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Backpacking for Beginners and Essentials of Hiking Backpack

By Charles Hopkins Published 12/9/2013 | Travel

Once you are ready to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you and have planned to steal away a day or two into the wilderness the first thing you need to know is how long will your trip be. Depending on the length of your hike you should either go for a daypack or a multi-day hiking backpack. Whichever you need to get , make sure it comes with sturdy shoulder straps that are provided with enough padding and curves. Generally cheaper backpacks compromise on the padding which makes the straps chaff your collarbones. Also check on the zips to see if they are strong and durable . generally zips with bigger teeth are more reliable. One other thing that needs to be kept in mind is to see if the backpack comes with a waist strap as it takes much of the weight off your shoulders. The final thing that needs to be considered is the material of the backpack.

Once you have got yourself a backpack, the next thing that you need to look into is what to pack. Well, the first thing that should be borne in mind is to take the most amount of water possible. Iodine tablets should also be packed to treat the water you get on your way. As for food, take exactly what you would be needing. Packing for each meal separately, helps. Saves on space, and helps you take only as much as you need. Next comes the clothes. If it is a multi-day hiking remember to carry enough clothes to change. Get yourself a good pair of shoes. Keep in mind the place you are going to and the kind of weather that is prevailing there. If you know that the place is going to be cool then pack some warm clothes. Don't forget to take your sleeping bag and your tent if you are planning for a multi-day hike. Besides your clothes there are a few other things that you would not like to forget to pack. This includes a detailed map of the place, a compass, a first aid kit, a lighter, a torch, a tube of sunscreen, insect repellant cream, rope, a roll of toilet paper, spare batteries, sunglasses and a pocket knife. If your trip extends over a day and you plan to cook then do take an aluminium cooking set too.

Having made your list of the things you need to pack the next thing you should know about is how to pack them. Remember the weight inside your backpack should be distributed for you to enjoy your hike. First, get over with the heavier objects. Pack them as low as possible. The hard and angular things go in next. Make sure that they are wrapped in something soft or else or they will hurt you when you are on your hike. Pack your clothes in a plastic bag to secure them against any water that seeps through. Apart from distributing the weight properly the other thing that you need to think of is the accessibility. Make sure a few essentials like the torch, matches, water, snacks, toilet paper, rain jacket are easily accessible. It is wise to have them in the side pockets of your backpack.
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