3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

Young man going hiking up in the mountains
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

When it comes to backpacking, not all gear was created equal, as shown on its price tag and the experience of skilled backpackers. If you’re looking to upgrade your accessories and make your next camping trip or day-hiking adventures much more convenient, you’re in the right place. Here are three must-have essentials to add to your gear right now.

For Long Hikes, Get a Quiet, Lung-Saving Pad

Woman camping in the outdoors, laying on a Nemo Tensor Insulated sleeping pad
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpackers Gear

When you’re doing long hikes at mid to high altitudes, the last thing you want is to exhaust your last waking breaths on a noisy sleep setup, which many new inflatable pads provide. An alternative solution is to sacrifice a bit of your comfort for the sake of the quietude and convenience of having a foam pad. If your bed at home has a memory foam mattress, this will feel familiar, although not as thick. Therm-a-Rest Z-lite and Nemo Tensor Insulated are both good options for different budgets.

Every Backpacking Gear Needs a Compactible Day-Pack

Sea to Summit's 20L Ultra-Sil Nano Daypack
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

In backpacking, it’s all about meticulous planning. To make your gear more flexible, it’s best to have a day-pack in your backpack. It’s like a Matryoshka doll, one bag or package goes into a larger one, which stuffs into an even bigger package. That way, you can quickly rearrange your gear depending on your plans. There’s no need to carry everything if you’re only doing a short hike. Sea to Summit’ 20L Ultra-Sil Nano Daypack is a pretty good option.

A Side-Zipping Backpack

Gregory Paragon 68 side-zipping backpack
3 Must-Have Features That Belong to Every Backpacker’s Gear

No, it’s not a fashion trend, it’s a real lifesaver. When you’re hiking, it’s often the case that the stuff you may need sinks somewhere in the middle section of the backpack, and you have to dig through everything to get to it. Side-zipping backpacks make that search much easier and quicker. Try out Gregory’s Paragon 68 pack, and you’ll see the difference right away.

Top 5 Tips to Remember While Hiking West Highland Way, Scotland

The West Highland Way is a linear trail route in Scottish Highlands. Running from Milngavie to Fort William, this 154 km long moderate difficulty trekking route is one of the premier short-distance trails in the world. Here are the top 5 tips for aspiring West Highland Way hikers.

Plan Ahead

Check the weather forecast and weather trends in advance. This will ensure that you do not miss out on the sunny part of the weather during your trip. But it can be cold any time of year in Scotland. So don’t forget to bring your cold gear. When it looks like it is going to rain, carry pack-liners, rain layers, and other waterproof gear. These will save you from wearing down in Scotland’s notorious rainfall. Lastly, packing lots of extra socks can be a lifesaver. You can thank us later.

Plan Out the Route

The trail begins from the right in the middle of Milngavie. This town is a great place for you to get your supplies before the hike. You will easily get a train to the town of Milngavie from anywhere in the United Kingdom. Fort William is the final terminus of this hiking spot. Along the trail, the Green Welly Stop is important if you want to do the trail in a week and only resupply once.

Know Your Trail

This trail is deceiving, as the heightened pace is extremely difficult to maintain due to bushwhacking and elevation profile. Also, the trail is incredibly rocky. Nearly the entire trail is stretched between bare hills and open valleys of treeless Scottish Highlands, which needs appropriate sun and wind gear. Such an exposed trail also demands you to be wary of potential storms.

Plan En-Route Essentials

Carrying a map or following the Guthook App will save your day if you lose the guideposts on the way. You can stay in hostels in the towns virtually every night if needed. Wild camping is allowed across much of the trail, but in few prohibited areas, there are some paid official campsites too. Carrying your own filtration system is important but you will also find many water sources as you hike through the trail.

Do Not Miss Out on the Added Perks

Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom, and the terminus at Fort William is nearby. So, don’t miss the chance to add it to the end of your trail. Also, don’t miss the absolutely gorgeous tradition of swimming in Loch Lomond, to refresh and embrace yourself after a long hiking day, even in cold weather.

These tips will surely arm you to stay prepared on your trek planning, as well as help you enjoy the West Highland Way trail.