No matter which of the 50 states you live in or travel to within the United States, you have the ability to venture into the beautiful wilderness and do some backpacking if you so choose. The options are plentiful and each state provides plenty of hiking trails and backcountry areas to do some serious backpacking.
A state like Colorado is highly recommended. You will fall so in love with the nature there that you will be searching for Denver real estate before even leaving. We lived in Colorado for several years and had a blast exploring different trails and state and national parks. Before setting out on your adventure, you should familiarize yourself with the backpacking essentials. Some items are more important than others to pack for your trip.
Water & Food
Survival is key. Let’s not assume that you will get in a pickle, but just in case it is best to pack extra water and food. If you want the full backpacking experience and you want to try and catch, cook, and eat what nature provides, by all means do so. However, the extra food and water can be your backup if things do not go as planned. Make sure you pack enough for twice as many days you will be in the woods.
Even though it is 2021, do not rely solely on your smartphone. They might come with a built-in compass and quality hiking map apps to make your navigation across the terrain easier but it is always better to bring along a compass and paper map as they never run out of service or battery. You can also use your phone in case of an emergency.
If your backpacking adventure spans across multiple days, it is best to pack some sort of fire starter. You can take a standard fire starter, a lighter and some tinder, or you may feel comfortable making your own fire starter out of some sticks and a strong rope of some sort.
Regardless of which route you go, the ability to create a fire is essential. Most areas get cold or cooler during the nighttime. You may also need the fire for cooking. An added benefit is that it can also keep dangerous predators away.
Headlamp or Flashlight
A fire is one thing, but that will have to stay in one place. If you have to do some extra traveling at night or venture away from the fire for something, it is smart to have a flashlight or headlight. You do not want to risk getting hurt by tripping over something, but you also do not want to venture into a black hole where you do not know what could be near.
Most likely you are not going to shower for multiple days, so make sure to bring extra clothes. We recommend bringing always a rain jacket and a sweater to allow for layering to keep warm at night and comfortable and cool during the day. You can never bring too many pairs of socks as you do not want to be left hiking in wet or overly dirty socks.