If you’re new to backpacking, you will need to know that there are specific items and essentials that would make the difference in the stories that you would tell after the entire experience. In other words, if you forget to bring any of these items, you might find yourself saying stories of regret and frustration.
The Backpacking Stove
You would do very well to bring a good stove with you, to cook along the trail. While you may be bringing trail food such as protein bars and berry/nut mixes with you, there’s nothing that beats a hot meal, and a backpacking stove will give you the necessary flame. There are a lot of portable and rugged stoves available commercially, but you may want to check out the videos of enthusiasts online who have actually made makeshift stoves from recycled cans. If you’re a little more on the adventurous, environmentally-aware side, these DIY stoves will be worth your time.
Fine Dining On the Trail
Take note that while a backpacking stove is important (you might see the 2015 best backpacking stoves comparison to select a good strove for outdoors), you would need a proper receptacle to hold whatever you’ve been cooking. It’ll most likely be soup that you’ll be cooking most of the time, so you would probably want to consider buying a mug or tumbler to hold it all in. This obviously works great for holding coffee or any other heated beverages as well. No need to spend a fortune here: An aluminum mug with a lid would do the job while lasting a really long time. These mugs could easily be found in flea markets or dollar stores.
Speaking of water, any source you find, whether it be a lake or a river, should still be treated with caution. As with camping, a filtration device or some purification pills will guarantee that the water you chug down is clean, without you having to boil it. It also helps to have a sturdy utensil around to help you eat. While there are options for separate spoons and forks, you will probably appreciate the portability and function of a simple spork.
Even if it isn’t allowed to build a fire in the trail you will be traversing, you would still do well to bring along the proper implements to make one in case of an emergency. While you may be able to pull it off with your portable stove, some material dedicated to build a wood fire would not be wasted space in your backpack. You can easily make sparks with a survival knife and a spark rod, also known as a ferro rod. Tinder can be made by shaving a dry fallen branch, or you could bring your own spark catchers: cotton balls soaked in Vaseline make for good tinder.
Besides a knife, a multi tool would be extremely helpful if you need to make any repairs on any other gear you have. A flashlight will help you see in the dark if you forget to make a fire on time. A compass and a map will guarantee that you are on the right path all the time.
Be sure to get all the advice you can when buying these and other items for backpacking. With them around you will have less time to settle in, and more time to actually enjoy the great outdoors.