A backpacking life, imagine it. Just imagine that everything you consider yours lay in a single bag on your back. Now, imagine what level of freedom will that give you? The liberty to go anywhere at any time, without hesitation, and nothing tying you down. You can decide to be in a different location each day before the sun rises, you’re also far away from home. Hence, you can be a different type of individual each day. You can make new friends and dump some friends. During a backpacking trip, you experience the true definition of liberty, you’re uninhibited!
However, as a backpacker, you will experience challenges. After all, you faced some while you had your big house to yourself. It’s certain that if you follow the following 15 backpacking tips, your challenges will be fun.
Decide On What Type Of Backpacking Trip You Want To Embark On
For every backpacking trip you embark upon, you will always have to decide its purpose and goal. The constant elements of every hiking trip are focused on fun and challenges. However, above all, you will have to choose the manner of those challenges. Do you wish to explore your local environment or you wish to travel to a new environment and see how tough things could get in an unknown trail?
Choose The Date & Get Weather Forecast
Real preparation for a backpacking trip won’t start until you choose a date to hit the trail. A date is necessary for you to know how to plan, what you will need, and what to expect in terms of weather.
Get All Your Things Ready, At Least Four Days Before The Day
Planning for a backpacking trip may start several months before the actual date you will hit the trail, but you must ensure that all necessities are adequately sourced and secured a few days before the day.
Ensure You Get The Right Backpack For The Hike
The factors to consider when choosing your backpack include the topography of the trail, the season of the year, the duration of the hike, your weight, and your height. Buy your backpacks with the expertise of experienced backpackers.
Secure All Necessities For A Backpacking Trip: Draw A Backpacking List
The ultimate necessities you must have before setting out on a backpacking trip include food, water, shelter, light, and navigation monitor. Others, which depend on the time of the year and where your travel will take you, include insulation and fire. For instance, bear in mind that it becomes cooler as you climb a mountain.
Get The Right Hint On The Necessities For A Hike
To be able to maximize your time with nature and lighten your backpack, you must decide to do away with moist food materials. In fact, you can avoid having to cook for the few days you will spend away from home. The best type of food, in this case, is freeze-dried foods. They are readily available in grocery stores. Your favorite food for this journey should be the light-weighted ones with huge calories embedded in them.
A tarp is recommended when it comes to putting a roof over your head while still being able to keep your pack light and expenses minimal. Try setting it up in your backyard because it requires extra technical skills—way more than traditional tents. However, its other benefits will prove to worth it. Tarps also have more benefits. For example, they are economical, lightweight, compact, spacious and flexible. However, do not use a tarp under windy conditions; you’ll be better off with a tent. Also, remember to buy a bug net because a tarp will not come with one.
The one backpacking gear you will need on your backpacking adventure is extra clothing gear. You can plan to wear a pair of outfits during the day and another pair at night while you wash and dry the former over the night. Just two pairs of each are enough.
Also, wool or synthetic materials are most preferred for hiking. Wool is the best for a sunny day, especially a short-sleeved one. Find one that is breathable, itch-free, wicks moisture easily, and dries quickly enough. A waterproof synthetic product will be good for a wet day. Most importantly, make sure your clothing gears are lightweight.
There’s no substitute for water as everyone needs to be hydrated. This necessity is one with constant weight and you will surely need lots of it for you’re going to sweat a lot during your adventure. Now, this is the reason you need all the information you can get about your trail from experienced backpackers or local inhabitants. If you have the fore-knowledge of flowing water along your trail, then you will only need sufficient water to reach it and restock yourself with sufficient water as you go along.
Your backpacking navigation gears should include maps, a solar-powered watch for measuring distance and time, and a mobile phone navigation application. Most backpackers make use of these three navigational items. They all make sure backpackers stay on course. Make sure you use an application that can be used offline. That way it won’t need the internet and will conserve your battery. Also, a whistle can save the day when you lose the trail of your hiking partner.
You will need a headlamp for the trail and a camping lantern when you decide to camp at night. You have more than enough options when it comes to backpacking lighting. From solar-powered light to LED light, the choice usually depends on your budget and weather. Anyway, most expert backpackers will recommend that you get lighting that can double as a power bank for your phone, that way you save some space and reduce the pack weight.
Your insulation gears for a backpacking trip will include an insulated jacket, insulated pants, and an insulated sleeping bag. You can either choose a down insulation product or a synthetic insulation product when buying any of these insulation gears.
