Backpacking can be a fun and exciting adventure in nature, but surviving in the outdoors with only your gear is a dangerous risk for anyone with no backpacking experience. Before planning your first backpacking trip, become familiar with standard terms, the necessary gear and equipment, outdoor accident response and first aid procedures. Read reputable books and guides to gain a better understanding of backpacking before going out on your own. Outdoor and hiking clubs offer members organized training and outings to gain more experience, and official and private agencies hold backpacking and hiking classes to further your knowledge.
Backpacking also requires a great deal of physical strength and endurance. Before starting on a long backpacking outing, you should train yourself not only for the terrain, distance and climate, but to bear the weight of your pack on an all-day trek as well. Exercise regularly and remember to work your lower back, upper back, and abdomen muscles as well as your legs. You should also be aware of your medical condition.
Be prepared for any adverse effects you may suffer on your outing or consider a more comfortable trip if warranted.
Plan your backpacking trip carefully far in advance of the actual date. Decide where you are going to hike and how many days your journey will last. Familiarize yourself with the climate and terrain so you can adequately prepare your body and get the necessary gear. Always remember to tell friends and family about your backpacking plans. Leave detailed information with a loved one as to where you are going be and how long you will be gone so help can be sent in case of an emergency.
Once you have planned your trip, you can decide on gear and equipment. Weight is one of the most critical factors for backpacking. Consider the altitude and climate of the area you will be traveling in, as well as the weather forecast for the days you will be backpacking. Choosing a tent and sleeping bag will depend on how you sleep, the temperature, and the number of people going along.
Besides comfortable hiking shoes or boots, a lightweight, appropriate- sized pack, and the lightest sleeping gear that meets your needs, there are a few other essential things you should always remember to pack. Most importantly, you will want a relevant, detailed map of the area you will be backpacking in and a reliable compass that you can read. Consider laminating the map to protect it from element damage. Carrying all your supplies in Ziploc bags can keep them dry and help you quickly find things simultaneously.
One of the essential tools to take with you is for digging, starting a fire, and keeping it fueled. ACLIM8’s COMBAR is the ideal adventurer tool since you never know when you will be needing its 5-in-1 accessories that include a hammer, saw, knife, spade and axe. It is lightweight enough for your backpack or can strap onto your belt with its holster. You will also need a flashlight and/or a headlamp. A small, lightweight flashlight is good to carry with you at all times. Remember to bring along an extra set of batteries for your lights.
Pack fire starters and also stormproof matches for extreme conditions and emergencies. Freshwater and purifying tablets are also essential backpacking supplies. Always remember to pack a fully stocked first aid kit and a whistle for emergencies. Other items you will want to carry on every trip are an excellent bug repellent, especially in summer or marshy locations, sunscreen and a lip balm with sun protection, and at least one pair of high-quality sunglasses.
Remember to pack extra food, at least one additional meal, and extra fuel for your stove if the food requires cooking. The final things you need to always bring along on every backpacking trip, even a day trip, are extra clothes and emergency shelter. Extra clothes should include a wool or fleece sweater, waterproof pants and jacket, thermal underwear, insulated gloves and socks, and a warm polypro, wool, or polar fleece cap. Space bags and tube tents are good lightweight shelters.
Did you like this article? Check out Backpacking 101: What You Need To Know