Backpacking Gear: What’s in the Pack

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So this weekend I took the clones on an overnight backpacking trip. Nothing extravagant just something local to get their feet wet. It’s become a right of passage that everyone gets to go on their first backpacking trip at 4. Which is fun but means I have to carry most of the gear since they’re little packs wont hold it and even if they did their little legs wont.

Pictured below is essentially everything I’ll be carrying for the trip. Only things not pictured are the sleeping bag, first aid kit, shovel and fuel can.
Top Row: Poncho liner, fleece, beanie, gloves, hard shell jacket, spare under garments
Second Row: Oldest’s hard shell, hoodie, spare clothes (under garments, pajamas and fresh set for the following day), sleeping pad, toiletries, tent.
Third Row: Food, Utensils, salt/pepper, matches, stove and fuel base, 2 head nets, water filter, flashlights, map, multitool, 550 cord and finally my standard survival kit with odds and ends.

As you can see my biggest problem is the tent since it is large and heavy there are not many good ways to pack it. I just put it vertical to one side in the main compartment an stuffed as much as I could next to it. You can mount it externally but you risk damaging it and then also having the weight moved out away from you as opposed to being close to your centerline. If I was going over night with adults or larger kids then t wouldn’t be a big deal as I would only be carrying my own clothes and the other items could be divided up amongst the group.

All packed up

They make all kinds of compression sacks, waterproof bags or storage pockets for clothing but you can always save a buck and just use zip locks. Just push all the air out and make sure it’s zipped all the way. One downside to these is you can pop or rip them if you are too rough with them, but they do work.

And on the topic of clothing this is what I use for trips.
On the left column I have the under garments. The shirts are a synthetic material, remember you want to avoid cotton. The socks are some decent boot socks. I think these are wool poly blend and cushioned. For and over night trip I just bring two of each, if it was a longer trip then I would do 3. You can still do just 2 but then you will need to wash and dry a pair every day.
The second column is the outer clothing, both nylon and lightweight. I prefer long sleeves over short anymore as a lot of dust gets kick up while hiking and exposed legs just means more you have to wash off at the end of the day. As well if there are bugs then you have to now make sure to cover your legs in repellant and then you also lack protection from scratches and sunburns. The thin long sleeve shirt is the same thought process, if it’s hot you can just roll up the sleeves and unbutton it. For a longer trip I would bring a second set or just an extra pair of pants or shorts to wear while cleaning the main set.
The third column is the cold/foul weather gear. It’s summer so pretty basic, a decent fleece and a hard shell jacket.
The forth column is the accessories, I usually take a beanie and gloves to boost up the warmth in case it gets colder that just the jackets can handle. The bandana is a must. I wore mine almost constantly, helps to cover your neck from the sun or bugs and when it gets hot I soak it with some water and it helps cool you down. Plus the usual wiping or nose blowing. And finally some decent boots.

The trip ended up being warmer than expected so half of the clothing didn’t get used at all. On the one hand that’s nice because everyone was comfortable but would be nice to not have to carry it. Although with the way murphy works if I hadn’t packed it then it would have been freezing.

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