After two years of canceled travel plans, wanderlust is back this summer. But if you want an off-the-beaten-path experience that differs from a typical beach resort vacation, adventure tourism has you covered. Since it’s eco-friendly, cost-effective, low maintenance and chock-full of thrills, adventure tourism is booming in the post-pandemic climate.
If you are new to this form of travel, don’t sweat the logistics. You just need one backpack filled with some basic essentials, and you’re all set for the off-grid trip of a lifetime. So on that note, follow this outdoor adventurist’s guide for what to take with you—no matter which parts of this vast, wild, beautiful earth you’ll be heading out to explore.
Portable First Aid Kit
The wilderness is often unpredictable—you never know when an injury might occur, but you can plan ahead to maximize your well-being. A travel first aid kit, complete with bandages, ointment, tourniquets, antiseptic wipes, medical gauze, splints, tweezers, CPR masks, and other safety essentials, is just what you need to brave the elements.
Whether you need to use a knife, bottle opener, pliers, carabiner, screwdriver, or wire snips, a multitool is a must-have for any outdoor adventure. This versatile, collapsible gizmo will fit into one of your backpack’s small side compartments for fast, easy access. With numerous functions at your fingertips, a multitool makes exploring a breeze.
Moisture Wicking Clothes
If you’re planning to be outside for most—if not, all—of your trip, bring clothes that will keep you comfortable in various weather or temperature conditions. Choose activewear (shirts, pants, shorts, socks, etc.) with moisture-wicking fibers to evaporate sweat and mesh ventilation panels to increase airflow between the skin and garment layers.
Tent and Sleeping Bag
For the outdoor adventurist who truly wants to rough it, you can’t beat the experience of falling asleep under the stars. Of course, in order to make this happen, you’ll need a light, waterproof tent and a quality, insulated sleeping bag. Make sure both items are portable enough to store in a backpack, but durable enough for warmth and comfort.
Personal Hygiene Items
Even in nature, personal hygiene and cleanliness are still priorities. Don’t leave home without the essential toiletries such as body soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, a toothbrush and paste, a hair comb, shampoo, medications, contact lens solution, toilet paper, deodorant, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Look for sustainable toiletries if possible.
Solar Phone Charger
While an outdoor adventure calls for silencing notifications and limiting screen time, it doesn’t hurt to have a fully charged smartphone on hand just in case. You might need it to access GPS navigation or communicate with an emergency contact if an unforeseen issue occurs. So, as an extra precaution, throw a solar charger in your backpack.
Headlamp or Flashlight
If you’ll be hiking after nightfall or camping in the wilderness, either a flashlight or headlamp is absolutely crucial. Make sure whichever model you choose emits at least 160 lumens for optimal brightness. Take a few spare batteries along as well—most high-lumen headlamps or flashlights run out of juice after 6–8 hours of continual use.
An adventure off the grid won’t come with five-star restaurant dining, so you will need to pack nutritious, nonperishable meals for the journey. Reach for foods that are easy to transport and high in protein to fuel intense physical exertion. Think dehydrated fruits or veggies, raw nuts, granola, jerky, instant rice, beans, oatmeal, and milk powder.
The nature recreation experts at REI recommend you consume a half-liter of water each hour while doing moderate or vigorous activities in the summer heat. A hydration reservoir bladder is perfect for this since it holds up to 2 liters and can slide right into the backpack’s inner lining. All you have to do is suck the nozzle for hands-free sipping.
Water Purification Tablets
When you need to refill that hydration reservoir, but don’t have access to a clean, filtered water source, emergency purification tablets will come to the rescue. Drop these into fresh room temperature water, let them dissolve for about 30 minutes, then rest assured: your water is safe to drink without the threat of harmful viruses or bacteria.
Take on the Elements with this Outdoor Adventurist Packing List
If adventure tourism is on your summer vacation itinerary, maximize the thrills with this packing list. Any outdoor adventurist will confirm that planning ahead with all the right tools, clothes, gear, safety items, and sustenance will guarantee a memorable, enjoyable, stress-free trip. So before you take off into the wilderness, stock up on these essentials.