Heading out into the backcountry on your first backpacking trip can be intimidating. These beginner-friendly tips will boost your trail confidence and ensure you're ready to tackle the terrain.
Get in shape. Backpacking can be strenuous, especially if you aren't in great shape. In addition to navigating steep, uneven terrain, you will be lugging around a lot of extra weight. You may also have to cope with hot weather, along with thin air if you plan to hive at higher elevations. Be sure you are fit enough for a backpacking trip before you make plans. Start small by hauling your pack on low-level local trails around you home. If you are overweight, over 50 or have any existing health issues, schedule a physical with your doctor to make sure you are fit enough for a taxing backpacking trip.
Lighten your load. Inexperienced backpackers tend to underestimate just how tiring it can be to lug a heavy pack around for hours. Although you might start out with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, the latter can wane as you start to fatigue. Try to avoid overpacking, so you won't have to carry around too much extra weight. You should take steps to lighten your pack using the helpful tips. You should also consider packing freeze-dried food, which provides plenty of flavor and fuel without all the excess weight.
Embrace the experience. Backpacking is a great way to bond with friends and family, get exercise and experience the joys of nature. You will get much more out of your experience if you stay mindful during your trip. Turn off your phone and be present in the moment. It can help to bring along a hiking journal to record special moments and help you stay focused on the beauty all around you.
Stay safe. Be sure to prioritize safety during your backpacking adventure. Bring along plenty of food and water, along with a comprehensive first-aid kit. Be sure to tell someone where you are going and exactly when they can expect you back. Stay abreast of weather conditions and make sure you have rain gear, warm clothing and waterproof boots. Familiarize yourself with wildlife safety tips, know how to spot poisonous plants and make sure you know which outdoor safety essentials to bring on your trip. It's generally a good idea for inexperienced backpackers to travel with a companion. If you can't find anyone to bring along, read over these important safety tips for backpacking alone. If you plan to bring along a child, you will need to take extra steps to protect their safety.
Consider renting equipment. Beginning backpackers tend to let their enthusiasm get the best of them. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of expensive impulse purchases and a garage filled with needless items. Instead of buying a lot of expensive gear from a local retailer, think about renting your tent, packs and equipment for the first few outings. this allows you to cut down on initial costs while you experiment before buying. You will also get a better sense of what you really need and what you can do without.
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