s worth of water.  For carrying your water in bottles in your backpacking backpack, you can refill them IF you know there are water sources along your hike that you have verified on your map. In that case you will need water purification tablets to make sure the water you drink will not make you sick. That would surely ruin your trip.  Plan on consuming at least 2 liters of water per day you are hiking.

camping backpack
Some Typical Camping Backpack Items To Pack

Packing Your Backpack Bag – Clothing And First Aid

Your trekking backpack will also be your “luggage” for the clothes you will need. Depending upon the time of year you are hiking, it’s always a good rule of thumb to dress in layers since you may begin hiking in the early morning when it’s chilly and end up sweating in the afternoon. If you layer your clothing, you can remove pants while you wear shorts underneath and a flannel shirt while wearing a tank top beneath.

Suggested material is moisture-wicking pants like you might wear at the gym. Shirts should be of the same material. For a weekend, take 3 pairs of wool (never cotton) socks, 2 pair of underwear, a warm jacket, a hat, sunglasses and a bandana, which can be worn backwards as sun protection for your neck.  An extra pair of pants and T-shirt are always a good idea in case you get wet from a sudden rainfall.

A Camping Backpack Should Always Contain First Aid Supplies

A camping bag should always carry first aid items for cuts, scrapes or blisters while hiking. A hiking must-have is duct tape, which is excellent when applied to blisters or cuts and has countless other uses.  For a weekend you shouldn’t need a whole roll, so you can wrap several yards around a pencil. A whole roll would be much heavier. Include bandages, triple antibiotic gel like Neosporin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol, Benadryl or similar anti-histamine in case of allergic reactions to plants or environment. Also include an anti-itch medication and hand sanitizer. 

Your Camping Backpack – Don’t Forget These Items Also

Sunscreen is an absolute must, and you should reapply every 90 minutes. Antacid tablets, bug spray and any medications you take should be in a waterproof container.  This may sound like a lot, but some of these items you may not use very time, however, if you need them you will be darn glad you have them. Small sized tubes and bottles should be lightweight and not take up much room. 

…And The List Goes On

This list would actually have many more things added if you were hiking for longer than a weekend. Camping overnight is an experience well worth every second. Good planning and preparation will insure the most pleasant of excursions. Whatever you may forget to pack the first time, I can pretty much guarantee you will remember on future hikes. Experience is always the best teacher. 

All Hikers Could Benefit From Your Feedback

Feel free to comment below if you have a tip or suggestion for new hikers. We were all new at it one time, so help is always beneficial.  Happy hiking!

Hiking Bag | Hikers Can Fix Almost Anything With This

hiking bag
Make Sure Duck Tape Is Always In Your Hiking Bag

Hiking bag trekkers still benefit from something made in the 1940’s. During World War II, the US military asked Johnson & Johnson to devise a waterproof, strong cloth based tape that could keep their ammunition dry. The GI’s called it “duck tape” because it was waterproof like a duck’s back. Hikers can really get themselves out of many bad situations with Duck Tape.

Hiking Bag Properties of Duck Tape

Hiking Bag trail blazers already know the benefits of duck tape. This ultra- sticky, multi-purpose adhesive has helped people since its invention with unimaginable ways to secure, mend and re-purpose new and broken items. Non-hikers have been using duct tape to fix and make things for decades. It’s likely that you’ve already used duct tape in a variety of ways. 

How Duck Tape Helps On The Hiking Trail

The best qualities of duck tape are its durability and that it’s waterproof.  It mends all types of materials, even skin with a very secure and long-lasting bond that can keep moisture out and protect whatever you’re covering. One of the reasons why duct tape is so useful is because it’s so sticky to almost anything. Sometimes calledDuct” tape, it is one of the most versatile products ever invented. With enough duct tape you could literally repair or improve just about anything on your hike adventures.

Hiking Bag Trail Hikers Can Protect Their Skin

  • Hikers can remove Splinters if you have no tweezers. The sticky properties of duck tape allow you to slowly pull the tape in the opposite direction of the splinter entry. It may take a couple tries, but it does work.
  • If you have a tick on you, cover it with duck tape and remove it easily. It will stick to the tape.
  • Great for blisters or hot spots. Cover the blistered area with a piece of cotton gauze, the tape over that. Make sure the duck tape fully covers the cotton without touching the blister at all.

