Yelp Celebrates National Park Month with a Go-to Backpacking Guide

Sticking with the #YelpExplorers theme for the month of July, some of the avid backpackers at Yelp (yes, we have many!) have curated a list of backpacking essentials for you to follow for your next outdoor exploration.

The most important component of the pack is your hydration system. So, pack essential numero uno is a water filter and water bottle. With the filter, you can utilize natural water sources like creeks and lakes along your excursion for drinking water.

Next, make sure to pack a sleeping bag, tent, and sleeping pad. Trust us on the last one, you will need more cushion than your sleeping bag will provide…Hello, back problems! You can find special backpacking tents, pads, pillows, etc. that are lighter and more packable.

Another necessity is some sustenance. When going rogue, it is important to bring food that won’t go bad like pasta or astronaut-esque freeze dried food. If you want to get a little fancy you can bring along a small gas stove. This works best when traveling in a group so you can trade off with the extra weight.

Depending on where you are in the world, don’t forget warm clothes and an extra shirt or pants. Additionally, make sure to pack bandaids, rope, a garbage bag to tie up trash and food in a tree away from animals, biodegradable camping soaps, and lightweight backpacking towels.

Last but most importantly, you’ll need a light and durable pack to carry these essentials. Make sure to try on the pack and get fitted by someone at the store. The right size makes all the difference in comfort.

Optional add-ons include a book, a stargazing guide, sunscreen, bug spray, and a backpacking hammock.

Now that you’ve laid out all the necessary items, it’s time to pack them all up. Keep these tips in mind when stuffing your pack:

First, prioritize based on essentials and go from there. Do you really need that second book? It’s more important that your pack isn’t too heavy. Then depending on how many people are coming on the trip, you can divide up carrying items like food, tents, and gas that everyone will share.

Lastly, when assembling your pack, keep things you’ll use often easily accessible. 

Now that you’re all packed and ready to go, it’s time to hit the trails. Check Yelp for reviews of hiking trails and National Parks to prepare. It’s good to know if a hike is best in a certain season, or if a beautiful beach view is hidden a half mile farther down the trail. And make sure to share your photos and reviews on Yelp to help other outdoor fans find the best spots for exploration.