How to Pack for a Weekend Adventure

February 12, 2017

The weekend is the perfect time to pack up and set out on a new adventure.

Whether you explore challenging mountain passes, paths that cut into lush woodlands or along sweeping coastlines, the items in your pack can make or break your weekend backpacking trip. No matter where you’re headed, these five backpack must-haves will set you up for an amazing weekend journey that’s fun, comfortable and rewarding.
Water Treatment Systems
Having a steady supply of fresh, clean water is always a main priority on any adventure to keep you healthy and hydrated. Look for systems that are lightweight, treat water quickly, require minimal maintenance and systems that can treat and store a decent volume. Unless you want to carry separate gear like chlorine dioxide tablets, purchase a water treatment system that filters the water and eliminates bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
Trail-Ready Food
Fuel your adventure with food that’s easy to pack, lightweight so it doesn’t weigh you down and hearty enough to satisfy you. Trail mix is great, but it’s not your only option. A few others include:
● Oatmeal Packets: Not only is oatmeal easy to make, you can use the packet as your bowl.
● Protein Powder: Add water, shake it up and you have an instant breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.
● Meats: Pouches of tuna, beef jerky and salami serve up big flavor — no refrigeration necessary.
● Instant Carbs: Rice, noodles, couscous and potatoes all come in instant, or quick-cooking varieties for a great starchy side.
● Freeze-Dried Meals: Lightweight and easy to pack, freeze-dried meals work great for lunch or dinner. Several companies offer tasty options, including Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry and Mary Janes Farm, which makes organic meals.
Sleeping Essentials
Because you’re carrying all your gear on your back, try to find sleeping essentials that are as lightweight as possible while offering enough warmth, cushioning and shelter from the elements. Three essentials include:
● Tents for protection from storms and cold nights
● Sleeping pads for extra warmth and cushioning, especially for pressure points like hips and shoulders
● Sleeping bags for warmth and comfort, even on the chilliest weekends
The Right Clothing
Deciding on the right clothing to pack is a challenge for many backpackers. After all, you don’t want to be carrying your entire closet on your back, but you don’t want to be stuck in the backcountry without an important item like:
● Outerwear: Look for gear that repels moisture while allowing your skin to breathe to avoid overheating.
● Insulating Layers: Wool, down and fleece are popular options to help ward off chilly nights and winter’s cold temperatures.
● Pants, Shorts, Shirts: Choose these items based on your activity level and the anticipated weather.
● Underwear and Socks: Look for undergarments and socks made with high-performance, moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfy.
Good Footwear
There’s real benefit to going light. Have you ever heard the old saying, “One pound on the foot equals five pounds on the back?” When you’re walking for long distances, heavy footwear will wear your legs out. Forget the heavy footwear and look for lightweight options like trail runners, and lightweight shoes that grip, feature breathable materials to let your feet breathe and offer rugged construction to withstand heavy use.
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