Repair Wounds While Hiking With Duct Tape

  • Make an occlusive dressing with duct tape because this tape is waterproof. This will not work if you are allergic to latex, which duck tape contains. Closing a wound that must be protected until you can seek medical help requires cleaning of the wound first with an alcohol pad so that it does not get infected inside and it heals faster.
  • Close a gaping wound by tearing off several strips of duct tape that are about 3″long by 1/4″ wide. Starting at one end of the wound, bring the cut edges together with your hand. They should touch but not be squeezed tightly. Tape them together, placing the tape perpendicular to the wound. Continue down the wound, leaving about a one-quarter-inch space between each strip. It will represent a butterfly steri-strip application you may have had done or seen before in a doctor’s office. Cover your strips with a clean cloth secured around your arm with more wide strips of duck tape.
  • Keep Your Feet Warmer.  You can help make your winter boots retain more heat by wrapping duct tape around the insoles of your boots. Make sure you insert them silver side up against your foot. The reflective surface of the duct tape will help reflect heat back into the soles of your feet by reflecting the warmth of your feet back into your boots.
  • If you trip and sprain your ankle, wrist, or other joint, wrap it with duct tape to give it some support.
An Easy Fix

Hiking Bag Backpackers Can Easily Fix Their Gear

Outdoor Backpack hikers have found endless uses of duck tape for all of their backpack hiking gear.

  • Fix your tent. To hold your tent closed, repair a damaged zipper or patch a hole. Stick the door shut to keep it from flapping in the wind and keep the bugs and critters out.
  • Hiking Bag and rain gear mends; keep the dry stuff dry and keep the water out by mending your ripped rain gear with a few strips of duct tape. You can also fix any weak seams or tears in your hiking bag.
  • Fix your tool handles and seal your flashlight making it waterproof. How about bungee cord repair or wrapping around your matches or lighter to keep them dry.
  •  Have a cracked water bottle or a pierced hydration bladder? A little strip of duct tape will fix it in a jiffy. Be sure to dry the surface before you try to tape your patch in place since most forms of duct tape won’t stick to wet surfaces. You can also wrap plastic water bottles with duct tape to prevent cracking or leaking.
  • Need to create a shelter? With some trash bags and some duck tape you can construct a survival shelter roof, or sleeping bag cover, or even a wind break.
  • Fix a screen or mosquito netting.

Hiking Backpackers – Duck Tape To The Rescue

  • Doing some creek crossing or get caught in heavy rain?  Wrap your hiking boots in duck tape for extra waterproofing. It may not be a fashion statement but your feet will stay happily dry.
  • Make yourself a clothesline for drying out camping clothes. Twisting a long piece of duck tape makes a great piece of rope for many purposes.
  • Instead of throwing a loose key, credit card or money into your hiking bag, you can duck tape it to the interior material with some duck tape to get at it easier without rummaging through your backpack.
  • Mark a trail by using duct tape so you can easily find your way back when you are on a new mission.  Wrap duct tape around trees along the trail. In this case fluorescent colors are great.
  • If you have fluorescent colored duct tape, you can try using it to signal for help by making a giant arrow that points to your campsite, or a giant S.O.S.
  • Fix Your clothes, gloves, ripped pants or shirts, socks with holes etc.
  • Eliminate snow, bugs, or gravel, you can keep it all out of your boots by taping duck tape at top of your boots to your pant legs.
  • Fix a broken trekking Pole
  • Keep a roll of duct tape on the ground or the floor of your tent to form a cup holder. When you need the roll, you’ll have easy access to it right away.
  • Tape a stick to a broken tent pole or fishing pole to make a temporary splint. It won’t last forever, but you could get a little more usage out of the pole before scrapping it.
  • If bugs are driving you crazy and you don’t have any fly paper on hand, you can hang up a long piece of duck tape to act as an effective piece of fly paper to get those flying nuisances.
  • Waterproof labels for preps can be attached to any of your items you carry in your backpacking backpack.
hiking bag

Hikers Wonder Which Brand is Best

Your hiking bag, bugout bag and backpacking backpack should all have a roll of duck tape inside. Hikers should also add several rolls to their main outdoor backpack. Be aware there are different grades available from the dollar store versions to heavy-duty industrial versions.  You will want something in the middle making sure it is of the stronger and stickier variety but not as thick as the 3M stuff which would not be as pliable as the industrial types. The kind you want is found in places like hardware stores, Walmart or Home Depot and will tear easily and cleanly without requiring a knife or scissors to cut it. Some popular brands are the original Duck or Duck Cloth Tape, Gorilla Duck tape and Gaffer Power Steel Duck Tape. Redi-Tape Duct Tape comes in pocket sized, 5 yard packs for convenience.

The Best Tool In Your Backpack

Hiking bag disasters that might happen on the trail requiring repairs is easily alleviated by having duck tape on hand. It’s the tool you will always turn to in your hiking backpack time and time again. If you have some new uses for duck tape or if your hiking bag is beyond repair, come visit us at Nature Trail Backpacks . We would love to have your comments and feedback.