Planning Your First Trip? Here’s a Guide on What to Prepare and Bring

The excitement of planning your first backpacking trip is unparalleled.

Knowing that you’re a few days or weeks away from being out there, exploring new lands and taking in all the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer is just something else. It doesn’t matter where you are going, because it will most certainly offer you something new and intriguing, and you will come back a different person. Planning that trip might be a bit confusing, especially if you don’t know what to bring with you. The success of your expedition will depend mostly on being well prepared and bringing along all the things that you might need. Here’s what you should bring with you. 


You need a decent backpack to hold all your belongings and items together. Finding the right backpack might be a bit tricky, because there are hundreds of different brands and shapes, and you want to get it right from the first time. An article at does a good job comparing the different backpacks you can bring along, as well as other different gear that is essential for your trip. It’s important that you read up on different reviews and takes on what people think of the gear, so you could make an informed choice while getting your own. 

Sleeping bag

A sleeping bag isn’t exactly a luxury when it comes to backpacking trips, but more of a necessity, especially if you plan on sleeping outdoors at some point during your journey. Sleeping bags come in different shapes and from various materials, which will come in quite handy since there are various terrains and conditions that you might be exposed to. This is why it’s important to plan ahead of your trip, because if you’re going into a colder climate, for instance, you’ll need a lined sleeping bag that could offer warmth. 


Not your cup of tea? Well, it has to be if you’re going backpacking. The last thing you want is to get stuck in the outdoors with no protection from sun rays which not only significantly damage your skin, but also cause a variety of problems like heat stroke. Protection from the sun is a must on such trips, and it will make your life much easier going forward. 


Just because you’re bringing a sleeping bag doesn’t mean you won’t need a tent. A sleeping bag is mainly there to protect you from the terrain, providing a little more comfort and protection from the weather. But if you plan on camping, a tent is your main shelter, and it is going to provide the protection you might need from the weather, flies, mosquitoes, and God knows what else out there. Tents also come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, and you’d do well to research the topic in advance to find out just what kind you’ll be needing. 


Even if you plan on making your way through hostels, lodgings, or guesthouses along the way, you still should pack cooking utensils because you will most definitely need them. You never really know if that cabin in the heart of the woods has any spoons, forks, or pans, and it won’t be fun if you can’t cook the chicken you packed along because you can’t find something to cook in. So, always be prepared and pack some basic utensils. 

Food and water

If you have the slightest suspicion that you might encounter situations on your trip where you might need food and water, pack plenty of both just in case. Some people backpack in the wilderness or through routes they are unfamiliar with, and in those cases, you should really bring food and water with you because you don’t know when you might need them. Pro tip: bring along water purification tablets like iodine. Those will help you purify the water you might find in possibly contaminated sources along your journey, and they are a real lifesaver.

Medical supplies

Whether you’re backpacking through the woods or staying at a 5-star hotel, you should always bring along a first-aid kit. There’s no telling what you might encounter once your journey begins, and it always helps if you’re prepared with bandages, disinfectant, and all the other contents of a first-aid kit with you. You should also remember to bring along any personal medications that you usually take because you might not find them wherever you’re going. It helps if you create a checklist of all your medications before you leave, and make a final check that you’ve packed everything before embarking on your trip. 

Personal hygiene products 

Got a favorite shampoo or conditioner? Pack it along. You might not find this at your destination, or it could be more expensive than what you’re used to paying. Don’t forget your own toothpaste and brush, as well as any other personal hygiene products that you regularly use. 

Appropriate clothing 

Backpacking is fun and everything until it starts raining on you when you least expect it. You should always read the forecasts before going, and you must bring along weather-appropriate clothing. Whether it is rain boots, coats, heavy socks, or any other pieces of clothes, being prepared saves you a lot of trouble and pain. 


There are some other products that you should bring along to make your trip smoother. For starters, always bring a GPS in case you get lost, but you should also bring a map as well as a compass. Technology is great but it can be unreliable at times. So it’s always best to be prepared with a good old-fashioned compass and a map. Don’t forget to bring along some fire starters as well if you plan on camping; they’ll make the process of starting a fire much easier. 


Backpacking is an experience you’ll never forget. But you need to be well prepared to really enjoy the journey, or things might go bad before you even know it. Create a checklist before you go, and make sure you have it all covered. Better safe than sorry, right?


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