How to pack for a long hike

Oftentimes backpacking camping spot and posting up for a few days is a great time with a large pack, as you can bring any number of cooking items , drinks, and extra clothes; the hike out is made all the sweeter without the weight of all the food you managed to eat. Day hiking and backpacking are his forte, so we asked him to outline the gear he brings every time he sets out on a trail. A pack this size can be used for multi-day backpacking trips and even Continental Trail thru-hikes provided you keep a lightweight and minimalist philosophy. We also take a ton of multi-day backpacking trips, so if you’re interested in checking out our top picks for tents, sleeping bags/pads, backpacks, and a whole lot more, have a look through the CleverHiker Backpacking Gear Guide.

Our detailed checklist below covers everything from critical backpacking equipment (tent, pack, sleeping bag, etc.) to hiking footwear and clothing , optional extras , and personal items For more information on each product category, many of the headings link to our detailed product round-ups, which are the result of years of testing and opinions (we do love backpacking). When planning food for long hikes, look for lightweight, filling and nutritious snacks and meals to power you through even the most challenging hikes or backpacking trips. If s/he expends a lot of energy on the trail it’s likely that more food and snacks will be essential for a great day hike or backpacking trip. is a great place to learn about water filtration.

Make the trail more enjoyable for him/her by taking the following items on your next day hike or backpacking trip. It doesn’t matter if you go on a 24 hour hike or a 2 week backpacking trip, you’ll basically bring the exact same gear and clothing every time. Packing for a multi-day hiking trip brings many more problems and concerns than preparing for a day hike The right equipment can make the difference between a trip you want to repeat and a nightmare that will make you shudder every time you see a hiking backpack.

If you’re going to be hiking a trail that offers resupply locations, take advantage of these to minimize your food weight; if you’re going to have access to lots of water, carry only what you need to get you from one source to the next, and time your breaks and camps to replenish your doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to buy the latest ultralight hiking gear, cut the handle off your toothbrush and trim away spare inches of pack strapping. A note on packaging food for longer hikes: For a six-day backpacking trip, I’ll pop any homemade backpacking meals with potentially perishable ingredients in the freezer in the days or weeks leading up to the hike. But the longer your hike (around the third day of a backpacking trip is usually when it becomes tough to eat another energy bar), the more important it is to vary your diet, both to maintain a high interest in your food and to keep your energy levels up and active.

Consider the terrain and weather when choosing the best boots for your trek—you won’t want heavy leather boots if you’re hiking across the hot desert, for example, but these Irrigon Trail Mid OutDry Extreme hiking shoes are breathable, ultra-lightweight, waterproof, and have sturdy tread to keep you from slipping on rocks. Her first ever backpacking trip was a 5-day blitz of the West Coast Trail over a decade ago and she’s been hooked on hiking ever since. At the end of a day hike, you will most likely return to your campsite or head back home, but during a backpacking trip, you will end each day on the trail.

Tuna or salmon packets: Instead of bringing canned fish on your backpacking trip, pack lightweight pouches of poultry, tuna or salmon. Whether it is thru-hiking, and weekend backpacking trip or day hike, covering more distance is not just about feeling that you achieved more, it also allows you to see more, get to more remote places and enjoy nature more wholesomely. This is an important thing to note when planning your long distance hiking trip and when compiling your hiking packing list, as what you’ll carry will inevitably change, and if you have to include a tent, a sleeping bag and a towel, you’ll have to keep the list of other items even more essential.

For a long backpacking trip, the food bag is likely to be one of the heaviest items in your pack.

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