- Map-The map you choose should be suited for backpacking or hiking. It needs to contain information that is specific to backpacking such as trails and areas. This information is another form of backpacking essentials.
- Compass-The compass is the right hand man of the map. When you are out on the trail, things can begin to look the same, so it is important that you know which way you are going. You should select a compass that will withstand weather and is durable.
- Flashlight-You should always make sure that you have good lighting. This will enable you to see what is up ahead. This can also prevent injuries.
- Extra food and clothing-You should always take extra food and clothing, just in case an unexpected situation arises while you are out on the trail. You should always prepare for the unexpected. It's better to be safe than sorry when packing your backpacking essentials.
- Knife-You will find that you will get a lot of use out of a knife. A Swiss Army knife is ideal if you can afford it, since you can use it for many tasks. Even if you don't get one, you will need a sharp knife that will cut fabric and cord.
- Matches-Water proof matches will work best. As with everything else, matches are must have backpacking essentials. If you do not have access to waterproof matches, make sure you store them in a container which will keep out moisture.
- Water or water treatment-You must stay healthy and at your best while you are on the trail, and being hydrated is one of the best ways. If you are not going to carry water with you, then you should carry necessary items, such as iodine tablets, to treat the water.
- First Aid Kit-The First Aid Kit is one of the most important backpacking essentials. You never know what you may come up against while you are on your trip. It is important that the kit is well stocked with a variety of supplies and that you know how to use them properly.
Click the link above for a great introductory backpacking book fill with backpacking advice and backpacking basics.