The Joy of the Outdoors

Bush walking, hiking or trekking have always been a cost effective and adventurous way to experience the great outdoors. Trekking is a fabulous way to explore a new area either alone or with friends and is a great opportunity to experience nature in all its beauty. Discovering many things and places that cars and 4WDs could not reach is exactly what bushwalking is all about.

Questions you have to ask yourself before heading out include:

  • How do we plan for this type of adventure?
  • What do we pack? 
  • How much will we need according to our time out in the bush?
  • How might the weather change?
  • What could go wrong?

Choosing a Backpack

Backpacks are designed for self sustained camping and how long you can maintain that self reliance will depend on what backpack you have and how long you are planning to spend on a hiking trip. It will include your shelter, you sleeping equipment, clothes, food and preferred cooking method. 

PACK SIZE (litres) DURATION (days)
20 half
35 full
40 1-2
50 2-3
70 3-5
85-100 5 + (if you can carry the weight!)

Bush Walking

Oxford meaning: Go for a recreational hike into wild or uncultivated area

Bushwalking can sometimes have more of an orienteering bent to it. Organisations like the Scouts or orienteering groups will promote “bushwalking events” where they will take participants into areas to experience the outdoors. Compass and maps are used and competitions between teams can be organised based on discovery of clues and time taken to complete a course.


Oxford meaning: Go on a long arduous journey

Travel constantly from place to place

Migrate or journey with one’s belongings

Trekking indicates more of a purposeful destination to destination based activity. Trekking often takes into account degrees of difficulties with terrain and environment. Examples include crossing rivers or walking over steep ridges.


Oxford meaning: The activity of going for long walks, especially across country

Hiking means you are going for more of a day stroll, a walk for pleasure, fun, mild exercise and exploration purposes. That there will be little challenge in the activity and it will be quite leisurely.

What Should I Pack in my Backpack for a One Day Hike?


A list of the 11 essential items to pack for a one day hike:


Orienteering aids Map 👍 👍
Compass 👍
Sun/SkinProtection Peaked cap 👍
Water flask 👍
Sunglasses 👍
Long sleeved synthetic/wool shirt 👍
Insulation Rain jacket/pants 👍
Fleece long sleeve top 👍
Beanie 👍
Insulated jacket 👍
Lighting Rechargeable headlamp 👍
First aid First aid Kit 👍 👍
Fire starter Box matches 👍 👍
Fire lighters 👍 👍
Tools Swiss Army Knife 👍 👍
Duct tape 👍 👍
Safety pins 👍 👍
Hydration (water bottle) 2 litres of water 👍 👍
Emergency Shelter Lightweight tube tent 👍 👍
Emergency signal Loud whistle 👍 👍
Hygiene Wet Wipes 👍 👍


What Should I Pack in my Backpack for an Overnight Hike?

Essentially pack all the equipment you would need for a one day hike. Food wise, you may be fine to snack on protein bars or ready to go meals available from camping stores and you just add hot water. If you are looking for the entire meal cooking experience then you will need to pack :


  • Cooking implements 
  • Cooking utensils
  • Camp stove 
  • Fuel
  • Plates/cups/cutlery 
  • Detergent and bucket for washing up
  • Shelter (Tent)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat


What Should I Pack in my Backpack for a Three Day Hike?

Again, same items as mentioned, plus cooking gear, shelter and sleeping comforts, a bit more food, water and toilet paper. Once you have the essentials list it’s really only a matter of more sustenance and sleeping items. You also need to know where and how you will replenish your water supply. Water treatment drops may also be needed.

How to Pack a Backpack?

Will you have the time to repack your entire backpack every time you get something from it? Hiking and bush walking are all about experiencing the solitude or the company, the outdoors and the exercise. Don’t ruin it by not packing well. Your bag will be easier to carry and more comfortable because the weight will be distributed correctly. The goal is to create a comfortable centre of gravity.

  • Heavy gear goes closest to the back of the back
  • Lighter gear is placed away from your back
  • Keep frequently used items closer to the top
  • Keep less used items at the bottom of your pack

It is a good idea to place the sleeping bag at the bottom of the pack, then put heavier items (food and water) on top of the sleeping bag close to your spine. This will help evenly distribute the weight of the pack. Keep softer items such as clothes or tent equipment around the heavier weighted items. Finally make sure frequently used items such as maps and snacks are located near the top of the pack for quick easy access. Finally, make sure all the compression straps are well tightened to minimise load shifting.

Keep in mind that Adventure Excellence supplies the right type of pack for your use with each adventure that we lead.