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8 Essentials For A Solo Backpacking Trip


A solo backpacking trip offers the chance for reflection and introspection. It’s also a great way to stay in shape and explore nature. Before you head out on the trail, however, pack the following essential items so you stay safe and comfortable on your trip.


Protective Gear

The elements can wreak havoc on your body if you let them. Pack sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. You’ll also want a rain slicker to keep yourself dry during an unexpected shower. Spare socks will help you avoid blisters if your feet get wet, and long pants can ward off bug bites. You might also want insect spray, depending on where you go and the time of year.

First-Aid Supplies
You might think that you can avoid injury on the trail, but don’t count on it. Pack a First-aid kit that includes bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape, and tweezers. Customise your kit based on where you go backpacking. For instance, if you’re heading to bear country, don’t forget bear spray. If you meet an angry mother bear on the trail, you’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead.

Multi-Purpose Tool
Don’t rely on a simple pocket knife. Multi-purpose tools combine other handy gadgets, from bottle openers to tiny screwdrivers. Look at different models to learn about your options. You might want one with scissors, for instance, or one with a separate serrated blade. Consider a spring-loaded model for easy operation.

Reliable Smartphone
You might feel like setting out on your own, but don’t leave behind your connection to civilisation. Not only does the dependable and slim iPhone 7 Plus allow you to call a loved one in an emergency, but you can use the powerful camera to document your adventures. Add extra memory if you plan to take lots of photos or videos. Consider packing a spare battery as well.

Comfortable Backpack
All backpacks might look the same on the department store shelf, but you’ll discover that some prove more accommodating and comfortable than others. Select a backpack that can carry everything you want to bring along. You might want one that comes with a hydration bladder or straps for your sleeping bag. Before you go shopping, measure your torso length so you know which size to buy for comfort and safety.

Food and Water
If you’re packing light, consider bringing water filtration tablets. They’re lighter than bottles of water, and you can clean water from any source. Small meal choices can also help you stay safe and sated on the trail. Granola bars, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, canned meats, and instant potatoes can all fill your belly and help you keep up your calorie counts.

You can also throw in small containers of spices so you don’t have to eat bland foods. If it will make you drink more fluids, consider bringing flavor packets to put in your water. However, plain water tends to offer the best hydration solution.

GPS or Map
You don’t have to carry a folded-up map in your back pocket anymore, though you might want to tuck one in your pack. GPS systems offer more precise and convenient technology, but in the wilderness, your GPS might not function as well. A map allows you to stay focused on the trail and will keep you oriented toward your destination. Alternatively, use your phone to take a photograph of a map so you always have it with you.

Sleeping Bag
Sleeping on the ground with a rock as your pillow might look romantic in movies, but it’s a recipe for sore, stiff muscles. A sleeping bag can protect you from inspects. It’s more comfortable than the ground, and you don’t want to wake up shivering in the middle of the night. Choose a weight that’s right for your destination and the time of year.


A solo backpacking adventure offers the perfect chance to decompress. Leave your daily life behind and get acquainted with the wilderness. Just don’t forget to pack the above essentials before you set out on your journey.


Image via Flickr by Jesse Wagstaff.

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