This is not an exhaustive hiking gear list, It is just a list of essentials and certain items that are a good idea to have around for an overnight backpacking trip in the Chilliwack area. Inevitably a list will be missing something.
General Backpacking/Camping Gear:
- Backpack that holds 60 or more litres.
- Sleeping bag. Down is lightest but also costs more and is useless when wet. Beware the Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire bags that boast big minus temperature ratings. A good, real rating for a bag should be at least -2 Celsius. -10 Celsius is nice and toasty. You can always wear more clothes to bed to boost the temperature rating.
- Tent. Obviously everyone does not need their own tent. Pair up with a friend who is coming along or borrow one or we will try to pair you up with another suitable and mutually agreed upon registrant.
- Ear plugs are a good idea at times like this too.
- Sleeping pad. There are too many options to mention, but pick one.
- Head lamp or Flashlight
- Knife (Swiss Army size is fine, we’re not looking for a Rambo combat model)
- Sun screen (The alpine sun gets pretty mean)
- Bug spray
- Toilet paper (outhouse may or may not be stocked if there is an outhouse at all)
- Bio-degradable soap
- Garbage and laundry bag. Garbage bags make great back pack liners in wet weather.
- First aid supplies. Bring mole skin if your feet tend to blister.
- Towel. This can even be a bandana
- Map and compass. Try to learn a few basic principals of wilderness navigation. Many people carry a map and compass and have no idea how to use them. Don’t be one of those people.
- Water bottles
- Coil of light weight rope. It can be used as a bear cache, clothesline, emergency shoelace, etc.
- Water purification system – pills or pump
- Drink crystals – optional but nice to flavor not-so-good-tasting water you’ve run through a water purifier or used iodine tablets in
Layering is the way to go. you want more options than a t-shirt or down parka. Try to avoid bringing cotton or thick wool clothing. Cotton stays wet for a long time and offers little warm. Wool is warm but takes a long time to dry. There are, however, some great new Merino wool products out these days that are much lighter and dry faster. They’re costly but worth the cost. Jeans are terrible to hike in, so leave them at home. Clothes, like any backpacking item, are tricky to choose due to weight and bulk restrictions. You cannot be completely ready for absolutely everything, but you should have enough to get you through it safely .
- Proper footwear. Use boots with good support. Never take brand new, never-used boots on a long hiking trip. Break them in first on many shorter hikes.
- Rain gear. Bring a waterproof jacket. Gore Tex is best. Rain pants are optional if the weather forecast looks good.
- Hat. To keep off the sun and rain.
- Warm hat – ie toque for cold nights around the fire and cozy sleeping
- Synthetic long underwear (it gets very cold up in the mountains at higher elevations at night even in the summer)
- Fleece jacket
- Synthetic hiking pants
- Bug proof head net is a nice, though not exactly stylish, option
- Light weight camp shoes or sandals (not essential, but very nice to have)
Food and Cookware:
On a short backpacking trip you can get away with bringing any food that will stay preserved over a day in a warm or hot back pack and fill your belly. On a longer trip you have to have a well balanced, performance based diet. Always try to find simple meals that don’t involve a lot of complicated ingredients and lots of dishes. Remember that cooking in the wilderness is not as comfortable and convenient as your own kitchen. There are many backpacking cook stoves available and I wont get into describing them. You can even make your own alcohol stove (check out YouTube for directions). Pots can be expensive titanium all the way down to an old soup can. Here are a few food recommendations.
- Bagels. Versatile and bombproof. A regular loaf of bread will be destroyed in the first hour of a trip.
- Instant potatoes and gravy. It doesn’t sound good now, but in the mountains its hot, fast and tasty.
- Oat meal or cracked grain cereal. Seven grain cereal packs a lot of energy.
- Instant soup packets. Nice to warm you up in the evening.
- Hot chocolate
- Trail mix. Raisins, peanuts, etc
- Cheese. I get serious cheese cravings when hiking
- Pasta in whatever form
- Granola bars
- Energy bars
- Dried fruit