Backpacking is a great way to experience the outdoor adventure and get back to nature.
It is a trip where you go to a location far away from civilization and hike in backcountry trails without having to worry about having everything you need at the moment. Backpacking can be long or short but are usually 6 days to 1 week. It usually costs more than car camping because of backpacking equipment cost.
The only problem is that backpacking can be difficult for beginners. We’ll talk about what you need, how you prepare for backpacking, and what you should bring with you. Hopefully, these backpacking tips will help make your first backpacking adventure go smoothly!
Preparing Yourself for Your First Backpacking Trip
It is important to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and even emotionally!
Before you go on a trail, check with your doctor or a physician for any medical concerns. You’ll need to make sure that you’re in good enough health before going strictly out into the trail. It’s best if your doctor gives you clearance first before going on a trail. If you have been to the trail before and know that trail very well, getting clearance from your doctor is just optional.
It’s best to go on a trip with someone who has gone backpacking before for his or her first trail as well, especially if it’s their first time! A seasoned backpacker won’t get as scared as they hike the trail, and it will be easier for them to help you along. You can either go with a backpacker that’s your age, or someone who is older. It doesn’t really matter! What matters is that they have experienced so that they can help you learn and gain confidence on the trail, too!
Knowing about trail conditions and trail safety is really important. It’s best if you enroll in a backpacking trail kit, like an orientation trail hike. You’ll get to know what to expect on the trail, so that it won’t be as scary for your first-time backpacking trip!
After all of that, you should be ready to go! You will learn a lot about trail safety and trail conditions. The trail can seem hard at first with all the backpacking gear that’s needed, but it’ll get easier and smoother as you backpack more often! Good luck!
How to Plan a Backpacking Trip
You’ve been waiting your entire life for this moment. You finally have the chance to embark on an adventure you had only previously dreamed of and now, it’s time to get ready; not just mentally but physically as well. It is essential that before your trip commences, you take some time out from prepping all those s’mores ingredients or sorting through hiking gear in order to make sure everything else will go smoothly during the preparation stage too!
This key lesson can be summed up by following these steps:
1. Pick A Date For Your Backpacking Trip
Before you can even begin to start packing your gear, find out a date that you can get away and explore nature as long as you want. You may have already set aside your long weekend or school holiday for this adventure! If a long weekend seems too long, however, choose two days rather than three to allow for more time exploring the wilderness. Note that long weekends are the best time to go for backpacking, as it gives you a long amount of time to be out on the trail without feeling rushed.
2. Define Where You Want To Go
When it comes to the task of picking a trail for your first backpacking trip, there are many factors that you will need to take into account. Your level of experience is significant in this decision: if you’ve never been on an overnight backpacking trip before, then avoid trails with steep slopes or lots of elevation gain because they may be too difficult for your first trip. Not only should terrain conditions play a major role in your choice, but also what amenities and facilities can be found at each campsite along the way so that hiking becomes as enjoyable as possible—you don’t want any surprises!
You could check out a few different travel sites for suggestions. Try looking up backpacking trails in your state or province, or even nearby states or provinces! To avoid being overwhelmed by all of these options, try to narrow down your choice between three and five places on long weekends.
3) Get A Permit If You Need One
Backpacking in the wilderness can be an enjoyable experience. However, it’s important to research all of your options before embarking on a backcountry adventure and make sure that you’re prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. One easy step is checking whether or not permits are required; many trails require them even if they seem fairly well-traveled like those found within national parks because some experienced hikers may overlook this detail.!
4) Choose A Campsite After You’ve Arrived At Your Destination
Chances are, your backpacking experience will begin in the parking lot or trailhead. Don’t start off on the wrong foot by making this choice! Before hiking yourself to a campsite that is further away than necessary from water sources and popular landmarks along the way, make sure you’ve organized your gear and food so that it’s easier to find a good place to pitch a tent once you arrive.
5) Plan Your Transportation
Transportation is a major factor for backpacking trips, and the type of trail usually dictates how you will get to your destination. For beginner backpackers on loop trails or out-and-back trips, it’s easiest just to drive there yourself; however, if you’ve chosen point-to-point hikes that require dropping off one car at either end before beginning the hike itself then plan this well in advance as departing from airports can be complicated without advanced notice.
6) Bring The Right Gear For Your Adventure
Establish which items are essential for your adventure, those that will make life on the trail much more bearable.
Here is the list of essential gears for your outdoor adventure:
You might be a beginner backpacker, but you don’t want to make any packing mistakes. Correctly fitting your pack is the first step in achieving comfort and even weight distribution on the trail! Pack too heavy? Too light? The length of your trip or what climate conditions will require more attention when choosing which pack for best use.
