There is a unique thrill that comes with the anticipation of a multi-day hike, surrounded by the beauty of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, the key to a successful and enjoyable backpacking adventure lies in thoughtful preparation and efficient packing. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential steps to ensure you’re well prepared for your journey with your friends into the great outdoors.
We are off to trek The South Coast Track in the south, west of Tasmania in 10 days. We have been sorting and shopping, packing and unpacking, working out the best palace for everything in our packs and of course training with our loaded pack on!!!
Before you hit the trail, research your chosen destination thoroughly. Understand the terrain and weather conditions (for the time that you will be there). This knowledge will help you with your packing list and help you make informed decisions about what you will need.
Plan your route or follow the existing trail considering daily distances, obstacles (river crossings) and altitude to be gained, camping spots and water resources.
Create a detailed checklist for gear, clothing and essentials. This includes a reliable backpack, sleeping bag, mattress, tent, cooking equipment, water carrying, appropriate clothing, navigation tools and first aid.
Weather appropriate clothing
Pack layers for varying weather conditions. Consider lightweight, moisture wicking fabrics and a water proof out layer. You don’t need clean clothing for every day, you will get used to re-wearing the clothes from the day before.
Choose comfortable, waterproof, sturdy hiking boots. Make sure you wear these boots multiple times before whilst training to ensure they meet all your requirements. You need to break them in before the trip to avoid blisters. Bring spare laces.
Invest in a quality sleeping bag suitable for the expected conditions. Carry a comfortable sleeping pad for insulation and support. You need to sleep well at night to be refreshed for the next day. Use packing cubes or stuff sacks to comparmentalise items. Place frequently used items in accessible outer pockets.
Food and Water
Plan and pack lightweight, high calorie meals.There are so many GOOD labels selling dehydrated food nowadays. Carry your stove and cooking equipment. Remember if you are flying to your destination you will need to purchase fuel when you get there. Carry a reliable water purification system and a sufficient water supply and know where the water sources are on your multi-day hike.
Bring a map, compass, GPS device or download maps of the trail onto your phone via apps. Familiarise yourself with the trail and its markers.
First Aid Kit
Include essentials like snake and other bandages, pain relievers, blister treatment and any personal medications. Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellant! Know how to use all the items in your kit.
Leave no trace Principles
Follow leave no trace principles to minimise your environmental impact. Dispose of waste properly and respect nature. Carry everything out if there are no facilities to leave rubbish.
Share your itinerary with someone reliable. Carry an emergency whistle, torch, extra batteries and an Epirb.
Test and adjust
Conduct many trial pack walks to ensure everything fits and is easily accessible. Adjust based on weight distribution and comfort.
By following this guide and tailoring it to your specific needs, you’ll be well prepared for a multi-day hike.
Remember, thoughtful preparation enhances the experience, allowing you to focus on the
beauty of nature and the company of your team.