This post is part of the Backpacking Gear for Beginners course.
Why do you need a book?
I always have a book when I’m backpacking. This is absolutely optional but there’s something about the peace and quiet that’s nice to maintain when out hiking. There’s going to be time to kill stuck in the tent with bad weather stuck or just a day off in camp.
Whether you have time to sit and read will depend on the trip and the people you’re with. Some groups I’ve hiked with in the past have preferred a relaxed trip with lots of down time. Others have wanted to hike until they crash into bed after dark, and do it all again the next day.
Small and light
I don’t recommend bringing a large hardcover because of the weight. A small paperback is usually best.
Some eReaders can be small and light and contain multiple books. They aren’t often waterproof and need to be packed gently in your pack. The batteries usually last weeks.
Reading on your phone
Kindle and other books can be on your phone which you likely already have. Reading will chew through more battery on your phone so be mindful of that. If you are bringing your phone or other devices that need charging, bring a battery pack.