So often, we think that backpacking is all about loading up the pack and going out for multiple nights. That’s not always possible when you have a family and a lot going on. What I’ve done is I have just a day pack that I carry for short excursions.
When I say daypack, I’m not just talking about hiking for a couple of hours and coming back in. I’m talking about hiking for the day. Going out, setting up a little camp at lunchtime, and then hiking some more after lunch.
Getting outside and connecting with the wilderness and the backpacking experience any way you can is always important. I use this pack which comes with our stuff, hammock, stove, everything. It comes to 8 pounds and I’m going to show you what’s in it and how it’s set up. Let’s check it out.
My Day Pack:
The pack I usually use is one that can be stuffed down into a little pouch, so it’s really light and easy to use, but I’ve had it on many trips, and it holds up really strong. The following are my day hike essentials:
- I’ve got a water bottle. Each one of my kids also carries their own water bottle, so they have a water source.
- I have a hammock with straps inside.
- I also bring a little blowup pillow because it’s most comfortable that way.
- I have this Frisbee that I’ve had forever that’s awesome for backpacking. It collapses down The kids just play a lot with this when they’re just sitting around waiting for food to get made.I always have a couple of extra granola bars and things on the front pack pouch so that I can quickly grab them out if anybody wants a snack.
- I’ve got my bowl, spoon, stove, fuel, lighter, and pots for heating up water. A lot of times we just use a hydrated meal that we can quickly cook up and have something.
- I also carry oatmeal, peanut butter, and whatever else we might bring. We might bring cheese or hickory sticks, something like that.
Then I have an emergency bag that I carry all the time in any gear or rig that I have. In this thing I’ve got the following;
- Headlamps and another light if I need it,
- A fire starter, something for striking as well as a lighter.I carry a little bit of medicine and medical kit as well as hand warmers when it gets cold.
- A pen if I needed to write something down.
- A 550 paracord for all kinds of stuff.
- I’ve got a water purifier just in case. It’s always in there.
This is what I carry at all times no matter where we are outdoors.
As you can see, you can set up a nice little camp with just a little bit of gear. Take the time to spend a day out in nature. Don’t just think, “I can’t stay the night, so I’m not going to go for a backpacking trip.” Set up a little backpack. Go out for the day. Stop at lunch, or stop at dinner. You’ll realize that you’ll find some really cool places to stop, take it in for a while, and really enjoy. You can cook your meal. You can play and games. You can just relax and take a nap.
It’s truly the heart of backpacking. Whether you stay the night or not, and you don’t have the time, try it out.