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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for What to Pack for a Walk in the Wilderness – Less is Definitely More
Joanna James Joanna James
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What to Pack for a Walk in the Wilderness – Less is Definitely More

It normally takes some practice to achieve that careful balance between packing too much and too little. Here's a guide to the dos and don'ts of packing for an excursion into the wilderness.


The Bare Minimum

When you head out for a walking expedition in the wilderness, you really don't want to be burdened with a lot of weight on your back. At the same time, there are some essential items that you will need to keep yourself comfortable and safe, particularly in the case of emergencies. If you are a firm believer in Murphy's Law, it can be all too easy to end up over-stuffing your bag. However, the rule to remember is that less is definitely more in this situation. So pack light, and pack right! Determine whether you're expedition is a fully-fledged one that might take a whole day or more or a short one that will last a couple of hours or so. If it is the former, then you may be justified in stuffing your bag to its fullest. You also need to pack right for the climate.



Without having to be said, water is likely to be the first item on everyone's list. No matter whether you're hiking in a cold climate like Scotland's or a hot one like Abu Dhabi's, you can get dehydrated without sufficient water to replenish lost fluids. The issue of how much water you need to carry depends on the climate. Following on from the example above, if you're hiking in Scotland, you might need around two litres, while in Abu Dhabi you would be safer carrying four. If you like the outdoors and are heading to Abu Dhabi, check out the many wildlife reserves and national parks like the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve and the Arabian Wildlife Park during your next holiday. The latter is located on Sir Bani Yas Island which is a well known destination in the region. Villas in Abu Dhabi situated on the aforementioned island, including Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas, even offer activities like nature and wildlife walks for you to enjoy.



Again, the quantity and type of food you pack should be based on how long you expect your foray into the wilderness to last. For a short trek, pack in an energy bar or two. If you're going to be camped out for a couple of days, the weight of the food can really add up. Consider dehydrated foods and nuts which are light to carry, but high in calories. If you plan on cooking, don't forget seasonings such as spices and salt!


Spare Clothes

Even if you are heading out on a short hike, it can always be useful to have a change of clothes ready for when Murphy's Law strikes. Anything that can go wrong usually does, especially when it comes to the matter of trying to keep clothes clean. Carry a spare set of clothing for all the essentials including underwear, tops, pants and socks. This way you have a back-up for when things go wrong, as well as the freedom to wash your clothes. This last advantage is important for excursions that last a few days. Depending on where you're hiking, it may also be necessary to carry waterproof gear as well as extra clothing to stave off the cold. Whatever you decide to pack, ensure that you choose the lightest and least bulky of the options that are available to you. Pack for functionality rather than for form.


Heavy-duty Items

If you're packing for a serious excursion into the wild, you will need to pack tents, portable cookware, fire starters and the like. It is also good to pack some empty water containers. These can be used to fill up on any water you come across, which can prove useful for activities like cooking and washing. If you are carrying a water purification system with you, then you can use the containers to store drinking water as well.



Last but not least, a standard first aid kit is always a good idea. Make sure it has plasters, gauze, bandages and antiseptic to treat cuts, sprays to soothe sprains and painkillers in case of serious injury. Also, remember to pack any special medication prescribed by your doctor.