The Essentials

When backpacking, it becomes quickly evident that packing light becomes a priority. The less one brings, the less one has to carry; thus, knowing what to pack is necessarily important. This list may be added to or taken away for any given climate, however, it should prove as a sufficient list for the novice.

When venturing out into the world, it is best to be over-prepared. It is better to have something and not need it, than need something and not have it. I have known backpackers who lugged huge packs, just to be prepared for every eventuality. Especially in the PNW, a rain jacket is always necessary. Even in drought stricken California, where I have done most of my wandering, a rain jacket is always a necessity, as is the rain fly for my tent. You never know when the sky will open up and pelt you with watery missiles. In the summer of 2012, my friends found themselves a day into walking the Lost Coast trails in Northern California, when it started to rain. Their belongings were as soaked as they were, and they had to walk home with wet socks. Always pack a rain jacket!

Go Suit
Long/short sleeve t
Shorts
Wool socks (2 pair)
Underwear/compression shorts
Hiking boots
Bandana
Hat

Stop Suit
Light (down) jacket
Pants
Fleece shirt

Rain
Rain jacket/pants

Sleep
Long johns
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad

Misc.
Swiss army knife
Spork
Bowl
Can opener (if bringing canned goods)

Of course, food will also have to be packed, however, that will require another Blog post entirely. The abovementioned should still provide readers with a general idea concerning the basic needs for every trip into the wild.

William McQuilkin

Will McQuilkin is a senior Communication major, hailing from a small California farm town in the San Geronimo Valley, often described as a hamlet. He has survived not one, but two surgeries on his right hand (pinky finger and thumb) due to baseball related injuries. His favorite candy is Sugar Babies.


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