Backpacking is such a joy, and having the right gear is absolutely essential.
As backpackers carry everything on their backs, they must be extremely picky about their what they’re carrying. Every single piece that’s going in the bag has to justify itself 100% !!!
In this post, we will explain exactly why shawl is the backpacker’s best friend and share with you the best backpacking shawls for men we could find!
Let’s dive in!
What does a backpacker really need?
Choosing the right gear for backpacking can be more tricky than the trek itself!
You gotta fulfill many needs and be prepared for different temperatures and situations with MINIMUM resources! No room for extras…
When you’re backpacking, you need clothing for the trekking itself. Durable pants and a good dry-fit shirt are a must, but that’s not enough. When you finish your day, it gets chilly, and you need something warm to keep you safe and happy until you’re in your sleeping bag.
It’s true, most, if not all, backpackers will carry a lightweight jacket, especially for this use, but with all due respect, a backpacking shawl is much more fun!
7 Benefits of shawl for backpacking
#1 – No weight, No problem!
Backpacking shawls are lightweight and can be squashed in the bag easily or even tied to your bag from the outside, as mentioned earlier, because you have to carry everything on your back. Every small piece of equipment matters in backpacking. A backpacking shawl justifies itself as a worthy companion by taking very little space and weight & providing so much value.
#2 – Cozy Mozy
No other piece of clothing is more cozy & comforting! Wrapping yourself in a shawl near the bonfire after a long day of hiking is a winner.
The same holds true for the time you’re cooking your dinner, getting out of your sleeping bag in the morning, and more!
#3 – Flexibility is key
It’s a blanket, it’s a light mat, it’s a cover when you need it, it’s a cozy scarf…..
It’s a backpacker’s best friend!
When it comes to shawls, there are so many possibilities for what you can do with it, you can even use it as a laundry bag if you know you’re near the end and you won’t use it for its warmth anymore.
#4 – Not so serious
Oftentimes in backpacking, we find ourselves, how to say, not too clean.
As shawls are so versatile, you don’t have to take them too seriously and keep them neat and clean like a luxurious piece of cloth. Shawls are not too demanding, and they would still love you even if you don’t treat them like kings. You can wrap yourself up with a shawl at night and then squash it in the bag like crazy the next morning without feeling guilty, you can even lay it on the ground as a light mat, and after a good shake, it’s as good as new!
#5 – Style, Style, Style.
It’s no wonder that all outdoor gear is getting prettier by the year!
Although not every backpacker will admit it, it’s such a great feeling to look good while you’re out there. After a long day of hiking, wrapping yourself in a beautiful shawl will give you that stylish feeling.
#6 – Public Transportation Back-up
Whether it is to reach the starting point of your travels or to get back home after you’ve reached the end, public transportation is very common among backpackers.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I LOVE to have some warm back-up with me on public transportation!
It’s such a pain to be on a bus\train\plane and having someone else decide what the temperature is, and most of the time, it’s way too cold!
Again, if you’re backpacking, you probably have a decent jacket with you, but falling asleep on a long bus ride wrapped up in a cozy shawl after a long day of walking…Oh men, you’ll thank me later!!!
#7 – Meditation Companion
Nothing beats a good morning meditation in the open before the beginning of a long day of trekking. Shawls are an awesome meditation companion. They offer a sense of comfort and a feeling of protection and collectedness.
What should you be looking for in a backpacking shawl?
Unlike shawls for winter, weddings, and other uses, backpacking shawls MUST be lightweight and highly durable. It’s better to look for one from a trusted outdoor brand such as The North Face or Columbia, as it will guarantee a high quality of material, and it was made especially for the type of challenges you’re about to put it through.
You should look for one that has a material that will dry quickly if you need to wash it.
A backpacking shawl must be able to fold to a minimum. Some cheap shawls won’t be perfect for the job as they stay pretty puffy and not manageable as you want them to…
And last but not least, style is key to an awesome backpacking shawl. Look for one that is available in a color and design that you like!
How is a trekking shawl different from a scarf or a blanket?
The words shawl and scarf tend to get mixed up, generally speaking, shawl is something between a scarf and a blanket and can be used as both!
As the word ‘shawl’ is not as common as ‘scarf’, many people will just call shawl a ‘big scarf’ or an ‘oversized scarf’.