As simple as backpacking may sound, there is more to it than meets the eye. It’s challenging to the veteran backpackers, just as it is to the rookies. What works for someone else wouldn’t necessarily work for you. Hence, you have to try several backpacking hacks until you find your comfort.

Despite all the uncertainties it brings, you need to make this outdoor experience adventurous as well as memorable. Below are some of the hacks you can employ for your next backpacking trip.

1. Start Packing Early

Even if you don’t have a specific date in mind, but you are planning a backpacking escapade, it’s better you start packing up. Packing usually takes longer than you might think. Ensure you pack all the essentials.

You will not only avoid the last-minute rush, but you’ll also pack everything that you need. Packing your stuff early is a backpacking hack that you shouldn’t ignore. You don’t know its impact until you are left with only a few minutes to ensure that you have your things in order.

2. Don’t Forget to Bring Your Vaseline

Carrying Vaseline should be your number one priority when it comes to backpacking. It has a ton of uses which come in handy especially in the jungle. It helps you soothe sunburns, abrasions, and blisters, which may be unavoidable when it comes to hiking.

Also, it moisturizes your skin and protects your skin from harsh weather conditions. Lastly, it works as a lubricant on tent poles and zips.

3. Get Rid Of Mosquitoes by Burning Sage or Applying Permethrin

Reapplying mosquito repellents can be tiresome. Mosquitoes suck, and they can prevent you from enjoying your backpacking nights. So just after lighting your camping fire, throw in the sage and let it help you get rid of those little bad guys. Apart from killing the mosquitoes, sage enables you to relax after a long hiking day. It clears the air and promotes mindfulness.

Another way to get rid of the mosquitoes is to treat your clothes with permethrin. Always be careful when applying it as it can be harmful to your pets. The best thing about this backpacking hack is, it lasts 4 to 6 wash cycles, so there’s no need for reapplying it every time.

4. Start Your Fire Using Corn Chips or Cotton Balls

When it comes to damp conditions, starting a fire can prove to be problematic. Hence you need to think of the most genius ways to get out of this situation. Apart from being yummy and helping you gain the sodium that you lost during hiking, corn chips can be an excellent way to start a fire. They burn slow and steady. Some of these corn chips include; Fritos, Doritos, and corn tortilla chips.

But if you are health conscious, then wax-dipped cotton is your best bet. The cotton balls are easy to make and are insanely valuable fire starters especially after a heavy downpour.

5. Have an Emergency Kit

You will encounter unpredictable moments in your trail journey. The emergency backpack needs to be easy to grab. It should also have essential items like food, a map, a medical kit, a lighter, and any relevant survival equipment. The goal is to ensure whenever an emergency occurs, you can quickly attend to it.

6. Keep Your Supplies Dry (Including Your Sleeping Bag)

When you decide to pitch your tent, ensure you do this in a flat area with proper water drainage. Avoid pitching your tent in low spots in the camp or a valley, 200 feet near a water source. You don’t want the water to ruin the party. Also, wrap your sleeping bag in a waterproof container even if the backpack claims to be waterproof. You can achieve this by using heavy-duty trash back as they are excellent and affordable too.

7. Store Your Food Properly

Food poisoning sucks – that’s just one of the reasons to ensure your food is packed nicely. Plus, monkeys and squirrels can be pretty annoying when it comes to stealing your food. So ensure you pack up and store your food properly to avoid such nuances.

8. Make Your Own Backpacking Stove

Instead of carrying a backpacking stove, why not invest and make one yourself. The process is not only fun but also sparks your creativity as a backpacker. You can use an aluminum can, a pocketknife, alcohol for fuel, and other common materials to make a lightweight stove. The best part is; there are several designs, and so you can experiment with one that works well with you.

9. Use a Pill Bottle to Store Your Match Sticks

Is this necessary? Of course, yes. You can’t deny the importance of match sticks in backpacking. A pill bottle ensures your match sticks remain dry at all times. You need to store several matches in the pill bottles. Also, cut a striking paper from the matchbox and paste inside the pill lid. Don’t forget to add a fire starter to the pill bottle if there’s room.

10. Get Tips from Fellow Hikers on the Trail

It doesn’t hurt to say hello to those who are going in the opposite direction from you. You get to interact with them. Ask them for tips on how to maximize your adventures. You can ask for attractive campsites, safety tips, enthralling spots for site viewing, and also water sources.

Kelvin Mwathi