Also, if you wish to cut your expenses to the bare minimum, go for synthetic products. When you’re particular about durability and the amount of warmth you can get under wet weather, you should opt for down products. Make sure your jacket has an adjustable hood so that you will be able to regulate visibility as you wish.
Depending on where your trail takes you, starting a campfire can be very tedious, or very easy. You can take along matches, magnesium block, lighter, or tinder; they are all good fire starters. However, many prefer strike-anywhere matches. They light up when struck with anything, ranging from a stone to a zipper or just anything around. You can double its efficiency by socking in paraffin and drying them vertically for an even coat. Ensure to store it in a waterproof box.
Hiking Boots & Trail Runners
The choice between hiking boots and trail runners doesn’t usually depend on preference but necessity. While hiking boots are more expensive, they are also more durable than trail runners. While hiking boots are more supportive on rough terrain than trail runners, they’re heavier and reduce your speed. Hiking boots provide better warmth in cold and wet conditions than trail runners; they’re too hot in hot weather. So, when shopping for your hiking footwear, the terrain of your trail, your height, comfort, and stability must be put into consideration.
New Things Are Not Always Right For A Trail
You may assume new materials are the best for your trip, but in reality, new things are not always good for backpacking travels. For your feet, blisters are the major challenge, and it is advisable that you wear your footwear a few times before your trip. Let your feet attune to the new stuff, such as the trekking poles, trail runners, and set-up your tent to make sure you know how to do it well, ensuring there are no leaks.
Extras Means Extra Load, Do Away With Them
The best thing you can do for yourself when packing your backpack is to avoid all unnecessary things and make your backpack as light as possible. You don’t want to be struggling with your back while you’re supposed to be enjoying the sounds of nature along your trail. While you must seek to be comfortable during your sojourn, your comfort still largely depends on you making judicious use of the few things you can afford to take with you. Apart from socks, underwear, and night cloth, you don’t need an extra of anything.
It Pays To Go In Pairs: Hike With Other Backpackers
The risk associated with backpacking is significantly reduced when you hike in pairs or groups because each person in the group will look after the other. Also, a journey to a solitary place, like the wilderness or mountains, can’t really be fun when you go alone. Even if you’re going on an educational hike, it is better for you to go with someone of like-mindedness. our partner may be able to see what you cannot see, making your trail much more fruitful. Additionally, you will be able to travel with more resources since you’re able to share the load. For instance, you can take barbecue gears with you, which you may not want to carry if you go alone.
Let The Right People Know About Your Target Trail
As part of your contingency plan, let people that care about you and you care about know your trail. Also, you can let the government know by going through national parks and following their appropriate procedures.
Your First Backpacking Trip? Then Keep It As Short As Possible
Whether it’s your first backpacking trip or your first in the past couple of years, it’s advisable to make your hiking trip as short as it could be. A two- or three-day hike is adequate for beginners, then you can increase the duration and distance in your next trip.
Try Some Backpacking Before Embarking On The Actual Backpacking Trip
The best thing that can teach you backpacking is backpacking itself. You don’t want to backpack and set out for the mountain when you’ve never backpacked before. It’s wise for you to make one or two pre-backpacking trips before your real trip. Pre-backpacking trips involve you packing your backpack with a load that has weight equal to, or heavier than, the weight of the load you will carry during your real backpacking trip.
Keep The Best Of Memories With Nature Alive, Take Some Pictures
Every backpacker likes to relish every moment of their journeys when they get home and many years after their backpacking trips end. The best way to do that is to capture some moments with nature through pictures. Memories formed this way are hard to forget and the tails that follow them rarely change for generations.
Let Nature Remain Natural
Whether you’re going through national parks, or through your own route, it is important for you to preserve the integrity of nature throughout your trail, and let no one know that you ever journey so far before them. That is the way to make sure that others coming after you will enjoy nature as much as you did.
Reflect On The “Just Concluded” Backpacking Trip, Plan For Another Hike
Backpacking usually births another, usually a better and more fun one. This is because you must have learned from your mistakes, reflect on how to make things better, do away with unnecessary things, and become a better backpacking planner yourself.
If you haven’t had any backpacking trips, you certainly are missing out. The joy you feel within you each time you successfully finish a backpacking trip is immeasurable. Most importantly, you’re sure to end up being a better version of yourself afterward.