A properly fitting backpack means greater functionality overall, something most beginners probably aren’t aware they should factor into their decision process as soon as possible. You also need to consider how long you are going hiking/backpacking so that proper considerations can be made about size, capacity, and pack weight.
Depending on where you hike, you may have the option to sleep under a tarp instead of in a tent. If this is your first backpacking trip, however, it’s always best to hike with a good shelter as opposed to nothing at all in case bad weather accompanies you on your hike. Sleeping under a tarp or unprotected is certainly an option, but it depends on the hike you’re planning and how well prepared for a variety of conditions you are.
Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Pads
A good-quality sleeping bag is an essential piece of backpacking equipment. In warmer weather, you’ll want to hike with a 0˚ or 20˚ bag. Find the closest temperature rating that will meet your needs for comfort and pack accordingly. The most important factor in picking out a great sleeping bag is choosing one that keeps you warm on cold nights.
While sleeping pads are generally optional, they’re a great way to add more comfort on hard and rocky terrain. The thicker your sleeping pad is, the warmer you will be so keep that in mind as well when determining which one to pack under your backpack! You might also want to consider bringing an additional blanket for colder weather or camping in rocky areas.
Backpacking Stove And Fuel
The type of stove you should choose is dependent on your other gear selections and what types of foods/drinks you want to cook while hiking.
The trick to choosing the right gear for backpacking is picking gear that allows for versatility in all situations. Too heavy? Not warm enough? Too big? Not sturdy enough? Clearly articulating gear needs at the beginning of a trip helps prevent last-minute gear choices that might backfire later.
Lightweight, compact gear is always best to bring because hiking with heavy gear is extremely uncomfortable and can lead to health issues in the long run as well. After you’ve decided on gear that is light and compact, you’ll have to work out gear ratios between gear capacity vs weight capacities for your backpacking trip.
A trail map will help you get through your trail without getting lost or making wrong turns. If possible, find trail maps online before going on the trail so that you can plan out your trail route.
First Aid Supplies
Bring first aid supplies in case something unexpected happens, whether you slash open your foot or get a bee sting.
A First Aid Kit never hurts to have! It includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, and more that can help heal cuts, scrapes, and minor injuries when on the trail. A good kit will usually include gauze pads, bandages of various sizes, small adhesive bandages, alcohol wipes, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream or calamine lotion, and a pain reliever.
For larger wounds or deep cuts, you’ll need to bring along a more substantial first aid kit that includes items like butterfly stitches and wound cleaning fluids. A good quality trauma dressing can also be extremely helpful on the trail.
Make sure to bring a quality headlamp with you on your trip too. It might not be an essential gear you may initially desire, but the comfort and convenience it provides are invaluable when backpacking in the dark.
What to Wear
You want to be prepared for the worst when you are out backpacking, so before packing up your gear or hiking boots, make sure that you have a few key pieces of clothing. Always take with you at least one set of clothes in case it becomes wet from rain and sweat. You should also always pack an extra layer like fleece if there is any chance for cold temperatures as well as wearing breathable fabrics such as wool socks and underwear which will keep moisture away from delicate skin areas during long hikes on hot days while keeping warm enough on colder nights without overheating too much either.
Trekking poles are optional (though backpacking guides recommend them for their safety and convenience value), but they make a big difference in backcountry terrain. Offering enhanced stability, decreased fatigue, and protection from ankle roll-over on uneven trails, trekking poles are a great backpacking tool for beginners to use when backpacking the Appalachian Trail or other backcountry trails.
In order to prepare yourself properly for what could happen when backpacking through unpredictable terrain, start by checking the forecast ahead of time and considering all possible weather conditions that can occur. If you are unsure what gear to bring, it is a good idea to check out your gear options and consider which gear will help you deal with the environment and gear ratios necessary for backpacking through more extreme weather conditions.
Food and water
You will need to bring food and water with you because not all trailheads have accommodations. If you get dehydrated or lose too much weight from lack of food on your trail, it can be a problem. You might have to turn back or spend the night in a trail shelter on the trail.
To carry your food and water, you’ll need a backpack: A backpack is usually made of lightweight material that will help make it easier for you to carry everything with less strain on your shoulders and back. Make sure your backpack has padding on the back and straps so that it’s more comfortable, too!
Backpacking for beginners can be an exciting and educational experience, but if backpacking in the backcountry for the first time, it’s important to get prepared in advance. The key to backpacking tips is preparation. You must have all the necessary backpacking gear and supplies to go backpacking in order to be fully prepared.