10 backpacking essentials

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    10 backpacking essentials

    If you are just starting to hike, you have certainly heard many tips on what you should carry. Of course, everyone is ticking differently, but in principle, it all breaks down to 10 essentials . Anything else that you could pack or like to pack, you can confidently subsume under the heading "pack your fears", so "everyone packs his fears in the backpack". There's nothing wrong with that, only the backpack will get a lot heavier. Therefore, always try to buy the lightest gear, because the essentials listed below are always, always in your backpack!

    Map & compass

    Karte und Kompass

    At least a generous map section covering the targeted area, of course packed waterproof. The handling of map and compass should already be practiced in advance. On the trail, you can always look at the map and try to locate yourself on the map using striking terrain points, intersections and so on. The more practice you have in it, the easier it will be for you. With the compass, the first step is orienting a map, to get the correct alignment to the north. The next steps are, for example, the triangulation, ie measuring intersection of three different terrain features. That's all it takes for the beginning. Map and compass are essential, as GPS devices and smartphones depend on a power supply, while maps and compass always work.



    Extra clothing, ie a fleece, gloves and spare socks are part of every backpack. It obviously depends on which season and whether and how far away from car and civilization you are. As an absolute minimum I take a pair of spare socks and a light windbreaker, because even in summer you can get wet feet, or the wind can freshen up uncomfortable. In autumn and winter I also have an insulated seat cushion on board, as well as an extra fleece and replacement gloves. In the late afternoon it gets very cold very quickly, I'm glad for every additional layer.



    A small lamp, whether flashlight or headlamp, always belongs in the backpack. This includes the appropriate replacement batteries, which should be packed watertight. If you are a little late or something unforeseen happens, you might want to be able to walk in the dark.

    sun protection 


    As sun protection I count sunscreen, sunglasses and a headgear. In very sunny weather, in summer, in the desert or very high up, a sun hat with a wide brim offers a lot of UV protection. I already had skin cancer on my name, so I pay close attention to it. An very important part of my 10 essentials.

    First aid & Hygiene

    Erste Hilfe

    Depending on the group size and tour, a minimum First aid kitis sufficient. Some plasters, blister plaster, disinfectants, strong painkillers, elastic bandage and possibly bandages and a rescue blanket are sufficient. In case of injuries that are no longer treatable, the tour is over anyway and you have to request external help. For me hygiene also includes disinfecting hand cleaning gel. Of course, some toilet paper is also good on longer tours. There are small and light shovels, so please dig a cathole for your legacies.

    Emergency shelter


    A waterproof Biwaksack Should belong to the emergency equipment anyway and can save lives at best. The things do not have to weigh much and are not expensive. At best, you never need it, but spending a night in the snowy winter forest is an essential part of the survival kit.



    Waterproof packaged tinder (grille lighters are great and cheap) and a small lighter in the event of a fall for heat and can protect against hypothermia. If something went completely wrong, a strong smoldering signal hum is far to see. Therefore, one of the most important 10 essentials is to make a fire.



    Some Gaffa, or duct tape probably everyone has wrapped around his trekking poles. It repairs a lot. A small pocket knife is also enough, nobody needs a big knife. A few safety pins, a normal, thicker needle and a few feet of floss used as a thread (and for hygiene) hardly weigh anything, but you can also mend the backpack or fix the carrier if necessary.



    Having emergency food with you is always an advantage. In the worst case you have to endure one night to go on the next day. Some granola bar, or even a special emergency ration, help out of the calorie deficit and give you strength for the way back.



    Finding water is no problem in our latitudes. The Problem is the pollution of the water, A small, lightweight water filter or some tablets of Micropur or Aquamira liquid makes drinking water from a clear stream.



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