Your complete guide to backpacking
Planning outdoor Adventure, these tips can make things easy!
They say a backpacking trip is worth a thousand memories and guys they are absolutely right about it. No tensions, no worries about the huge crowd, no over money required, and an open country to roam. This is the stuff people dream and live for. All you need to do is intelligently pack your backpacks, load them up with all the essential items and prepare the other necessary requirements well for the trip to go down memorable.
Where Should You Go?
The most important thing to decide before backpacking should be picking up a destination travel to. The destination should be motivating, matching your skill set and fits nicely according to your budget and other constraints. The things to keep in mind while choosing your destination are:
- Time of the year: Most of the touring places have a particular time of the year where it is suitable to visit. You simply cannot go to High Sierra at wintertime or approach the Appalachian Trail in high humidity. The climate near the place of your trail will help you better to pack all your essentials.
- Type of Trails and Distance to cover: Always keeps in mind the exact trail you would be following on your trip. Make sure you do not over exert yourself on any day and distribute your trekking time even throughout all days of your trip.
- Maps and Regulations: Buy all the maps and guidebooks which will help to give you a more knowledge of the area you are travelling to. Also, make sure to check all the regulations laid by local authorities and adhere to them.
What Should You Bring Along?
The things you should carry in your backpack will mostly be decided by the destination you are travelling to and the time you wish to travel. Make sure your backpack is between 2000-5000 cubic meters so it could easily fit in all your essential things. Try to pack the following things:
- Sleeping Gear: Synthetic Sleeping Bag, Inflatable foam pad, 3-Season Tent.
- Clothes: Synthetic Hiking Pants, Synthetic T-shirts, A set of Waterproof Jacket and Pants, Pair of the sock, Light Fleece Gloves, and Slip-on Camp Shoes.
- Cooking Materials: Lightweight Backpacking stove with Fuel, Utensils for cooking, Sponge and Soap, Food and Water, Water Filter, Bowl, Cup and Forks.
- Emergency: First Aid Kit, Headlamp, Maps and compass, Toiletries, Pocket Knife and Camera.
Try to keep the weight of your backpack just right. Always remember the weight vs cost trade-off. A lighter backpack will enable you to move faster, but then it would also require buying the things you have left behind.
What Should You Eat?
The most important thing to keep in mind is your diet on the trip. Make sure you grab enough calories every day to provide you with the necessary energy for your travelling.
- Organize: Make sure to separate your food items from heavier items by placing them in zip-seal packs.
- Water: Try to carry at least 2 litres of Water per person in your group. In a case of hot weather during your travel, try to increase the quantity even more.
- Protect: You would need to protect your food from the wild animals. So try to take your food in a durable stuff sack.
- Dehydrate: Dehydrated food helps to save on weight in your backpack. You can easily dehydrate your food at homes and rehydrate them at your campsites while cooking.
- Little Extras: Donat try to cut on those extra bits of cravings. Include smaller amounts of chocolates or sweets in your backpack for craving after a long tiring day of the trek.
- Special Diet: If any member of your group is ill or suffering from a cold, make sure to take a little food with extra protein for them on your trips.
How to Pack Your Bag?
Backpacking is not just making sure all your important essentials are completely filled into your bag. The comfort with which you can carry your bag depends on upon the way you pack your bag. Follow the following guide to help pack your bags more comfortably:
- Bottom: Place your Sleeping Bag at the bottom of your Backpack.
- Centre: The Centre of your bag should be filled with Water, Food and your cooking gear and utensils.
- Sides and Top: Place your clothes, tent components and all the other compressible items on the top of your food items.
- Lid: Close the backpack by placing the maps, small snacks and other important essentials at the top.
- Outside: You can tie your sleeping pad on the outside of your bag.
What If Something Bad Happens on the Trip
No matter how small the chances for such thing to happen are, it can happen to anyone. Make sure you do the following if the same happens to you:
- Sticking to a Plan: Make sure you leave your complete Travel Itinerary to the rest of your family members. Also, provide them with some contact numbers of the local authorities to contact if in the problem.
- Carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB): If you are travelling to a challenging terrain, make sure you carry a PLB along with you. It helps to track your progress using a GPS and will send a distress signal to the local authorities in case anything goes wrong.
- Prepare you with Proper Skills and Gears: Make sure you carry good First Aid Kit and prepare with the basic knowledge to deal with minor hazards. Learn how to start a fire, collect water and build a basic shelter for yourself before starting your travels.
What Can You Do To Prepare Yourself
Preparing yourself for a daunting solo trip is very important.
- Test Your Gear: Take a smaller, overnight trip before embarking on a bigger trip to test out the quality and durability of your Gear. Make sure you are familiar with your gear as it can be a huge time difference for you on the trip.
- Get Fit: Start preparing yourself at least six weeks before you go on the trip. Make sure you have duly increased your cardiovascular fitness and your muscle strength. Go on jogging, cycling or hiking uphill with weights on your back to prepare for the trip.
- Break in Your Footwear: Going to large terrain with a brand new set of hiking boots can be a complete nightmare for you. Make sure you loosen your shoes well before you go on the trip.
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