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Ten Backpacking Essentials

Over the last ten years, backpacking as a lifestyle and as a business has grown considerably. The combination of low-cost airlines and hostels all over the world, with the digital communication and resources has made planning, executing and continuing a long-term backpacking trip easier than it has ever been before.


Backpacking allows people to discover the world and experience new cultures in their own way. Whether you just go for a month or for a year, you can tailor your backpacking trip the way you want it, from where you go, to where you stay to how you travel there. It really is one of the best ways to build your perfect trip! If you're considering going on a backpacking adventure then there's ten essentials you need to make sure you have organised for your safety, survival and comfort.



1. Navigation

Must haves are a map and a compass. If you like the sounds of GPS then go for it, they're fantastic, but obviously a little more pricey. I would also suggest you get yourself a map case too, it will help protect your map, not just from the rain, but from getting ripped easily too.



2. Sun Protection

The last thing you want is burnt shoulders whilst carrying your backpack or sun stroke, so always take sunscreen and lip balm. Also take protective clothing like hats and glasses to double up on protection if you know you are going to be in the sun all day.



3. First Aid

Make sure you have got a suitable first aid kit, it doesn't need to be massive but if you get stuck somewhere that isn't near a shop, you are going to want to make sure you have got the necessary facilities to hand. You will find lots of ready prepared First Aid Kits at Simply Hike.



4. Insulation

It may be hot where you're going, but you can never predict the conditions you might get stuck in, so always take a jacket or vest with you and some warm hiking trousers.



5. Fire

Make sure you take a good supply of matches along with a fire starter so you can easily start a fire, whether it be for cooking or signalling for help.



6. Illumination

You will definitely want to make sure you are equipped with a headlamp or flash torch. They not only help you find your way in the dark, but can be used to signal for help should you get into trouble. Your torch won't be any good without any batteries, so don't forget to take a good supply of them with you!



7. Multi-tool

You can guarantee you will need to use a multi-tool everyday for one thing or another so it's worth investing in a decent one. You should also consider taking a repair kit, include something like duct tape which can be used for a number of things.



8. Hydration

If you're on the go all day and out in the sun you are going to need to be kept well hydrated. Obviously bottles of water are perfect, but if you're on the move, then invest in a hydration pack, it simply fits in your rucksack and means you can drink hands-free whilst on the go! If you can't always get hold of bottled water then make sure you get a water purification treatment which can come in different forms from tablets to drops.



9. Nutrition

You need to keep energy levely high, and when you're travelling you can't always be sure what lies around the corner, so take an extra day's supply of food with you and things like energy bars, gels and trail mix to keep you going.



10. Emergency Shelter

Should you run in to a spot of bother you will need to have emergency shelter, either a reflective blanket, tent, tarp or bivy sack will do the job.