Rest and Wild

The Beginner's Guide to Backpacking

September 06, 2019

The Metamorphosis

As far as I can tell, a day-hiker miraculously transforms into a backpacker simply by spending the night on the trail. But while, by this definition, shivering awake in the dark technically qualifies, you are probably interested in a bit more comfort, especially if you're just starting out because the idea is, of course, not simply about enduring a night, but about stringing together multiple days in the wilderness, self-supported, so that the world becomes more accessible to you. If this idea intrigues you, this article covers the backpacking essentials you need to prepare for your first backpacking trip.

The set of gear you take with you is your kit. It's personalized to you and evolves as you grow as a backpacker. For a first trip, it's tempting to bring more than you need, just in case, but this can hamper your trip before you even get started. Weight is your enemy. The lighter your kit, the farther and longer you'll be able to go. This list covers the necessities for a beginner.


Two liters per day. Water will be your heaviest gear. Save weight by bringing a filter and filling up along the way.




Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad





Map and Compass