October 10, 2016 at 12:29 am #4093AnonymousInactive
Obviously I want to pack light when walking but what are some things that I absolutely should have with me?
October 11, 2016 at 12:44 am #4099BelindaKeymaster
Thanks so much for your question!
It does depend a bit on how long you’re walking for and the area you are hiking in.
What to pack for Day Bushwalk
For a day hike I like to take a small first aid kit, a light polar fleece (and depending on the location/forecast a waterproof shell – gortex or similar), drinking water and some snacks. I also have my phone for emergencies and my camera gear.
If the track is flat and gravel I may wear runners or walking sandles, otherwise its my hiking boots to make sure I have ankle support on uneven ground.
I would always recommend as a minimum having park notes and maps with you while walking but from a practical perspective if i’m in a busy park with lots of visitors and well marked tracks I don’t always take these.
I would always say its better to have the information with you and be prepared than just guess and risk getting lost! As a last resort you can snap a photo of the map on your phone at the information signage.
If I was walking in a remote area regardless of if it was overnight or just for the day I would have my GPS, spare batteries, compass and a proper map of the area with me as well.
What to pack for an Overnight Bushwalk
For an overnight hike at an absolute minimum I would also pack thermal pants and tshirt, a thicker polar fleece or down jacket, head torch & spare batteries, lightweight hiking tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, 2nd set of clothing, enough food for each meal and snacks, lightweight cooking gear (stove, saucepan) if you want hot meals or drinks), eating utensils, hat, sunscreen, additional water, rubbish & wet clothing plastic bags, additional first aid & toilet paper.
The above are some basics to get someone started, you may need more or less depending on where you are hiking (lots of water in central Australia, definitely no thick jacket in summer in the top end!) and some people carry extras like a blow up pillow, wine etc 😉
How to pack for walking is definitely one of those questions you could ask a 100 people and get 100 different answers (people tend to be passionate about it)! Some people would pack lighter than me, others would be even more prepared. As you saying, its finding that balance between packing light so your comfortable and enjoy the walk but ensuring you have the essentials you need!
Ultimately, not having the right gear shouldn’t stop people from getting outdoors (everyone should get to experience the happy place that is hiking!!!) but it should be taken into consideration when choosing the type, length and location of the walk.
I hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions!
Happy Bushwalking 🙂
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