A time for adventure is the time to enjoy nature and have fun. This, however, won’t be possible if you make grave mistakes while backpacking. You need to understand all your needs to have a hiking experience of a lifetime.
Research everything you need for the trip and have a checklist to ensure you don’t leave out anything. Some of the essentials to have in your backpack include the right gear and food, and, of course, take some security precautions as well. You must ensure your backpack is of the right size to carry all your essentials without being too bulky or too small.
Here are some backpacking tips you should keep in mind if you want to enjoy the outdoors.
Choose a Destination
When you’re going for an outdoor adventure for the first time, choosing a destination becomes the biggest challenge. Because you’re not a veteran yet, you need to go easy on the destination you choose. If you choose a challenging hiking destination, the trip may not be fun and instead, a rather miserable experience.
One crucial tip for choosing a destination is to ensure you’re close to home. This way, you will spend more time hiking than traveling to your destination. If you’re not sure about the best places for beginners, you can consider asking expert backpackers or seek expert advice.
Don’t Forget Essential Gear and Clothing
If you don’t pack all the essential gear you need for your trip, chances of enjoying the adventure will be close to none. You can even go back home before the trip is over. You need to have all your gear and clothing set for the trip. Ensure you prepare special hiking equipment that will make your adventure easy. Ensure you have all the fitness wear, warm clothes, and comfortable shoes you will need for your trip as well.
Prepare the tent, the sleeping bag, and all your kitchen essentials set for the trip. Ensure everything you pack is light and compact. If you’re hiking with a friend or as a family, you need to ensure the gear you’re packing is enough for all of you. Also, don’t forget a first aid kit.
A hiking terrain is not the friendliest place for your feet. You’re going to step on rough sand and stones. It can get cold in the morning and the evening, and your feet will suffer the most. Also, when it gets muddy, the ground can become slippery.
To ensure you’re comfortable amidst all this, you need to have the best footwear. Pack some socks and comfortable shoes. Ensure the shoes have good traction to avoid slipping and falling.
Get Comfortable Sleeping Essentials
Your backpacking sleeping bag should have everything you need for the entire trip. Your hiking adventures are going to be fun but tiring. All you need after a long, fun-filled day is a good night’s sleep. Of all the things you pack for the trip, your sleeping bag is the most expensive, but considering your comfort, it should be worth every penny you spend.
Your sleeping essentials should be comfortable but lightweight. Don’t forgo the things you’re used to when sleeping back home. If you use pillows, ensure you pack the best neck pillows to protect your neck. You need to wake up feeling inspired and energetic every morning for the challenges of the day.
You’re not going to starve while on the trip, and usually, you won’t get any eateries in hiking destinations. You need to carry enough food to cover you for the entire period you’ll be hiking. Plan the food you’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and all the dinners you’ll be spending there. Shop around for the easiest and the lightest options.
Ensure the foods you carry will stay fresh for the entire trip. Avoid perishable ones like eggs and heavy ones that will only add extra weight to your backpack. Don’t be so precise about the food you carry either. Carry extra food to serve you enough if you’re to spend additional days. Ensure the food you’re carrying for the trip is healthy and calorie filled. Also, and most importantly, don’t forget to carry water and some fruit.
Get Ready Physically and Emotionally
You need to prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and psychologically for the trip. Understand the purpose of this trip so that you know how you need to prepare yourself. Physical fitness is important before you set out for your trip. Take it easy because you’re not preparing for a rugby match. Just ensure your body can bear the hiking experience by preparing for it in advance.
You should also prepare yourself mentally before the trip. You can also try out your gear and pitch your tent ahead of time. Learn basic activities you’re going to do there, and maybe some first aid activities. Pack early enough so that you don’t have to rush things last minute. This way, you can check your backpacking list and ensure you leave nothing out.
Don’t Go Alone
If you’re hiking for the first time, it will be not only boring to go alone but also dangerous. If you can’t have your family members or friends tag along, you can choose a destination where you’re likely to meet other people. You need to have someone to rely on in case you get unforeseen emergencies such as injuries.
Backpacking is fun when done in a group, even for those who are already pro backpackers. Other people can bail you out if one of your gears fails to work, or you forgot to pack something important. Ensure your loved ones know where you are and don’t forget to carry a map in case you get lost.
An outdoor adventure is the best place to be, especially if you spend most of your time indoors. If you’re doing it for the first time, you need to make it special. Ensure you enjoy every bit of it without risking your safety. Learn all the outdoor survival techniques and give priority to your comfort. Takedown some notes so that you can correct all the mistakes you made on your first backpacking adventure. Remember, it’s a learning experience, and before you know it, you will be a pro backpacker.