If you love being surrounded by the beauty of nature, than backpacking is something you need to try. If you haven’t come up with a destination yet, here are some great multi-day hiking trails to consider.
But before going on a backpacking trip, you need to be extremely careful when it comes to picking what gear to bring along. Carrying a thing or two more than what you need can slow you down, tire you faster and overall complicate your trip. With that being said, backpackers need to pack as lightly as possible while also making sure they don’t get strand up in the middle of nowhere without the basic essentials.
Get Yourself a Practical Swag
As opposed to carrying a tent, many backpackers prefer to bring along a swag. You may be wondering what is swag? The swag is traditional to Australia. In the past, it was defined as a portable sleeping unit. Since back in the days there was no motor transport, people needed to travel long distance on foot, so they used swags as shelters to spend the night in. Today, a swag is basically a small one-person tent with a built-in mattress inside. It’s lighter and much easier to set up compared to a tent, and you don’t need to bring along an additional mattress.
But is a swag warmer than a tent? Well, it depends on the material it’s made of. As most swags Australia camping stores sell are made of the same material – canvas, be sure to get something made of 390+ gsm canvas which can offer more insulation. In general, the warmest and sturdiest swags are the ones made of a 400 – 450 gsm canvas. Also, make sure that the swag is listed as waterproof and rot-proof so that it can resist mildew and mould. This is crucial if you plan to backpack around a humid or wet area. And finally, you’d also want to choose a canvas with tear check and ripstop weaves instead of plain weaves since such a canvas is a lot sturdier and able to resist tearing.
When it comes to swags Australia backpackers can choose from three sizes: single, king and double. Single swags are around 60-90 cm wide and 180-230cm long. This is the smallest and most compact size and is good for people who want to pack lightly for their trip. But, if you need a bit of extra room to accommodate yourself, you may choose a king-size swag which measures 90-115 cm in width and is about the same length as single swags. And finally, there are also double size swags which are about 110-130 cm in width and 190-230 cm in length, thus allowing for two people to sleep together comfortably.
Don’t Overlook Water Treatment
When heading out on a multi-day hike, you need to consider your water supply. It’s simply impossible to carry all the water needed to satisfy your hydration needs, so you will probably resort to using streams and other natural sources. But these sources can be infected with bacteria and viruses which can not only cut your trip short but also make you sick and endanger your life.
To stay on the safe side, make sure to bring along a water treatment solution. This can be a water bottle with a filter or chlorine tablets. It’s important to note that water filters are only effective against bacteria and usually can’t kill viruses. On the other hand, chlorine tablets only sterilize the water and do not filter larger particles such as sand or dirt. So, in order to make sure you’re drinking 100% clean water, you may want to use a combination of a filter and tablets.
Carry a Reliable Flashlight
To adventure seekers, hiking and setting up camp at night sounds exciting. But if you don’t have a good light source with you, this can be more like torture than a fun experience. And don’t even think a simple flashlight will do. You need a flashlight that’s able to offer enough illumination so that you don’t get lost in the dark. In addition, you also need to bring along extra batteries so that your flashlight doesn’t die on you. You may even find using a headlamp a lot more convenient than a flashlight as it leaves both of your hands-free so that you can pitch a tent or make fire easily.
Bring Along Enough Food
Whether you’re taking a weekend-long backpacking trip or simply staying one night outdoors, make sure you have enough food. The lightest and easiest option is to bring along freeze-dried foods. But since these can be pricey, you may want to also consider other options such as packaged noodles or rice for lunch which can be cooked in a small pot over the campfire. Other lunch options include jerky, bagels, dried fruit and nuts. Snacking on high-calorie and high-protein energy bars can keep your properly nourished while on the trail.