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What should I pack for my backpacking trip?
You'd be surprised how much a tube of toothpaste seems to weigh when you pack it into your backpack, so consider lightweight alternatives whenever possible (like tooth powder). Here are some things you'll want to stuff into your backpack once you have your tent and your sleeping bag all packed up:

1. It's a good idea to pack two flashlights, plenty of fresh batteries, a first-aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses, and insect repellant.

2. Carry any maps you need in a clear plastic bag. Bring along waterproof matches, a compass, a pocket knife, a whistle, and a small mirror (in case you need to signal your whereabouts).

3. Carry a few plastic garbage bags to protect your equipment in case it rains, or to pack your dirty or muddy gear into.

4. Bring along thermal underwear to keep you warm and cozy in colder climates, and synthetic fleece (which dries quickly if you happen to get it wet). But be careful if you wear fleece near a campfire since the material does burn very easily.

5. Don't skimp when it comes to packing plenty of food, although you might want to bring along food packed in pouches instead of cans.

6. Titanium pots, pans, and utensils cost a lot more than cheaper ones do, but they weigh a lot less and will last a long time.

7. Bring plenty of bottled drinking water (heavy, heavy, heavy). Or bring water purification tablets or a filter (and clean, empty water bottles to store the purified water in).

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