What you should carry depends heavily on the duration of the hike and the climate of the area. An Appalachian Trail through-hikers will have a different set of needs, including a hiking Backpack than a day hiker only doing 10 miles.
Regardless, you should bring water (a water filter for collecting additional stream water throughout the hike), high protein, and fatty nourishments (think Olive Oil like or Brazilian Nuts). Doing so will reduce your pack weight (you want a higher caloric density). I prefer to bring some small, waterproof tarp (think 36×36). That’ll protect your clothes from the ground when you sit to rest or eat.
What Do You Need Other Than A Hiking BackPack?
Whether you need a compass/map is dependent on the trail conditions. Most shorter trails have nicely marked paths so that it may be unnecessary. Surprisingly, I had cell phone service for most of my PA AT hike, so it was hard to get lost.
Being someone who enjoys solitude, I also had a kindle with some books to read when I found a safe overlook.
I had many things in my pack (keep in mind I was hiking for two weeks in PA). I had a cell phone backup battery, multi-tool, lightweight summer sleeping bag, kindle, trekking poles (which I found slightly unnecessary). One must carry a change of clothes (rain jacket/sunglasses), phone (for pictures), and food materials (sport, coffee cup, bowl). And VERY IMPORTANTLY, a small first aid kit with bandages, wrap, medication, and other more minor things I found important (HAND SANITIZER).
My Experience: I did my first trek to Hampta pass and Chandratal 4 years back. I must say it was a very memorable experience. At that time, I was baffled regarding the backpack. After looking for many bags, I bought Mount track 55L backpack from Amazon. That backpack is still in excellent condition after three treks. It is durable, comfortable to hold, and can carry an optimal amount of load easily.
Main factors to consider while buying rucksack or trekking bag are fit, features and capacity
Things To Keep In Mind
There are generally three types of backpacks based on their position and length of your trip:
1. Weekend treks– These are for 1-3 nights trek. They are lightweight and come in sizes between 30-50L. These bags can carry 5kg of a load.
2. Longer treks– For 3-5 nights. They generally come in 3 sizes 40, 50, and 60L. You can easily cover a 5-7 day trek with a 60L backpack.
3. Extended treks– They are useful for more than a week-long trek. They can hold 15-30 kgs of a load.
Most important features that any backpack should have
· Lockable zippers for protection
· Multiple compartments to separate your stuff
· Padded back, hip belt and shoulder straps to make carrying it easy and comfortable
· Water-resistant material is just because it rains a lot on mountains
· Your bag should come with a rain cover. In Mount track, you will get it complimentary.
Some essential tips to finalize the right backpack
Try your bag and check its straps by loosening them properly.
Put some weight in your bag for better testing.
Check all the features of the bag and align it according to your body and comfort.