The “Must-Have” Trio for Your Fall Backpacking Adventure


The “Must-Have” Trio for Your Fall Backpacking Adventure

by Amy Lignor


When you talk about a backpacking trip, you don’t feel the heaviness or the hard work laying ahead like you do when planning a major camping trip. After all, when it comes to the backpacking trip, you only have a small amount of space to fill with the “must-haves” to make your journey the best it can possibly be.

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Backpacking in the fall is refreshing. Getting out and taking in those beautiful views – landscapes decorated with those stunning multi-colored leaves – and enjoying the air temperature that’s just low enough to wash away that summer sweat, but hovering above those temps that urge Old Man Winter to release a monstrous snowstorm. But if you want to be able to enjoy it all and make sure you have the necessities with you that won’t weigh you down, then make sure that these three “must-haves” are packed.


One of the pricier items you’ll buy for your backpacking trip is the one you will use all the time and one that you want to be just right in order to be comfortable on those overnight trips. Finding a tent that is suited for backpacking is far different than buying a tent for “car camping.” You need to pay special attention to how much the tent weighs. And, unfortunately, the lighter the tent often means the higher the price because it is created from more expensive materials. However, it is possible to find that perfect item. Product lines being sold are filled with roomy tents for one person, all the way up to three people. Some models even include battery-powered LED lights integrated into the seams of the tent which will provide an even, ambient light, taking away those horrible blinding headlamps.


The second most important item to fill that fall backpack is a quality sleeping bag. You are looking for three things when it comes to the sleeping bag: weight, warmth, and how easy it compresses and can be packed. Some look to purchase one bag to use over three-seasons; if that’s the case for you, make sure to get a sleeping bag rated for use at a minimum temperature of 15 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you will have to choose between a bag filled with down feathers or synthetic materials. Down bags are known for being warmer, lighter and easy to compress, which of course makes them more expensive than synthetic bags, but it’s worth it. Like the tent, the bag is an investment for that backpacker who loves getting outside and staying there as long as possible. Not to worry, though, if your camping budget can’t take a huge hit, there are various companies making synthetic bags that are far more advanced (i.e., Mountain Hardware).


Last, but not least, you want to get that perfect, lightweight cooking system. If you are spending more than just a little time enjoying your fall backpacking trip, you need to be able to feed yourself. Unlike car camping, which allows you to bring coolers full of food and all cooking utensils, backpacking requires that you carry your cooking tools at all times. But that does not mean you can’t have good meals out there. The industry speaks highly of the Jet Boil Flash Cooking System, which is a compact tool that’ll quickly boil a few cups of water. There are hundreds of easy, yet still tasty, freezer bag cooking recipes that only require the addition of boiling water, so you will have no trouble eating hearty and being able to pack up and carry everything with you the next day.


One other item to think about that does not necessarily have to be carried in the backpack can help make the backpacking journey a heck of a lot more fun and convenient. That item is investing in trekking poles. Trekking poles help distribute some of the weight you’re carrying off your legs, and provide you with better balance while trekking over the uneven areas Mother Nature likes to hide. With extra weight on your back, your balance can easily be thrown off, which means the trekking poles come in handy while climbing steep trails, and provide extra stopping power while going downhill. In addition, they do fold down into a packable size.


So now that you’re packed and have that “must-have” canteen filled with water in your hand, get out there and enjoy all the colors and scents that autumn has to offer.




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