Planning a hiking or camping trip is exciting, but let’s face it, we could all afford to be a little more practical -- especially when it comes to packing. Gathering all you need for your trip requires some serious thought, but don’t overthink it. Check out these simple tips that’ll help you pack lightly so you can get the most out of your hiking or camping experience:
Choose a bag of practical size.
How long are you planning your trip for? If it’s a long trip, you may be able to get away with a larger bag. But keep in mind the trek to your spot. If your camping spot requires a nice long hike, think about downsizing. Your back will thank you.
If you’re going on a shorter trip, find a solid backpack with just enough room for all your gear. A good rule of thumb for finding the right bag: if it won’t fit in the overhead compartment on an airplane, find another one. The smaller the pack you carry, the smaller your worries. And just for fun, see what your packing style says about you.
Keep the clothes to a minimum.
You should be able to find a place to wash your clothes, so stick to only a few pairs of pants, underwear, and socks. Wear, wash, repeat. No need to pack a pair of underwear for each day, especially for those longer trips. Just make sure you change at least every 2-3 days. Pro tip: cotton underwear is slow to dry, so try to spring for synthetic or wool. This will make the washing and drying part easier on you.
Be smart about food.
Mmmmmm, food. Yes, it’s possible to eat well while you’re camping without overpacking. There are a few basic necessities that won’t take up too much room but will still give you what you need to prepare some kickass meals.
In order to have the ultimate camp kitchen, and maybe even impress your friends with your camp cooking, you’ll just need a few things (like utensils, plates, and, of course, some killer recipes). This list can help you get started.
Leave the unnecessaries behind.
Ask yourself while you’re packing: will I really need this? While fun items like speakers or lights might make your campsite look cooler, this is where you’ll need to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice room for.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t bring some fun stuff; we’re just saying you should only bring the stuff you know you’ll use. These things aren’t necessities, and they won’t necessarily help you survive. What they will do is make your camping trip more enjoyable if you end up using them. But remember: there’s nothing worse than packing a ton of stuff that you never get to use.
Know where you’re going, know what you’ll need, and know yourself. Check out our past articles to brush up on those skills. But keep in mind, the best way to master these things is by practicing and planning.
Be honest with yourself while prepping for your next trip and only pack the essentials. Remember: a little goes a long way! Got some packing tips of your own? Head on over to our Facebook page and share with us.