Are you going on a backpacking trip sometime soon? While it is truly an exciting experience to look forward to, the preparations can be overwhelming and stressful. So before you begin your first backpacking trip, here are a few tips to help you.
Keep in mind that this is your first trip.
This is your first time so you may make mistakes. But don’t dwell on them. And don’t overthink your preparations.
Don’t go way over your head. It’s recommended that you pick a place somewhere close to having your beginner’s trip. And make sure to do your research while choosing destinations.
Don’t sweat about time. Take your time if necessary. Don’t be afraid to change up your schedule, but don’t be careless about it either.
And remember to do it easy and have fun. So prioritize bringing along things you can enjoy on a quiet night or a slow day. Like a book to read, or music and podcasts you can listen to, or even a fun game to pass the time.
You must consult experienced backpackers before going on a trip. They’ve done this before. They know what they’re doing. Ask for tips and things you need to be aware of for the trip. Take notes.
But gather your own information as well. Estimate your budget. Get permits if needed. Check up on the weather and locations you’ll be going to.
Take into account what things could go wrong on your trip, like unexpected accidents or sudden bad weather. Then plan around them. Learn to adapt when you need to. A lot of things could happen. So be flexible with your plans – or read this from Bearfoot Theory.
Take Safety Measures
As your first backpacking trip, you should do it with a companion. Preferably choose someone who’s already experienced in backpacking. Having a partner could help lessen both your loads. Having an experienced backpacker with you could also help you learn the basics and make things easier and safer for the trip.
Make a trip plan. List down the locations you’ll be going to and places you’ll be sleeping at. Give a copy to family and friends to let them know where you’ll be at. And check in with them if you’ve had a change of plans.
Check with the local news or management around the areas you’ll be going to. And take precautions. Familiarize yourself with basic first aid. Be mindful of your things while on the trip. Learn a bit about compass and map navigation. And be on the watch for any situations that could be of danger to you.
Be Practical with Your Gear and Essential Needs
Regarding backpacking gear: pack early and don’t delay. So that way you can see if there’s anything else that you need that’s missing from your gear. And pack with a checklist or a chart to keep track of your things.
It’s recommended that you only buy a few new items for gear. Either rent or borrow the rest of the gear. In this way, you can learn which gear best suits you, and which ones need to be replaced. Don’t forget to try and test your gear first before using it for the trip.
Here are suggested items that you will need:
- a backpack
- a tent appropriate for spring, summer, and fall
- light sleeping bags and pads
- gas-canister stove (less expensive than other stoves)
- a water purifier/filter
- a cook-set
- a few dishes and utensils
- a small towel
- basic toiletries
- flashlights and extra batteries
- a multi-purpose knife
- and a first aid kit
Food to Eat
Plan meals. Know how long your food can last. And make allowances for an extra day. Choose simple foods that you like for your packing. Like freeze-dried food or energy bars.
You can cook your own meals or buy them at the local supermarket. Avoid perishable goods and heavy canned food to pack. Bring nutritious and high-protein snacks. And place them somewhere easy to access while on the go.
Clothes to Wear
Pick moisture-wicking material for your clothes. Like nylon and polyester. Don’t pick cotton and other fabrics that take too long to dry. You don’t need to buy special hiking fabrics for this. Normal fitness wear can do.
Don’t forget to layer, depending on the weather. Bring along different kinds of clothes that you can quickly change to. Like roll-up/zip-off pants, lightweight pullovers, and waterproof jackets.
Be Prepared Physically
A simple hike can be demanding if you’re not physically ready. More so with a backpacking trip. This trip might involve running, and without a doubt, it will involve a lot of walking. Your feet and legs will be put to work. Not to mention the load you’ll be carrying on your back and shoulders.
You should do some exercises before going on a backpacking trip. Go on jogs and long walks in your spare time. Also, do a few mock hikes with a loaded heavy backpack.
So, these are 5 tips for your first backpacking trip. Hope you have fun on your trip. Good luck!