Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tips Backpacking For Beginners

All the excitement of adventure in the wilderness is what you would call backpacking. It is a cross between hiking and camping. From waking up to a sunrise to watching the sun set. Wandering the forest paths or making your own. Falling asleep under the stars and fishing in babbling brook or river, being one with nature. Backpacking ups the ante for any experienced camper or new comer.

Make Sure You're in Shape

There are some things you can do to train to go backpacking. These things will help you get used to what it is like. They can help you avoid aching backs and shoulders or blisters. So you can have more fun and remember the beauty instead of your pain.

First break in your boots wearing the socks you will wear hiking to ensure proper fit. Take short hikes. You can also wear them around your town, do errands while wearing them. This will protect you from getting blisters.

Don't forget about getting your body in shape. Wear your backpack on short hikes while you are training so you will feel what it feels like to wear the backpack. Start slow fill your backpack only half full increasingly add more weight until it is full of everything you will bring, then increase the distances of your training hikes.

To Know You Gear

Once you are camping is not the time to figure out how all of your camping gear works. You will want to practice and figure out how it works in the comfort of your home or backyard. You'll want to test out your tent, water filter, camping stove, sleeping bag and any tools you will be bringing with you. This will also help you make a checklist of what to bring and replace anything that isn't working or is broken.

Pack your Backpack

Pack all your gear into your backpack, make sure it fits and it is not too heavy for you to carry for miles of hiking. You will want to look into packing for weight distribution. Sleeping bags go on the bottom as well as other gear you will use at night. Then pack your heaviest items such as food stash, water supply, or cook kit or stove. This will be best as it is next to your spine of your back. Wrap softer lower weight items, such as, tent body, rainfly, rain jacket, an insulation layer around weightier items to prevent from shifting. Keep frequently used items such as compass, GPS, sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray,and first aide kit in the top pocket or external pocket. Always have a light source available. A well packed pack will not have things shifting, will feel balanced resting on your hips, feeling stable, one with your upper body.

Plan Your Adventure

Do your research. Go with a friend, it is safer and they can carry half the load. Get a map of your destination. Make sure it is of your hiking level, check the mileage and elevation to suit your comfort level. If the trails end at a dead end make sure you have a way to get back. You can bring another car and leave one at the end of the trail so you can get back. Or you can just stay camped in one spot and go day hiking, fishing and relaxing.

Always check for water sources, You will be filtering your water so you better know where the good water sources are in advance. While you're checking your water sources, check the ranger district to get information about permits and regulations. You will need information about the weather as well since weather patterns can change quickly.


Now that you're ready to go backpacking there is some etiquette you will need to know. You most likely will see other campers at the destination sites. These campers probably came for unanimity and seclusion. Out of respect for other people be quiet, voices carry in the wilderness. Don't camp next to someone else's camp.

Set up 100 ft from a bwater source. But never wash dishes in it. You'll need to make catholes to bury your waste, far from freshwater. Use toilet paper only plain white, non-perfumed brands. It is best to leave no trace behind and take the toilet paper use it as trash. Urinating can attract wildlife so dilute it with water or urinate on rocks, pine needles or gravel.

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