Camping and backpacking is something I frequent a lot. When I had to go for my first camping trip, I had crammed up my rucksack with anything and everything. Every wanderlust would know how exciting it becomes when you pack for your first trip. However, you need to know that taking that heavy weighted rucksack on your shoulders is a tedious and tiresome activity. Therefore, we need to think smart and pack smarter. The key to smart packing is a good hiking day pack or a rucksack, which is spacious enough to pack your essentials to take up to the camping site.
While packing, you need to keep in mind two questions: Are you ready for any kind of emergency? And how can you spend a night safely in the open?
We have put in place a list of 10 essential items that are a must have for every traveller, backpacker and camper. These are my favorite and preferable items that I never forget to pack in my backpack.
1. NAVIGATION GEAR
The first and foremost thing that a traveller must do is to research about the place he is visiting. The routes, roads and streets must be on his fingertips. Hence, a detailed topographic map and a compass, preferably fitted with a GPS receiver is important to tag along with you. For mountaineers, altimeter is optional. All these must be packed in waterproof bags because you never be sure of the weather. My personal favorite is Survival gear paracord bracelet with compass, fire starter and scraper from Amazon.com
2. SUN PROTECTION
Sun protection gear is not only important while visiting beaches, it is equally significant to carry sun protective gear up the mountains. The harsh rays of sun can probably damage your skin and cause sunburn, so a good sunscreen lotion for your face and body with at least SPF 40 must be handy. I prefer VLCC Sun protection SPF 50 for my skin. And, on top of that, keep a pair of cool sunglasses to protect your eyes in sunny days, you can pick out a pair from the latest RayBan collection.
A traveller should always carry pair of good footwear that are comfortable to his feet and are appropriate to the destination of travel. A nice pair of footwear decides your travel experience. You may pick summery flip-flops for the beaches or a pair of hiking boots for the treks uphill. The footwear should not be heavy and must fit well. Keeping an extra pair of these do no harm.
4. PORTABLE CHARGER
We all love to stay updated on the social media and love to keep our trips updated as well. Our mobile phone contains our whole life. So, getting disconnected from it becomes stressful. A heavy duty portable charger comes to aid here. As we all like to stay online on the go, so keeping our phone charged is very important. The best pick is Charge cords solar powered portable charger which is dust proof, break proof and waterproof. It not only charges mobile phones but other chargeable items as well.
5. EMERGENCY LIGHT
This is one of the most essential item to pack. An emergency light helps during camping, night walks and many more areas where light source is not available. You may take a flash light or a lamp for the purpose. And if the light is solar powered, it stands out to be better than most. You do not have to worry about charging or discharging. Never forget to carry an emergency light in the woods. It also helps to keep animals away.
6. MULTI-OPERATIONAL TOOL
A multi operational tool is one that consists of a knife, scissor, screwdriver, bottle opener and many more handy tools in one. It comes handy at all times, even when you want to open a bottle to beer on a beach, at night. A Swiss knife is most reliable one. I not only pack it for my camping trips but keep it in my handbag also.
7. RAIN GEAR
One can never rely on the weather forecast for an area. And you can never trust the weather on the mountains. It will be sunny in the afternoon, but the clouds won’t take time to appear and soon it will start pouring. To protect your stuff and yourself from getting wet, it is smart to keep rain gear such as raincoats, bag covers, plastic bags, trench coats, etc. with yourself, whenever you go for any kind of journey.
8. WATER FILTRATION DEVICE
This is a portable water filter which is small yet very useful. One water filtration device for a group of people is neither feasible nor hygienic. Therefore, one should have a personal device in his bag. You just need to put the device in any kind of water body, lake, stream, river or waterfall and the device filters the water for your safe consumption. Now, you do not need to worry about water supply shortage when you have this device.
9. FIRST AID KIT
To be safe and sound, you need to protect yourself and be ready to give a positive response to any emergency situation. Hence, a first aid kit with all essential medical equipment must be packed. It keeps you ready for any kind of medical emergency.
10. SLEEPING BAG
This one is from my personal experience. Sleeping bag is important in a backpack because you never know whether you would find a hotel or a shelter, if you are planning to go somewhere spontaneously. It should be light weight and accommodate you properly. You can spread out your sleeping bag and have a good night’s sleep.