When you head into the wilderness, you never really know what you might encounter. As you spend your day hiking, accidents can happen that might damage your supplies or equipment. Because you may not have immediate access to resources, it is a good idea to carry with you a backpacking repair kit so you can make minor repairs on the fly so you can get back to the trail. Here are some tips for stocking your backpacking repair kit.
Items to Include in Your Repair Kit
Depending on the length of your hike and the size of your pack, you’ll need to determine which items are the most important to include in your repair kit.
Multi-tools are going to come in very handy because you’ll have limited space and if you can kill two birds with one stone, all the better. Here is a quick list of items you should include in your backpacking repair kit:
• Duct tape (wrapping strips around a water bottle or trekking poll will save space versus carrying an entire roll)
• Multitool or hunting knife (these come in a variety of sizes, so choose the one that fits best)
• 50 feet of nylon or utility cord (paracord is a great option because you can unwind the threads and use them for everything from fishing to basic repairs)
• Stretch cords with hooks (these will come in handy if you need to set up shelter in a pinch)
• Sewing repair kit (if you have to make repairs to your backpack or your kit, having needle and thread will be very important)
• Spare parts or repair kit for essential equipment (having repair parts for your stove, mattress, and tent will come in handy)
• Extra batteries (think about which of your equipment needs batteries and carry an extra set of each kind that you’ll be using)
• Spare buckles and cord locks (you may need these to replace buckles on your pack or tent)
These are some of the most essential items to include in your backpacking repair kit but you can feel free to add other items if you have the space. When it comes to storing the items in your repair kit, you have several options. One of the easiest things to do is put it all in a zippered freezer bag – this will keep things dry and it will be clear so you can easily see the supplies you need.
For electronics and tools that might be subject to rust, keep things in a separate bag from any liquid items that could leak and cause a problem. You may also want to bring a desiccant pack – a pack that draws moisture out of wet electronics – just in case something happens.
Backpacking is a wonderful experience but it does come with some challenges and you must always be prepared for the worst. If you’re setting out on a trip in the near future, do yourself a favor and spend a little extra time thinking ahead and preparing for the unknown by stocking a repair kit.