Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

Spring Backpacking Essentials

The art of filling your pack with what you think you need and what is actually needed is a lifelong task. If you were to ask 10 different hiking guides to empty out their packs you’ll find some pretty interesting items. A quick survey of our Blackberry Farm hiking guides and what they have as an extra essential was very revealing. Here are a few of the items that were brought out of well-travelled packs.

Emergency tarp
Bottle opener
Machete/collapsible bow saw Driver’s license
Water sandals
Small mirror
Credit card/Money
Biodegradable wet wipes
Lucky rock
Chocolate
Toilet paper
Cutlery
Water treatment
Pen/Paper
Duct tape
Black Bear skull
Super Glue
Bandana
Zip lock baggie
Flask
Whistle
Cell phone

You can imagine the amount of discussion that went into the “why and necessity” of each item. However the 10 Essential Items that all guides can agree on are universal.

Navigation (map/compass)
Sun Protection (hat/sunscreen/sunglasses)
Insulation (extra clothing/rain gear)
Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
First Aid Supplies
Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
Knife/Multi tool
Nutrition (extra food)
Hydration (extra water)
Emergency Shelter

Beyond the 10 Essentials it’s a known guides creed that Knowledge “what’s between your ears” should always be packed! So get that pack out whether for a day trip or an overnighter and start filling it up with the essentials, find a hiking partner and go hit the trail. The joy and benefits will follow. John Muir stated the benefits of putting on a pack and hiking beautifully, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”.