When it comes to spending the night outside, it is much better to be over-prepared than under. Going on an overnight hiking trip where you have to carry your gear, you want to consider the weight of your pack. A lot of camping gear is designed to be lightweight, but overpacking can be devastating to these kinds of trips. Here are a few things to consider that are a must-have on an overnight camp.
Warm and Dry
The key to staying warm is first to be dry. Therefore, it is important that clothing be designed to dry quickly or keep you warm even if it is wet like materials that wick away sweat. When it comes to layering, soft-shell jackets are now made with warm fleece on the inside and an outer shell that is water resistant and blocks wind. Therefore, you are covering multiple bases with only one article of clothing.
On a hiking trip you will be burning a lot of calories and it is important to replenish those calories with the right foods. High protein and carbs are great to help keep energy up. There are a wide assortment of freeze-dried meals that are lightweight and easy to cook. You can also usually find some easy-to-pack cooking kits to help get your meals started. They can be found at any outdoor supply store. High protein snacks like trail mix are good on the trail as well.
Remaining hydrated is possibly the most important aspect of being out on an overnight hike. Water is heavy, so on a long trip it might be helpful to have water purifiers, like iodine drops or filtration systems. You should also bring waterproof matches so you can always make a fire.
Staying warm at night can be difficult without the proper camping gear. All sleeping bags have a temperature rating, so choose the one best for the time of year you’re going. Shelter is also good for protection against precipitation or wind. A waterproof, lightweight tent is a great thing to have. Most tents are rated for three seasons, mesh windows or tops are great for ventilation and a removable rain fly will protect against rain or if it gets too windy. When researching tents it is important to look for easy assembly as well as lightweight.
To summarize, the most essential things to bring on an overnight hike would be a soft-shell jacket; high-protein, high-carb food; a water purifier, fire-starter kit, sleeping bag, and a tent rated for the season. Have fun on your trip!