Journeyman Traveller

10 Essential Items to Pack For An Overnight Hike

For starters, an overnight hike can be a nightmare when packing. You need to travel light (after all, who wants to lug the kitchen sink up a mountain?) but you also need to make sure you bring all the right gear. Here are the 10 essential packing items for an overnight hike.

1. Clothing

The type of clothing you pack should match the weather conditions in the respect overnight hike location. Clothing should therefore effectively serve you in warm or cold weather.

Type of clothing to pack includes:

· Long-sleeve shirt-protects against excessive sun

· Hats that can shield you from the sun

· Shorts or pants that can dry quickly

· Underwear

· Synthetic or wool wicking T-shirt

· Headgear such as bandana (these are also excellent gifts for hikers in your life)

· A warm jacket, a raincoat to shield from rainy weather

· Hand gloves (lightweight for warm weather, insulated for cold weather)


· Choose hiking shoes or hiking boots in line with the terrain of the overnight hike location.

· Two pairs of synthetic or wool socks

2. Food

During an overnight hike, it’s important to have the right nourishment. The key should be to strike a balance between choosing lightweight food and nutritional food. Hiking involves burning a lot of calories so it’s important to carry food that will offer enough energy.

As you shop for food, remember to buy snacks that can give you the required energy. Opt for lightweight foods such as nuts, dehydrated milk, rice, noodles and dehydrated refried beans. Breakfast should include food such as instant oatmeal. If you want to carry uncooked food, do not forget to carry cooking gear-cooking stove, to facilitate your cooking.

3. Water

You need to make sure you’re adequately hydrated. So make sure to bring enough drinking water. Don’t assume that water from a stream will be safe to drink and make sure you have enough supplies for an emergency. If you have to drink water from a nearby stream or lake, carry a purifier to purify the water.

4. Tent

Staying outdoors overnight in nature is an amazing experience. Nonetheless, it is important to be equipped with emergency shelter for maximum protection and comfort. Having a sleeping bag, tent, tarp or reflective blanket will provide both comfort and protection. Choosing the right backpacking tent for your adventure is probably the most important thing to consider. Make sure you get one that fits the environment and temperature as it can make a huge difference to your experience.

5. Backpack

You will require a backpack that is spacious enough to accommodate all your hiking gear. Select a bag that can comfortably carry all that you need. To select a quality backpack, try out some different types and shop around the various outdoor gear shops.

If you’re planning on doing some serious hiking, you may need a fairly large heavy duty backpack but it’s worth considering purchasing a carry-on backpack that you can also use as an all-purpose travel bag.

6. Sun protection

There are items you need to protect your body from the scorching sun. They are:

· Sunscreen

· Sunglasses

· Lip balm

7. First aid kit

When camping, you should always have a first aid kit. This is to ensure cuts, bites from spiders and snakes can be treated. In your kit you should have pain killers, adhesive bandages, nonstick sterile pads are essential.

8. Navigation tools

A map and compass are essential tools to aid in finding your direction to your particular hiking site.

9. Illumination gear

Lighting is important to facilitate visibility when cooking, setting up tents and walking in the dark. A flashlight or a head torch with new batteries should be among the items packed.

10. Miscellaneous items

Although not considered so important, these items promise a smooth hiking adventure. Examples are:

  • Plastic bags for disposing of waste and trash
  • Toiletries-toothpaste, toilet paper, biodegradable camping soap
  • A pocket knife-it proves helpful when cooking
  • A lighter or matchsticks for making a fire.Insect repellent is also crucial to ensure a comfortable night.

In essence, the items you pack for an overnight hike should guarantee comfort, safety and basic survival. Always double check to ensure no important hiking item is left out.

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