As you are reading this, my brother, sister and I are loading our packs and headed out on a three day backpacking journey in Banff, Canada! We are so excited about this, but it took a lot of planning. I wanted to give you a glimpse of what we did to make this happen.
First, do you remember all the stuff we packed to hike the Grand Canyon? In case you missed it, here is that breakdown:
- The Backpack: See all this gear? Somehow, SOMEHOW, most of it fit in this little backpack! I carry a women’s Marmot, and it is probably just the “weekend” size. So far, I have only taken 2-3 day trips. Any longer trips, and I will need a larger pack.If you’re choosing a pack, here are some things to keep in mind:
– Frame size: Be sure that your pack fits your body. Just because you need more room doesn’t mean you should order a size up.
– Volume: How much room is in your pack, and how many things will you need to take on your trip?
– Weight: The lighter the better. Always.
- Sleeping pad: These are not necessary, but when you are sleeping on the jagged canyon rocks along a fault line, it makes a big difference. BONUS, the sleeping pad is perfect for breaks on the trail or laying along the river to read your book.
- Sleeping bag: My sister told me over and over again to get a temperature rating for 20, 15, -5, -20… and I got a temperature rating of 30. If you plan to camp in high altitude, or a season other than summer, you should get a temperature rating for lower than 30. This is coming from someone who moved from the tent to the car for warmth.
- Dromedary: If you have confirmed access to water for each day of your trip, it is likely that you don’t need one of these. If you are hiking to a lake or river and have a filter, you probably won’t need one of these. If you are hiking into the Grand Canyon and the main water pipe just broke (again) this is a good way to ensure you will survive. We each carried 10 liters of water along with smaller water packs, and although it added 20 pounds to our packs, we were sure glad we had the backup water when we reached our first campground and learned that the pipe had burst.
- Hydration Pack: I am a big fan! I have learned to use the 2.5 liter pack and refill as needed to help monitor and pace the amount of water I am drinking. Extra points if your backpack has an opening for your hose… easy sipping.
- Tent: I don’t have a fancy minimal backpacker’s tent that ways .3 pounds and inflates in the wind. I have a clunky 4-person Coleman that shields us from wind/rain/animals and is spacious even with two other people. Packing tip: split the tent and poles between people depending on pack size and weight.
- Hiking boots: My sister told me that I need them. I told her I didn’t… and then I read a little more and realized a 70 lb. pack on a 65 degree downgrade could snap my ankles if I wasn’t careful. I have also heard horror stories of people breaking their feet by stepping on canyon rocks. In the end I was VERY grateful to have these Merrell’s on my feet.
- Sandals: I will always take Teva’s everywhere I go. If you don’t own a pair, buy some! You can hike in them, wear them in the shower/lake/river, jog to meet your friends, or slip them on like outdoorsy slippers.
- Cook-set: I have a little Stanley cook-set that has easily boils 2+ cups of water and has two nifty cups that fit right in. Also pictured: titanium eating tool.
- Stove and fuel: Take a stove, weather-proof matches, and fuel (not pictured.)
Not numbered: trekking poles ($10 used for the PAIR, purchased from Grand Canyon rentals!), 2nd skyn blister kit, Mountain House breakfast, hiking clothes and a trusty red bandana
Not pictured: flight duffle, book, many maps crammed in a sheet protector, food for days, allergy pills.
With three of us, the distribution of stuff is a little different. We share the big and bulky things, like the tent and dry sack of food, but we still have a number of personal things to pack up, like clothes and trail snacks. This is a direct CTRL-C/ CTRL-V straight to you from the backpacking google sheet. You should see our packs. They are LOADED.
|Thor- completed||Thor||Kendra- completed||Kendra||Kelsey- completed||Kelsey|
|Sleeping bag + pad||X||Sleeping bag + pad||X||Sleeping bag + pad|
|X||WARM CLOTHES, 2 pairs||X||WARM CLOTHES, 2 pairs||Emergency Blanket|
|X||All hydration systems||X||All hydration systems||X||TP+ shovel|
|Day pack||X||Day pack||X||Dinner for Thor and Kelsey|
|X||Wound Power + First Aid||X||First Aid||X||Bear bin|
|X||3-5 changes of underwear||X||3-5 changes of underwear/ sports bras||X||WARM CLOTHES|
|X||3-5 sets of athletic clothes||X||3-5 sets of athletic clothes||X||10 L Water Bladder + all others|
|X||hiking boots||X||hiking boots + athletic sandals||X||Water filter|
|X||Lunch for self- 3-5 days||X||Lunch and dinner for 3-5 days||X||Day pack|
|X||Spork + cup||X||Coffee filter/ pour over||X||Suture + Second Skyn|
|X||Sunscreen||X||Spork + cup||X||3-5 changes of underwear/ sports bras|
|X||Dry sack for dirty clothes||X||Sunscreen||X||3-5 sets of athletic clothes|
|X||Dr. Bronner’s, toothbrush||X||Dry sack for food + rope||X||hiking boots + athletic sandals|
|X||3+ wool socks||Dry sack for dirty clothes||X||Breakfast for all|
|X||Deodorant||X||Dr. Bronner’s, toothbrush||X||Lunch for self|
|X||Headlamp||X||3+ wool socks||X||Coffee|
|X||Pack extra clothes with parents||Pack extra clothes with parents||X||Stove, fuel, mess kit, matches|
|X||Rain jacket||X||External charger battery pack||X||Knife|
|X||Towel||X||Deodorant||Alcohol for steralizing wounds, similar|
|X||Long sleeve FOR HIKING||X||Rain jacket||X||Water tablets|
|X||Light jacket||Fuel tablets||X||Dry sack for dirty clothes|
|X||Tevas||Lighter||X||Dr. Bronner’s, toothbrush|
|Retainers||X||Towel||X||3+ wool socks|
|X||Debit card||X||Trekking Poles||X||Deodorant|
|Cash||X||Pack extra clothes with Anthony|