Getting lost typically results in frustration, but getting lost in the Eastern Sierras (with the proper gear) results in lifechanging encounters with nature.
There is nothing better than trading the sounds and sights of civilization for the solitude only found deep in the wilderness, and there is more than enough wilderness surrounding Mammoth Lakes for you to backpack through all summer long. To make sure you have everything you need to enjoy your backpacking trips, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a list of backpacking essentials to keep you safe while on a trip.
Check out our list below and start planning your trip today. If you’re missing any gear from our list of essentials or need information about the basics like boots and backpacks, visit ASO Mammoth for all of your gear needs!
Map and Compass
We love backpacking way out of town as much as anyone, but even we need to head back home eventually. If you’re like us, then you’ll need some form of navigation to make sure you can make it back home.
If you’re familiar with the area you’re backpacking through, then a compass can point you towards roads, landmarks, and other towns, but if you’re somewhere you don’t know well you should carry a map with you as well so you can efficiently navigate. Don’t stop there though, as navigation is easier than ever thanks to technology like G.P.S., so find the right tool for you and head out the door with confidence!
Knife and Multitool
A knife may seem obvious, but if you only carry a basic knife with you then you might have to get creative with it instead of having the right tool for the job. Whatever you choose to carry with you, make sure you have what you need to protect yourself and repair your gear in case of an accident.
Light and Fire Source
Even if your backpacking destination has plenty of sunshine like the Mammoth Lakes area does, you will need reliable sources of light and fire after the sun goes down. For fire, you should have some sort of tinder and a way to ignite it. While there are plenty of options here, make sure you choose something that is waterproof so you will not be left without fire when you need it most.
You will also need a light source like a flashlight that you can use at a moment’s notice. The easiest answer here is a headlamp since you can use it while keeping your hands free to hike or set up your camp in the dark, but anything will do as long as you have fresh batteries for it.
Too much light can be a bad thing though, and when you’re spending entire days outside it is easy to be burnt and even experience eye damage from too much sunlight. The obvious answer is sunscreen, but you can further protect yourself by bringing sunglasses, a hat, and clothes that will keep you cool while also protecting you from the sun.
You already knew to carry water, but we put it here to make sure that you carry extra water and a way to purify water in case you run out.
Water is always one of your most pressing needs when you’re in the wilderness, so bring more than you think you’ll need. Water is also heavy though, so if you know there will be natural water sources nearby then carry a purification method with you as well to lighten your load and keep you hydrated.
These are only the essentials. To make sure you have an excellent and safe trek, do more research about where and when you’ll be hiking so you have exactly what you’ll need!