The USA is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world so it is only natural that some may want to spend the night in these beautiful areas of untouched natural beauty.
If you are planning an overnight hiking trip there are a number of things you need to consider such as how to prepare for your trip and what you need to pack and bring with you. Let’s dive in, shall we?
How To Prepare For An Overnight Hiking Trip
Preparation is key when it comes to hiking, especially when you are planning an overnight hike.
Below we explain the important steps you should take in order to prepare for your trip.
- Choose an area where you want to go hiking and then take the time to research this area so that you are aware of any potential dangers as well as knowing what wildlife is native to the area. You should also ensure that you choose a hike that is suitable to your skill level.
- Check the weather and try to choose a time when you can expect dry weather. There is nothing worse than camping out in the pouring rain and wet weather can also bring dangerous possibilities with it.
- If you are going solo or with others, make sure that you make others aware of where and when you are going hiking. This is a very important safety tip that can be useful if you were to get lost or have an accident.
- Pack your bag with necessities to ensure you can safely enjoy your night in the great outdoors.
What To Pack For An Overnight Hiking Trip
Packing can be stressful if you do not know what you need.
Rather than nonchalantly tossing in what you think might be useful, take the time to see what you actually require and this will help you to pack your bag smartly and without leading your bag to be overly heavy.
Your bag should be no more than 20% of your body weight when it is fully packed.
We suggest packing your bag with the below items, packing heavier items at the bottom of your bag, and the lightest items at the top, this will allow you to keep your balance when hiking with your bag on your back.
The contents of your bag can be divided into 5 categories, being clothes, shelter, food, water, and extra’s.
We further explain each category below.
The clothes that you will need to bring with you will differ depending on the time of year.
If you are hiking in colder weather, layers are key. If you are hiking in warmer weather you will be packing warmer layers for the night when the temperatures will drop.
You should have:
- A base layer top and bottoms
- A warmer middle layer, like a fleece or heavier trousers
- An outer layer, this would be weather resistant layers, such as coats and trousers
- Socks, don’t forget spares!
- Hat and gloves, to keep you warm and protect you from the sun
- Polarized Sunglasses are also important to give protection from the weather
This list is simple but essential to protect you as you spend the night under the starry night sky.
This includes both food to eat and the tools you will need to prepare your food.
- Camp stove and fuel
- Eating utensils, a spork is a campers best friend and a cup for hot drinks
- Cookable breakfast and dinner like pot noodles that only require hot water
- Lunch food that doesn’t need to be cooked so you can eat on the go
Rather than carrying multiple bottles of water, a pack bottle is a great way to store and carry your hydration supplies.
Make sure you have enough for the entire trip if you won’t be coming across any water sources.
If you will be passing water sources a water purifier can be useful as it means you do not need to carry as much water in your pack bottle when you set out at the beginning. Water is essential as you will use it for drinking, cooking, and also for emergencies that may crop up.
While these are classed as extras they can be extremely useful when you are going on an overnight hike. They are self-explanatory and should be a part of any hiker’s overnight bag.
- Headlamp and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Maps, if necessary
- Wet wipes
- Bag for your trash
- Emergency Whistle
- Duct tape
Now that you know what to pack and how to prepare for your overnight hiking trip, the only thing left to do is to go and enjoy it.
Don’t forget to research your trip, pack smartly and you will have a wonderful time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Water Do I Need For An Overnight Hike?
Staying hydrated is extremely important when hiking and it is especially important that you pack enough for two days when on an overnight hike.
The general recommendation is to bring approximately half a liter of water for every hour of moderate exercise. If you are planning to hike a difficult route you will need at least a liter of water for each hour of hiking.
How Do You Hike Overnight?
An overnight hike does not mean that you are hiking through the black of the night. While advanced hikers may decide to hike as dusk begins to fall it is advised to set up camp for the night before it gets dark.
An overnight hiking trip is when you spend the night in the wilderness and can be a popular and peaceful getaway for the adventurers at heart.
Is Overnight Hiking Dangerous?
If you do not take the time to prepare properly overnight hiking can be dangerous.
Nature can be unpredictable and when you are out in the great outdoors it is essential that you are prepared. So long as you have done your research and packed smartly you should be safe.