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Backpacking today as compared to decades ago

With the advent of modern technology, backpacking nowadays isn’t quite as hard as it was a few decades ago. And yet, its value in terms of character development and appreciation for the world around us has not diminished. Backpacks have also become lighter and more ergonomic adding to better comfort and style says bidvest car rentals.

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Nowadays there is no need to bring a lot of things that was deemed essential before. Things like maps, books, writing materials, cameras, compasses are a thing of the past.

Nowadays all of these items can be found as features on the latest smart phones. Items that serve many functions have essentially trimmed the weight the backpacker has to carry in order to survive in the wilderness or in another country. These changes should be embraced and used to your advantage. By capitalizing on modern technology’s improvements you can do away with bulky items and make room for other stuff that you might need on your journey.

A multi-purpose tool saves space and does not add too much weight to your pack. In fact, it might even save you from carrying too much weight as a multi-purpose tool is equivalent to more than 2 items you might need to carry. For example, a Swiss Army knife has a couple of screwdrivers, a file, a can opener, a spoon, a fork, a small saw, a corkscrew and of course, a knife included in its small package. Think of all the weight and space you’ve just saved because of that!

The basic gear you should have in your backpack

Now you need to know the basic gear that you should have in your backpack

Your Backpack

The first thing you need is a light backpack to start with. Pick a backpack that is made of light materials and yet durable enough to withstand the wear and tear it is going to experience during your travels.

For heavier loads you need a backpack that has a support frame to ease the load your back will be experiencing during long treks. Oh, and one last thing: you also need to make sure that your backpack is waterproof. Nothing ruins a good day than all of your stuff getting wet during your trip.

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A multipurpose knife or tool

A good example of a multipurpose knife or tool is a Swiss army knife. It basically has everything you need to survive just about anywhere. The basic items you will find in a typical army knife is the knife itself, some screwdrivers, a small saw, a spoon, a fork, a corkscrew and a metal file. This should help tide you over in emergencies.

Fire implements

Bring along a lighter or some matches to ensure you can light a fire for warmth or for cooking. A disposable butane lighter commonly found in sporting goods shops or convenience stores should suffice. Some matches will also do the trick. Expert backpackers bring along lighters that are wind resistant to ensure they can still light a fire even in adverse weather conditions.

Specialty matches like Strike Anywhere’s should also solve the issue of lighting a fire in any weather condition. For good measure bring along some tinder or some cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly to easily light a campfire. Make sure that after you’re done, you extinguish the flames with sand or water before embarking on your next journey. You don’t want to be the cause of a forest fire.



If there’s something that has remained true to its form since the early days of camping or backpacking it would probably be cordage. You can bring along a simple rope or to catch up with modern times, bring along a Para-cord. Para-cords are extremely popular with backpackers because of its strength and durability.

Dried food

Calories are always spent in every activity you partake in. and these calories need to be replaced. Now, backpacking is a high calorie burning activity and you need to ensure that you keep replenishing those calories to continue with your journey. To cut down on weight, bring along some granola bars or some nuts. More experienced backpackers bring MRE’s for heavier meals or more nutrition.

A water container You will get thirsty as you walk and you will need water to make sure you are always hydrated. In the past, backpackers brought along water canteens with them but recent technological advances have enabled modern backpackers to bring along more water without feeling too heavy.

These new age water containers are often called camel backs and can be carried like a backpack as well with a hose that reaches the backpackers mouth easily. This way you won’t have to stop to unscrew the cap on your water canteen and take a swig of water. You can keep on walking and when you feel thirsty just pop the straw into your mouth and suck enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Another modern advancement is the life straw.

Originally developed as a means for people in economically distressed areas to at least have clean, potable water, the life straw eventually ended up in the hands of backpackers and is an excellent way to keep yourself hydrated along the trail without bringing too much water on you.

All you have to do is pop the small, cylindrical tube’s end into a body of water and suck. The internal workings of this amazing device will filter out all of the imperfections in the water and deliver clean water to your mouth. It even works in muddy water. Of course it doesn’t affect the taste but at least you know that you’re drinking clean water through the life straw!

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Vitamins and minerals

Going on a backpacking trip is going to mean you’ll be away from a lot of things you’ve become accustomed to. Proper nutrition is going to be a daily challenge. In order to ensure that your body is up for the challenge, make sure you pack some vitamins and minerals to bolster your diet.

A change of clothes

Only pack the number of clothes you will actually need on your trip. And if you fall short, make sure you know how to hand wash your clothes so that you won’t be bringing too many on your trip.

The basic gear you should have in your backpack should serve a purpose which is to help you survive in the situations you’re going to put yourself through. Make a list and be critical about the items you’re bringing so that you won’t have to deal with excess baggage for useless items.