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Packing for a week of hiking

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Packing for a week of hiking

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This is a sample list of things to take on a week-long trip hiking in a wilderness area. Even more than with other kinds of travel, packing for this kind of trip requires compromises between keeping weight down and making sure to bring everything you'll need, because you have to carry it all with you. Depending on where you're going and the time of year, some of the items may not be useful, and there are inevitably additional items you'll want to bring along. This should give you a general idea of what you'll want to pack. (Please keep in mind that this list was created to be useful to people in general, so don't edit it for your own specific needs.) For information and advice about gear selection, see Wilderness backpacking.

Wear[edit]

  • Synthetic undershirts
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Pairs of pants (suitable weight for current weather)
  • Pairs of underwear (long underwear if needed)
  • Pairs of wool socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals (for wearing when not hiking)
  • Waterproof windbreaker, or at least a jacket.
  • Rain gear - ponchos can drape over your pack and save you the expense of a waterproof packcover.
  • Swimsuit?
  • Women: 2 good sports bras
  • Hat, beanie, gloves
  • Gaiters
  • Fleece jacket

Get around[edit]

  • Backpack

Probably the most important thing to have as it will be holding practically all your stuff. The ideal backpack needs a frame to help get the weight to your hips. It should have a minimum amount of space of 4500 cubic cm but the closer you get to 6500 cubic cm, the better. In addition, having a thick (and comfortably) waist-belt for bearing loads might be beneficial. While external pockets and loops are aesthetically pleasing, they may be an inconvenience. Make sure it has all the most beneficial features first. Good packs are expensive and do not skimp on these or it can make the trip unpleasant.

  • Trekking poles/staff

While these can be useful for both hiking and defending yourself, it's a matter of preference. Some people may not prefer this as they like to have their hands free and decide to carry both a tomahawk and a hatchet instead.

  • Headlamp or flashlight

It's useful to have a headlamp or flashlight when it gets dark. Non-rechargeable lights might be the best option but having lights that require to bring around spare batteries is also not a bad idea. Another option are ones with self-contained generators but should be a last resort in case of emergencies.

  • Maps and compass

Prior to the trip, make sure that you are able to read them before you set out. It's ideal to have maps that are at least water resistant. Also, it helps if the maps are topographical. This helps to be able to get bearings and landmarks and choose the best route.

  • Tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat

There are some options to this. The tent-bag-mat system is tried and true, but they offer considerably less versatility than a hammock. A hammock and fly with a hammock bag or underquilt and blanket will offer better insulation and usually beat out the tent in terms of space. Due to lightweight materials they are still close in both weight and price. But with some creativity, a hammock can be much more comfortable than a tent ever would be.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Make sure to bring sufficient amount of backpacking meals and things you know you will eat. They are often packaged using the smallest amount of material possible and vacuum sealed.

Some food packing ideas include:

  • Oatmeal, cereal bars, trail mix, energy bars
  • Freeze-dried meals
  • Cooking pots
  • Gas camping stove
  • Waterproof matches/lighter/fire starter
  • Washable plate, cup, utensils
  • Dish cloth, scouring sponge
  • Multi-tool pocket knife (e.g. Swiss Army or Leatherman)
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic bag for trash
  • Water filter- to remove physical debris
  • Iodine tablets- to remove germalogical issues an alternative is water purification tablet but if you have a good water filter, these will be unnecessary.

If you're traveling in a place that has a of bears, make sure your food is bagged so it can be tied up and away from the floor.

Stay safe[edit]

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun lotion
  • After sun treatment such as aloe vera gel
  • Hat (for shade or trapping heat depending on weather)
  • Light trekking towel
  • Bioshower-soap
  • Insect repellent (or you can always skip showering and your body oils will naturally repel most insects)
  • Snakebite kit
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
  • Analgesic painkiller such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Survival blanket- mylar blankets are noisy, easily blown away, and easily compromised. Do not depend on this unless an emergency
  • Blister care (e.g. moleskin, adhesive bandages)
  • Insurance card and ID Card (in case of emergencies)
  • Cash and/or card (in case of emergencies)
  • hankies (dozens of uses, mere ounces of weight)
  • Knife
  • Hatchet and/or tomahawk- This could be a lifesaver and be the most useful tool ever. You can build fires easier, use the environment to make shelter, make a makeshift stretcher, and more to where your imagination lies. If you have items that will be utilizing stakes as anchor points, it is best to get one that has a flat/hammer side.
  • 3 meter length of rope (myriad of potential uses)
  • Tampons or pads- Not only for female use. Tampons can be used to staunch blood flow from puncture wounds and pads can help with deep lacerations.
  • At least 1 lighter, gas or petrol, and small pack of storm matches-can be a life-saver in heavy rain)
  • Topical antiseptic solution for cuts, bites and grazes- Isopropyl alcohol is a better alternative. It can be used as an antiseptic and can also be used to start fires easily if 70% or higher concentration.]
  • Wet-wipes
  • Water proof stuff packs
  • Small shovel- can be left behind if your pack weight is too heavy already
  • Lantern- if you don't have flashlight or headlight
  • Emergency/survival mirror
  • Whistle
  • Cyalume glow-stick
  • Emergency flare
  • Sewing kit/sewing needles- when used in conjunction with floss, it can easily be used to patch up cloth based items and people
  • Backup personal water filter- Lifestraw is a good brand but there are other companies that make similar products at competitive prices
  • 10-15m of fishing line wit 2-3 hooks

See and Do[edit]

  • Camera, film, spare memory card, spare battery
  • Notepad and pen for journal cards


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