Those who enjoy nature and exercise have a perfect activity in overnight hiking. It allows them to go out into the wild, breathe fresh air, explore new areas and get a workout. However, this is one of those activities that need preparation. There are many products and items that are aimed at helping hikers through their adventures. So you need to be aware of the overnight hiking essentials to take with you.
However, there is also such a thing as packing too much stuff, particularly after considering that you will be carrying everything on your body. With that in mind, this short guide will provide a backpacking gear list beginners will find extremely useful.
Overnight Hiking Essentials: The Complete Packing List
1. Hiking Clothing
People who are trying to put together a list of overnight hiking essentials will often make clothing a priority. This is completely understandable as clothing is our first and foremost barrier against environmental factors such as temperature and the weather.
Despite climate conditions, it’s a good idea to wear layered clothing so it can be stripped away gradually as necessary. Additionally, it’s important to cover most of your body whenever possible to avoid sunburning, insect bites and other problems.
This list of hiking essentials for beginners could not be relevant without mentioning tents. Sleeping under the stars can be lovely when the situation allows it. However, often a tent is necessary in order to become isolated from the weather. Additionally, it provides privacy during group hiking trips.
When choosing a tent, take into account its size and weight. A compact and light tent is much more practical than its opposite.
3. Sleeping Bag
Another one of the overnight hiking essentials this list couldn’t do without is the sleeping bag. Being specially designed for camping in the wild, sleeping bags are portable, light and easy to pack and unpack.
Depending on the type of climate, it may be advisable to choose a sleeping bag made of warmer or cooler materials. However, most sleeping bags can be adapted to any kind of sleeping situation.
No matter where you are hiking, its climate or the weather, it’s always important to apply sunblock in generous amounts to any and all parts of your body that will be exposed at any point.
In addition, it is advisable to carry lip balm and sunglasses to protect the parts of your body you can’t cover with sunblock.
5. Headlamp or Flashlight
There is no doubt that the moon and the stars are beautiful to look at. However, they don’t provide much in the way of illumination. For that reason, it’s important to pack a headlamp or flashlight that will help you find your way in the dark.
When choosing one, take into account:
- The amount of luminescence they emit (measured in lumens);
- Its type of beam (distributed or focused).
6. First Aid Kit
Without a doubt, one of the most important overnight hiking essentials is a well-prepared first aid kit. Even though no one plans on getting hurt, it’s important to be ready in case of an accident. Every first aid kit should have the following items:
- Antiseptic wipes;
- Antibacterial ointment;
- Assorted adhesive bandages;
- Adhesive wound-closure strips;
- Gauze pads;
- Medical adhesive tape;
- Ibuprofen or any other pain-relief medication;
- Insect sting relief treatment;
- Antihistamine for treating allergic reactions.
7. Navigation Equipment
In order not to get lost, it’s important that every hiker carries both a map (preferably with a protected case) and a compass. Of course, it’s as important to know how to operate and use these items.
Additionally, your backpacking checklist can include a GPS and an altimeter if they are available.
8. Waterproof Matches or Lighter
Whether it’s for cooking, keeping warm or just pleasure lighting up a fire is always incredibly gratifying. For that reason, it’s always important to carry matches or a trusted lighter during an overnight hiking.
In order to avoid accidents, it’s advisable to get waterproof versions of these items. Ideally, both matches and a lighter should be in the luggage. Carrying fire starters is always a good idea.
9. Food and Water
Without a doubt, food and water are the most important overnight hiking essentials that you should carry when planning to spend a night in the wilds. Because overnight hiking burns a lot of calories, you may want to take food items that are high in carbohydrates and proteins. It’s recommended to take non-perishables and other products that can be consumed cold.
Regarding potable water, it’s advisable to take as much as possible as long as it doesn’t get too heavy to carry. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to take a water filter or any other water treatment system in case of emergencies.
Extra Tips for Your Overnight Hiking Experience
Following this list of overnight hiking essentials will ensure you will be ready to have an enjoyable and safe journey no matter what. However, there are other things to consider.
- First of all, make sure you have a detailed plan that takes into account times, distances and resources.
- It’s also hugely important to let people know about your plans to go hiking, including your chosen destination, companions and approximate schedule.
- It’s also very advisable to, at least at first, partner up with other, more experienced hikers.
- Besides having experience, it’s likely they have a better-formed idea of the terrain that is to explore.
If this is your first overnight hike, focus on getting and packing these ten items and you will be just fine. If you are looking to be efficient, be sure to pack them well and in an organized manner. Having these overnight hiking essentials, you will not have to worry about anything but enjoying nature.
Are you an overnight hiking enthusiast? If so, please let us know what your backpack looks like when you are getting ready to go out into the wilds!
Images from pixabay.com.