Image Source: Backpackseru
Whether a novice or an old hand in the recreational activity of backpacking, the what to bring, what to leave home essentials are crucial for the veteran and hiking rookie. Starting out for the first time, its best to cruise websites and online group listings like meetup.com or Yahoo! to find a group usually open to newbie hikers. How to pack, though, is as individual as you arebut ground rules on what goes in still applies.
Depending on the duration of the hike, packing pre-packaged foods to single serving flatware is a staple in your pack. Since weight is a factor on the trailsyoure walking the entire way and an extra five pounds over the course of miles makes a world of differenceif you forgot your flatware for meals, dont be surprised to find yourself at the rear of the line in the following days hike. Its simple courtesy and common sense.
So that you dont forget anything, have a checklist. First aid kits, spare water, flashlight, maybe a solar radio, emergency contact numbers, change for a pay phone, needed medications and non-essential ID but for one major piece (drivers license or an employees-issued ID) are good staples in the pack. These should be packed in airtight bags on the in-case you get dunked in the drink.
Other essentials include, but arent limited to: foodstuffs and flatware, feminine products, baby wipes, stick matches, a sleeping bag, a single change of clothing, rain gear and socks. Pack the heavier things at the bottom of the pack, at the very bottom of the bag, a spare set of boots and your sleeping bag, since mass is more than is weight. And, if youre still unclear of what gets stowed where, ask those on the hike with you. Just make sure you ask them NOT the night before the trip!