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9 Simple Backpacking Tips


It’s a hot, dull afternoon, and you are just chilling with your friends.  You’re chatting about random stuff to pass the time, and you ask “why not go backpacking on the weekend?“

Going out on a hike is one of the best relaxation trips you can ever have. Backpacking is an excellent way of challenging yourself while having loads of fun in the process. However, backpacking is a learned art, and many people often go wrong during that learning process. With the following backpacking tips, though, you can be sure to have excellent backpacking experience.

1.    Lighten up your backpack

When packing for your trip, always remember the secret to backpacking is:  the lighter the pack, the better.  How do you lighten your backpack?  Here are simple ways to help you achieve that goal:

     ·         Pick light-weight clothes

There is absolutely no point in carrying that heavy jacket that you might never need during the trip. Picking out clothes is greatly influenced by your hiking landscape and the weather.  If it’s on a cold day, limit yourself to a single, dark-colored, heavy jacket. Invest in a good, adjustable sleeping bag that will withstand cold temperatures and give you a warm night’s sleep.

     ·         Roll your clothes

If your clothes won’t easily fit in the backpack, roll them. Rolling clothes before packing them into your backpack is the ultimate space-saving technique! When rolling clothes, however, don’t forget to pack your clothes in order of need. Rolling clothes might make it harder to retrieve your clothes, so it’s important to organize them. Pack clothes that you’ll use more often on the top side of your backpack. Do the same for clothes that will be required for the first camping night.

     ·         Choose a light backpack

When shopping for a backpack, lightness is a key factor.  My advice: don’t be in a rush when picking a suitable backpack. Take time to try out a couple of backpacks before choosing the one you prefer. While you may be attracted to a particular style and color, remember to choose a lightweight backpack. It’s the most efficient way to shed extra weight that you would have otherwise carry during your hike.

     ·         Spread out the weight

You may have carried a pack which is heavier at the bottom.  That’s not the feeling you want while hiking up a rough and/or steep hill. One of the best tricks to a light backpack is ensuring even distribution of weight. How do you achieve this?  Put the heavier items in the middle of the pack and place the lighter weight items around the heavier ones. A lighter backpack makes for a better hiking experience.

     ·         Pack easily reusable clothes

Instead of cotton clothes, pick woolen clothes. Woolen clothes are far better at absorption of sweat from your body compared to cotton ones. To further reduce the load, opt for dark colors instead. Dark clothing is more amenable to reuse compared to light-colored garments.  Cotton clothing can chafe and scratch once you begin to sweat.  Pack only a few clothes, and you are ready to go. This will save space and lighten the weight of your backpack.

     ·         Carry empty bottles instead

If there is a known, clean water source on your planned hike, ditch your packed water and carry a few freshwater bottles instead. Refill the water bottles when you reach the known water sources. This is an essential backpacking tip to reduce weight.  Remember to always dispose of your water bottles responsibly after your hike in case you no longer need them. Keep the environment clean.

     ·         Share commonly used load

Instead of carrying camping items that will be used by the whole group on your back alone, why not subdivide them between all the hikers? Sharing the weight equalizes the load everyone carries. That tent can be quite light if everyone carries a small part of it.

2.    Ensure your essential items can be easily accessible

One of the most essential backpacking tips is ensuring easy retrieval of frequently used and essential items. Your bottle of water or that leftover snack are essentials that should be easily accessible. Pack quick snacks and water bottles in your backpack’s side pockets to save you from dropping your pack every time you need to grab a drink.

3.    Look up the weather

You might not need that heavy jacket in your backpack if you are day-hiking in hot weather or in a tropical location.  Knowing the weather helps you to know the type of clothing to pack, and can also reduce the amount you pack.  Research the terrain, know the weather, and you will have a more enjoyable trip.

Hiking Friends

Bring A Friend

Unless you are already used to backpacking, and even if you are, it’s best to bring at least one friend when hiking. The point is to have someone with you who has your back. You don’t want to get hit by an emergency while alone or amid strangers. Go out on a hiking trip with someone who cares about you. This could be a lifesaving tip.

4.    Carry conventional quick fix medicines

On a hot afternoon hike, you will want to have pain relievers as a precautionary measure. In the course of your hiking trip, you might get injured along the way. Pack pain relievers for a quick fix for muscle pulls and joint pains. Carrying pain relievers and necessary prescription medicines may be the reason you get to complete that hike.

Navigation tools

5.    Have the maps

Though often overlooked, knowing the terrain where you will be hiking is mandatory.  If backpacking in a place unfamiliar to you, be sure you purchase and have on hand a navigation map. Instances of people getting lost on hikes are quite common, and you might just be another addition to such occurrences. Before you leave on your trip, take advantage of online Google maps for visuals of the hiking terrain. Again, having a friend along will come in handy to help you stay on course during the hike.

Hiking Boots

6.    If possible, opt for light shoe wear

Unless it’s a requirement on a particular hike, don’t wear boots. Those heavy boots will only make you tired sooner.  You can avoid getting sore feet while maneuvering through forests just because you bought new boots. Furthermore, opting for light shoe wear is also a great way of lightening your backpack.

7.    Save on backpacking costs

Saving on backpacking costs is a plus:  cut down expenses on everything:  backpack, sleeping bag or tent.  Save on everything!  Explore options of renting a shelter instead of buying one. Invest in a well-built, but cost-effective backpack.  If possible, avoid purchasing items for yourself alone, when you can share the cost with your friends.  Spend your savings on an extra pack of your favorite snack.

8.    Carry disposable bags

One of the mandatory ethics of backpacking is to protect the environment. During the walk, DON’T drop food leftovers or used bottles along the way. Carry a separate bag for your waste items to dispose later at an appropriate garbage can. These bags also come in handy for sweat-soaked clothes during the hike. Carrying extra disposable bags is a great backpacking tip to ensure your hike proceeds smoothly.

9.    Have lots of fun!

The reason for going on a hiking day-trip or overnight camping is to have fun and, of course, have a more pleasurable use of your leisure time. Take loads of photos during your hike.  Explore the scenery. Look around you – check out the wildlife, the view, enjoy your time without Netflix.  What better way to enjoy time with your friends over a  weekend than backpacking? Make great memories with your friends and loved ones.  If possible, make new friends.


If you are new to backpacking, confusion on what and how to pack your backpack is quite common. The most crucial tip for packing your backpack always lies in ensuring a light load.  No one likes walking around with excess weight on their back.

You might also want to have a camping night at home before heading for the actual trip. Why is this important? Well, it will help ensure your camping essentials are actually working and available. You don’t want to realize that an essential piece of equipment doesn’t work or some of the tent poles are missing while setting up camp.

Don’t forget to carry pain relievers and all prescription medicines you take on a daily basis.

See your doctor, in case of any doubt, for a checkup to ensure your body is fit so you can enjoy your hike.

Stay safe and have fun backpacking!