Hiking is one of the most enjoyable and fun activities you can engage in. For the avid hikers, it’s about exploration, seeing the world in another angle and having fun enjoying the environment around them. Hiking is also healthy in that you are exposed to fresh air and you are also doing exercise. You don’t have to hit the gym every single day while you can go for a hike on the weekend.
With all this said and done, what do you need to go for a hike. It first depends on where you are going for the hike, how long it will take to get there and how long you intend to stay. It’s safe to have all the information you need before you go on a hike alone for the first time.
There are numerous things you need to know; like how to attach sleeping bag to backpack, how to start a fire without burning the whole forest, how to store clean drinking water and so many other things. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials of backpacking.
This is a must have if you want to have a successful, long lasting and enjoyable hike. A backpack is the core of any hiking or backpacking trip. While this might seem obvious, you have to be cautious when getting one. You have to determine the items you need to carry so you can buy the right sized pack and with as many compartments as possible. Your hiking trip is going to be comfortable if you have a comfortable and well balanced load on your back.
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These include camping tents, trekking poles, headlamp, waterproof jacket and pants among many others. The hiking gear goes inside the pack and that’s why we said you need the right sized bag.
This is a general term for cooking utensils, food and water. You don’t have to carry water if you are going camping where there is enough drinking water. This means a clean source of water not any water source. You can also carry a water purifying system.
These are just a few of the things you have to carry. We won’t dwell so much on all but we will explore further on the backpack.
Once you have the right backpack for you, it’s time to start packing. It might sound like a walkover but trust me it’s not. A well packed bag is perfectly balanced, the weight evenly distributed and doesn’t sway around. Your trip might get easier or harder by the way you pack all your items in the pack.
How do you attach a sleeping bag to the backpack?
This is the real question which backpackers and hikers alike struggle with. The answer to this is packing the items correctly. After everything goes into its place inside the pack, the sleeping bag has to be attached at the bottom or top of the backpack depending on the design of the pack.
Let’s do this step by step:
Put the sleeping bag in the compression sack and secure it inside. The compression sack is used to minimize the size of the sleeping bag to a manageable size. This is a standard to sleeping bags specifically designed for backpacking purposes.
The compression bag should have cords on every side. Tighten by pulling the cords tight on every side. Make sure you compress the bag evenly on all sides.
In the event of rain or light showers, you would want to protect the sleeping bag from getting wet. Otherwise you will be forced to prematurely end your trip, spend the night in the cold or have a very uncomfortable night. All of which aren’t pleasing for a hike. To avoid this, place the sleeping bag in a plastic cover or dry bag. Close the bag fully and seal it to keep away any moisture.
Pack all the other items inside the back pack. Before attaching the sleeping bag to the backpack, load all the other items inside the bag. The order here is the lighter items that you don’t need the most go first. Next are the heavy items at the middle of the pack. The heavy items should be placed against the back and centered. The light items that you need on the go should go on the top side of the pack.
The sleeping bag is among the items that are strapped outside the backpack and is among the last items on the bag. If you have an external frame backpack, attach the sleeping bag onto the lower part outside of the pack. Most of the backpacks today are designed with straps used to tie the sleeping bag on the right position on the backpack.
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This step varies depending on the design of the backpack. Some have the straps on the side, bottom or upper side of the bag. It is up to you to determine the design you want when purchasing the backpack. Keep in mind that the balance of the pack is also determined by the position of the sleeping bag.
Attach the sleeping bag to the straps on the backpack. The sleeping bag should be as close as possible to your back so that it doesn’t snag affecting your balance. The straps on the backpack will help you do this and hold it securely on the backpack.
Center the sleeping bag under the main backpack and wrap the straps round the lash points. The straps should be placed few inches from each end of the sleeping bag.
Make sure the sleeping bag is tightly tied on the backpack. It shouldn’t jiggle around but instead, it should move with the pack.
You can also pack a sleeping bag inside a backpack if you have ample space for everything. This is better as compared to strapping it on the side if you have adequate space. There are internal frame backpacks with large compartments specifically designed to store a sleeping bag.