Outdoor Sack Backpack Hacks

Do you wish to get outdoors more? Do you want to take on hiking as your new hobby? Do you need some insight on what to bring on your next excursion? Well, you are in luck! Keep reading to find out some new sack-backpack-hacks for the upcoming hike!  

image of a hiking backpack


First things first, we need to figure out what kind of bag we should bring, then we can hop into what goes in the bag. The style can be left at home when choosing your backpack sack, pick something you are not worried about getting dirty or torn, but something sturdy enough to trust. It is best to keep your load light. To facilitate this, choose a smaller bag, this way you are less inclined to overpack. Remember, choose a bag big enough to fit all the essentials, but small enough that you don’t exhaust yourself!  

map of pittsburgh parks


Second, we can begin to prepare for our hike! Do a little research on the trail you are interested in and the aerial view of the landscape to get an idea of where you will be spending your time. Take it a step further and print off the map before you leave the house for extra precautions. It might also be valuable to write down the park ranger number just in case of emergency.  

map of hiking spots


After you figure out where you are hiking, we can move on to packing our bags with the necessities. It is smart to include a first aid kit including sunscreen, bandages, hand sanitizer, and Benadryl in case of any allergies. Next, you must bring a water bottle because it is imperative to keep yourself hydrated. You also want to feed your body to avoid getting light-headed, so be sure to pack a quick snack or two for a break along the way. Finally, make sure you have a good pair of sturdy shoes on…it would not be in your favor to twist an ankle! 

contents of a hiking backpack
other fun items included in hiking backpack


What would be a hike without a little fun? Make sure to save some room in your sack-pack for some objects that might excite your experience in the outdoors. Consider packing that plant/animal booklet your aunt got you that you’ve never opened. Pulling that out while catching your breath can be satisfying to identify a plant from the pictures you see. If not a booklet, contemplate starting a new outdoor journal, and do not forget your pencil! Other things such as a hand lens can help you hone in on the details of your hike, or I suggest a pair of binoculars to bird-watch from far away!  


If your backpack-sack isn’t full just yet, try to squeeze in some other precautionary items such as a garbage bag! This can serve as both a raincoat, or it might inspire you to pick up some trash along the way. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, stuff in an extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet, or your hands become cold. Lastly, if you end up hiking after the sun has set, remember to add a flashlight for your way back to your vehicle.  

use a trashbag as a raincoat!


At the end of the day, the choice is yours when it comes to using these sack hacks to pack! Just remember to pack light, thoughtfully prepare, and have fun on your next hike! Here I have linked the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy parks overview page to help you locate some candidates for your upcoming adventure: Parks Overview and Map | Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy  

Anna Benner - Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Intern