Backcountry camping is marked by a necessary scarcity: you only bring what you need. Anything else just slows your feet on the trail, making your experience more of a burdensome march than a joyful prance in nature!
There are a couple pieces of gear that you should seriously think about before hitting the trail though. With the right forethought and packing, these three items can make your next backcountry experience more comfortable, without weighing you down.
1. Good Food
This may seem obvious, but it’s at the top of the list for a reason: a lot of campers neglect either calories, or they neglect nutrition. Calories and nutrition are perhaps the number one item you need to have to be comfortable while on the trail because without them, you’ll feel sluggish and tired. Plus. it’s hard to enjoy the beauty of the backcountry when you can’t get your head out of your empty stomach!
We recommend packing a mix of lightweight freeze-dried or dehydrated food with dry and fresh items if you have the space and aren’t going for too many consecutive days. Freeze dried food tends to be more expensive, but to have a hot, tasty meal on the trail makes up for the cost. You could even try making your own backcountry food in advance using just your oven to dehydrate your meals! For snacking, keep some nuts in a little Ziploc to stash in your pocket – they’ll give you a boost of energy and keep you feeling full for longer!
2. The Right Rain Cover
Tent rain flies go without saying, but what about your pack? If you know you’re going through a particularly rainy area, do you have rain pants and gaiters? Keeping your body dry ensures you’re comfortable, and keeping the rest of your gear dry is just good karma. After all, There’s nothing worse than getting on the trail, getting wet, and having to scramble to use your tent’s rainfly as a makeshift bag cover!
At the very least, bring a pack cover. You could even try a $5 poncho for emergencies!
3. Dual-Use Equipment
Any gear you can bring that serves two purposes means one less item you have to carry. A multitool is a classic example: rather than carrying a knife, pliers, a saw, screwdriver, and other tools, you just need one item, which compacts nicely in your pack. Beyond the multi-tool, camping tech has evolved to the point where other major pieces of gear now serve multiple purposes
One piece of multi-use gear we’re particularly proud of is our Air Chair Plus, which compacts to a light weight and inflates to form both a camp chair and a sleeping pad. Most campers would begrudgingly rule against taking a camp chair into the backcountry, but every camper will take a sleeping pad. Our Air Chair Plus lets you take both.
PS – We’re giving away 10 Air Chair Plus’ every month this summer through our contest on The Dyrt–check it out!
What do you think makes the backcountry more comfortable?