We’ve gone over the 10 Essentials. Now we want to share some of our favourite backpacking extras. These are things that you don’t need to survive in the outdoors, but they will make your time outside much more enjoyable.
There are many different sounds you’ll experience overnight in the woods. Breaking branches, roaring rain, and the soft footfalls of animals hunting in the dark. These aren’t always the most relaxing sounds, especially when you’re new to camping. Having just a small foam barrier between you and these noises can be key to getting a good night’s sleep.
Most hiking first aid kits do not include antihistamines, but these pills can save you from the relentless pain of wasp sting or an allergic reaction.
This is one of those wonderful tools that has seemingly endless uses. From taping blisters to repairing gear, having just a few lengths of duct tape can take you from a tricky situation to a sticky situation (oh boy). Save space and wrap a few feet around your water bottle or lighter.
Once you get deep into hiking, you’re sure to collect dry bags of all sizes. We recommend carrying at least a 30g dry bag for your phone, your toilet paper, and a pair of socks.
A hacker version of a dry bag, you can put your phone in a ziploc bag to keep it protected from water. Most smartphones can be used through the bag so you don't sacrifice your device to the rain!
Bags on bags on bags! This is another tool that has multiple uses, and can help in many situations. Leave one in your bag to be used as a poncho, an emergency shelter, or to separate your wet clothes from the rest of your gear until you get a chance to dry it. They can also be used as a place to store garbage! Both the stuff you create, and the trash you find along the trail.
Do you remember Listerine Breath Strips? Okay well pocket shampoo is like that, except for it’s biodegrable, and freshens your entire body. Having something to clean yourself with is a huge luxury in the backcountry. They also make pocket soap, and pocket laundry wash, but we just use the shampoo for everything.
We couldn’t make a list of hiking favourites without including our own BTR stool. It’s ultralight, packable, and makes every campsite feel like home. We love it, that’s why we made it!
Bring a small rope that can be used to hang your food cache nightly, and also as a shoelace in case one breaks.
Believe it or not, there are times when you will actually be able to relax when backpacking. You may get rained out and have to stay put for an extra day, or you may get to camp early and have a chance to enjoy a rest in your hammock (another popular extra). Some of our favourite nature books are here.