As the season of daylong hikes has started, my backpack becomes one of the
most important parts of my experience. I need to pack things to keep me warm
and safe, I need food and water, a small emergency kit, and equipment for my
When packing your hiking backpack the difficulty is to limit yourself to the
strict necessities – who doesn’t hate carrying an overly heavy load for hours
and hours! It diminishes the whole experience, and it’s really not necessary.
Obviously, what’s essential for me might not be essential for you, but here
is my list:
• ID card & Cash – in Switzerland you can’t use your credit card everywhere
• Map – scale 1:25.000. Yes, even if I know my way: I might change plans…
• Cell phone – for photography and as a safety device – used in flight mode!
• Compact camera – for pictures where I need a zoom lens
• Binoculars –to take a closer look at birds and other wildlife
• Tiny DIY notebook & pen – for impressions, thoughts & ideas
• Food – a nourishing lunch, toasted nuts & almonds, and dried fruit
• Drink – 2 x 6 dl of water or herbal tea in Sigg bottles. No sweet stuff!
• Swiss Army Knife – the smallest version. For apples, cheese etc.
• Protection against sun – sun screen (eco-friendly & strong), hat, and sunglasses
• Toilet paper – always used sparsely and properly buried afterwards 😉
• Minimal Medical Kit – plaster, bandage, disinfectant
• Sealable plastic bag – for whatever edible plants I find along my path
What about the backpack itself? I like Deuter bags for their stability, but they’re a bit on the heavy side. Lately I discovered Osprey bags – very lightweight and with lots of well thought through separate compartments, and porous padding for good comfort and air circulation. They come in nice colours too, and for once there is a small bag available not only in pink or purple, but in green. ☺
Thus equipped with a good backpack that fits my body size and that is filled with
anything but the bare necessities, I have lots of amazing hiking experiences –
if only my backpack could speak he’d tell you!