The number of people enjoying backpacking has been on the rise. According to Statista, more than 50 million people in the US took part in different hiking activities in 2021. Unfortunately, some people are still not familiar with important tips that will guarantee a great experience when hiking. Here are eight important backpacking tips to consider:
Always Train Before You Depart
It does not matter if you have been on a backpacking trip before or if it is your first; training before you depart is an important prerequisite you should consider. Like sports people, the best way to succeed is to train. Try hiking and see how it goes using the same travel backpacks you will carry. Make sure there are weights inside the bag. It will assist you in knowing how to tie the straps.
When training for backpacking, focus on increasing strength in major muscles participating in heavy lifting. Remember to do some drills for the lower back and shoulders. Work on your balance to ensure a stable base, making walking through uneven terrain easier. Complement all these exercises by performing biking, trail running, or any other cardio exercise.
Get the Right Backpack
You must get a backpack that fits your style and activities to ensure a successful trip. When hiking, you can encounter unpredictable weather, so you should get a ruggedly constructed backpack. Longer hikes will mean you will have to carry more gear.
When shopping for a backpack, ensure you go for one with a modular design capable of taking in all types of gear. You must always hydrate yourself to ensure your health condition is not affected. Ensure the backpack has a water bottle storage feature. According to the National Academies of Medicine, Engineering, and Sciences, women should consume at least 2.7 liters of water and men 3.7 liters daily.
Consider Carrying Lightweight Backpacking Gear
Ultra-light backpacks will always cost you more. However, every ounce will always count when carrying all you need for your hiking. Despite its high cost, getting a lightweight backpack will enable you to put the things you need.
You will need a light tent in the bag to accommodate everyone you travel with. It can get cold at night, especially when hiking in the mountains. Invest in a warm sleeping bag, as it will help make the difference between a miserable and successful trip. You should go for a three-season bag with a rating of between 4°C and 9°C.
Pack all the sleeping bag liners and hot water in a bottle. Go for lightweight fabrics that dry fast when rained on and wick moisture from the body. Depending on the activities you will be doing during your hike, consider having waterproof or windproof shoes and clothes.
Go for a Hike That Matches Your Abilities
When going for your first hike, go for one with a moderate elevation to start. It will provide you with hints on how you can handle tougher hikes. Try an overnight backpacking expedition before you embark on a week-long trip.
Most backpacking trails are circuits that can be tackled with different exit and entry points or directions. Your backpack will be heaviest when you first embark on hiking, so ensure the start point is the easiest. The first days will be the toughest since you are still in rhythm with the gear weight and hike.
Come Up With a Route Plan
After picking the backpacking area, you must plan for the route. Consider sketching different options just in case the first plan fails. Having more than one route plan and gauging reasonable miles will be very important at different backpacking levels.
Most beginner hikers must pay more attention to planning a route and mileage. You must always plan on your daily mileage. Most people prefer 5 to 7 miles a day. With this, you will get enough time to be acquainted with new gear and reduce the pressure of covering the ground.
Do Not Go Alone
Backpacking can be dangerous, especially if you are a beginner and alone. You can find yourself in trouble with someone to assist you. You should always be in a group, especially when going off-trail. If you are a first-timer, being close to other people will ensure you get help when you forget something important. They will be of help when stranded. Take a satellite phone with you and have a map to help orient yourself. Inform some of your people about your whereabouts.
When planning for your first-ever solo hike, consider going for a well-maintained trail. There are fewer chances of getting lost on such a rail. Settle for a terrain where you will not be taking lots of risks. The conditions and terrains should be within your abilities
When packing meals for a hike, go for foods with lots of calories and can easily be rehydrated, especially when going to areas where you can refill water. Pack some protein and power bars, as they will give you many calories and energy to last throughout the day. Have nuts and fruits for lunch and pasta with soup or potatoes for dinner. Consider packing dried fruits for multi-tours since they are much easier to carry.
Tuna contains a huge percentage of protein. You can eat it with bread and cheese, which produce high carbohydrates in the body. It is great you pack it when going for your hike. Ensure you carry all the empty cans back at the end of your hike to help preserve nature. Only convert to eating new foods you are familiar with during your expedition. Stick to the foods you are used to, and you enjoy eating. Ensure you pack a variety, as it will help keep you motivated after long hikes.
To ensure a great experience on your hike, you must prepare well and have all the necessary items. Remember to go for a backpack of the right size. The above backpacking tips will help ensure you have a successful hike.