Vancouver Trails

Hiking in the Backcountry and Camping Overnight

One of the most rewarding things you can do to rejuvenate yourself is hike into the backcountry and spend the night. You’ll get to see the sunset and sunrise again the next morning. Once you arrive and set up camp you can leave your pack in your tent and explore other trails. It’s very rewarding.

The most important thing you’ll need to know is to carry no more than 25-30% of your body weight. You’ll be carrying this weight the entire time you hike along the trail. You will want this experience to be a fun one, filled with lots of happy memories. The second thing is what necessities you should bring from home to keep you comfortable, safe & dry. Listed below are a few items you should have for your trip.

It’s not on the ‘Ten Essentials’ list but it’s mandatory you let someone you know your hiking plans. Where you’re going and when you plan to return. You can also leave a note on your car’s dash with the same information. It’s always a good idea to travel in pairs as well. When at the campsite, keep a notebook to let your travel companion know where you are at all times. Let’s face it; even a trip to the outhouse can be dangerous. A little note with the time can be helpful in determining your location. Just a little added insurance.

Ten Essentials:

Clothing: (Layers)


Cooking Utensils & Food:

Sleeping Bags:




Once you have gathered all your gear, lay it out and make sure you haven’t under or over packed. Packing your pack is done in Zones. Zone 1 (the bottom part of your pack) should be your lighter items, such as your sleeping bag. Zone 2 (the middle of your pack) is where you’ll pack your heavier items like food, water & tent. Zone 3 (the top part of your pack) this is your medium weight & bulkier items. If your pack has only a top zipper then you’re most needed items can go in the easily assessable pockets. Make sure you pack evenly and use your straps to pull the load closer to your body.

I always bring a camera with me. Not only does it record my memories but it can act as a trail finder. I take pictures of any maps and I have also used it to find my way back through landmarks. Bring extra batteries.

I took an informative free ‘Backcountry 101’ information session at Mountain Equipment Co-op. It is held on some Thursday evenings. It’s best to pre-register. Visit MEC’s website for more information.

By following these tips, it will help you have a memorable & safe backcountry experience.