Backpacking always makes for a fantastic adventure. There’s something invigorating and refreshing about going out into the backcountry trails with only the necessities on your back.
Of course, if you’re going to have a safe and enjoyable time backpacking in Yellowstone National Park, you’re going to need to make sure you pack properly. What you bring with you (and how much) will depend largely on the length of your excursion—a one-day or one-afternoon journey will not require nearly as much gear as a trip where you’ll be having multiple overnight campouts.
Here is a quick overview of the most essential items you should always have with you:
- Navigation: Even if you’re just going out for a few hours or for the day, it’s crucial that you have some navigational tools and devices with you so you do not lose track of where you are. This means a map, compass, GPS device, satellite messenger and/or altimeter will all come in handy. Keep in mind that you will be quite isolated when you’re in the back country.
- Sun protection: Wear sunglasses, sunscreen and clothes that shield you from the sun so you can avoid getting burned.
- First aid: Always bring a simple first aid kit fully stocked with the essentials, as well as foot care products and bug repellent.
- Headlamp: If you’re going to be doing any walking when it’s darker outside, make sure you have a headlamp and extra batteries for it.
- Knife: A good knife will come in handy in a wide variety of circumstances when you’re spending time in the outdoors. You might wish to bring a couple types of knives with you for use in different scenarios.
- Shelter: A simple tent or other type of shelter that you can carry with you at all times is important. Even if you’re not planning on an overnight excursion, it may be beneficial in some cases to carry a light shelter with you for an emergency scenario.
- Extra food and water: Always bring more than the minimum required amount of food and water, just in case.
- Extra clothes: Bring clothes for a variety of circumstances—more than the minimum amount you think you’ll need. This will be especially beneficial to you if it rains and you get wet.
- Fire equipment: Always have plenty of gear with you to start up a fire. This can include matches, a lighter and tinder, such as newspaper or wood shavings. You might also bring a small stove with you if you plan on spending a significant time out in the back country.
- Sleeping: If you’ll be doing any overnights, make sure you bring a sleeping bag and pad so you can at least be a bit comfortable on the ground. You can find very light and compact types that have been designed with backpackers in mind.
For more tips about what you should place on your checklist for backpacking in Yellowstone National Park, we encourage you to contact the team at Yellowstone Tour Guides today. We’d be glad to answer your questions!