If you are new to back-country camping, you will find the whole ordeal somewhat intimidating. Fear not, by starting with the basics you can get over this problem in no time. Eventually, you will become a pro, so much so you will be able to load your car with all the stuff you need in no time. However, it is important to remember that before you pack your favorite books and snacks, you do not forget those things you just cannot do without.
If you are not sure what stuff cannot be ignored for your excursion, here are the 10 essentials you need to pack without fail.
You will find it next to impossible to stay warm or prepare a meal for your back-country trip if you do not have a lighter. Even though you do have the option to rub two rocks together to light a fire, that will be time-consuming, not to mention frustrating.
Keep things simple, take a lighter. Lighters are durable, long-lasting, small and highly useful when it comes to starting a fire. The best part? They work no matter what, whether cold, rain or even snow. Always keep one in in your pocket, and another one in your backpack if you plan to camp for long.
A versatile and small tool you just cannot do without on your trip, and that is a fact. A knife is by far the most important of all tools you will need while camping.
Whether you need to hunt or protect yourself, a knife will do wonders for you. The possibilities are quite frankly, endless when it comes to knives; do make sure you have a sharp one on hand at all times.
Of course, you can’t expect to have a pleasant camping experience if you do not take warm clothing along with you. No matter what time of the year you decide to go back-country camping, you need warm clothing to keep you warm, especially considering how the weather can be unpredictable at times.
Even though numerous back-country camps offer spots for you to get water, you will still need to do your homework beforehand.
If you plan on having a long trip, the lack of a proper water source will cause a lot of problems for you. Even though you may have taken precautionary measures, like taking all the water you can possibly carry, you will run into trouble if you do not have a water source nearby.
Apart from taking the proper water source into account, you will need ‘a capable’ hydration system in place to ensure you do not go thirsty for long. Get a backpack equipped with storage space for water with a spout to get rid of your thirst. For longer hikes, fill your hydration pack as soon as possible, also get reusable water bottles for an emergency.
The most seasoned of campers who feel as though they know areas well can forget and get lost. This can become quite the hassle if they do not take a map along with them. If you are one such person, there is no reason why you should the risk of getting lost. Such circumstances can be avoided for good by keeping a map, which can be folded to fit in your pocket or backpack.
Most campers make the terrible mistake of taking garbage bags along with them. It is a commonly forgotten item, but it is an important item that should be taken along for any and all excursions.
Apart from getting rid of waste, garbage bags are incredibly versatile, meaning they can be used for extra protection from the weather or to pack clothes. But that is not all, if you become lost in the woods, said garbage bags can be torn for makeshift tents.
First Aid Kit
A misstep can result in an injury when outdoors, for which you should definitely take a first aid kit.
With sharp branches, rocky trails and slippery rocks to deal with, getting injured is not all that difficult. You should always be prepared with a portable first aid kit unless you want to land in the hospital that is.
Even though you have a sleeping bag and your tent to protect you from Mother Nature’s wrath, you should under no circumstance forget to take a ground mat along with you.
A good night’s sleep will be a faraway dream for you if you do not take a ground mat with you. How you ask? Well, humidity, rain or snow; you will have a pool underneath your back to deal with.
Since ground mats are light and can be rolled into your tent, they should not be left out for any reason whatsoever.
Most campers get carried away with cooking and food supplies. Consider the fact that you will be indulging in back-country camping, which means you will need to ‘carry’ everything on your back. Avoid carrying heavy pans, coolers, and pots; opt for mess kits instead.
Mess kits are portable, lightweight and amazingly useful. They can be purchased from any outdoor store you come across, and they come together like a jigsaw puzzle when required.
Getting lost is not as frightening as getting lost in the dark. Either carry a headlamp or pack a flashlight for those overnight camping trips. Even if you don’t plan on heading out after sunset, you can use a flashlight to carry out different tasks around your campsite. Whether you want to relieve yourself or need to get back on track at night, a flashlight will do wonders for you.
Now that you know what 10 items you just cannot do without for your back-country camping trip, you should prepare accordingly. If you are going for your very first back-country camping trip, you will need to prepare well beforehand. Rest assured, all this planning and preparation will guarantee a fun and exciting journey like never before.
Written by James Smith