Backpacking 101: What You Need To Know To Get Started

Backpacking lets you explore your horizons beyond your compound for a richer outdoor experience. There is no better way to explore the remote areas, observing wildlife and that solitude in a faraway campsite.

The joy of backpacking lies in carrying everything you need in your pack. This will, however, call for your careful planning and packing lots of different gears.

Are you a beginner? Does this sound a little bit confusing?

Well, relax, I am here to address your fears. This backpacking 101 guide will take you through a step by step until you are good to go.

backpacking camping

To turn your first backpacking trip successful, follow these steps:

  • Get the necessary gear, clothing, and food- you can get these from your friends if buying breaks your bank.
  • Get ready for your trip, mentally and legally and logistically—if there be any permits.
  • Choose a convenient destination, most likely closer to your residence.

Though this article should get you ready for a solo backpacking experience, the critical point is that you should get a friend to accompany you. This makes the trip fun and safer.

Have You Chosen a Convenient Location?

Make your hike hard and get a miserable experience, make it easy and have more fun. Your destination should be convenient and facilitate fun.

Tips for Choosing a Location

  • Seek advice from a veteran backpacker — consult hiking guide books for the best selection of hiking areas. Get online sites like Coops hiking project.
  • Pick a destination not far away from home — At least you will have more daylight hours to reach camp before dark catches up with you. Also, waking long with a heavy backpack is quite a headache
  • Go for a few hundred feet of elevation gain
  • Go for a well-traveled path and well-established camp; you’re likely to get a hand should you run into difficulties
  • Be sure to have enough water around the camp
  • Don’t tag juniors with you for the first trip; they may complicate things.
  • Strike while it is summer, for maximum daylight hours. Take precautions on mother’s nature and head back if storms roar at you.
  • Choose “walk-in” campgrounds — for excellent transition into backpacking

Grab Backpacking Gear, and Clothing, Which Are They?

Firstly, remember you need the necessary gear and clothing, which must fit into your backpack. They have to be lightweight and compact for that matter. You won’t want to appear like you’re carrying a whole lot of mountain.

Essential Gear

  • Tent—share a tent, which is more economical. Choose a backpacking tent that’s is 3-season-(spring, summer, and fall) because at this point you’re still a newbie, unprepared for mountaineering.
  • Backpack —whether borrowed of self-acquired, ensure your backpack is comfortable. Load it up and go for a test hike.
  • Sleeping bag—the type of sleeping bank to carry depends on weather conditions you’re likely to encounter. At first, pick a synthetic one, at least it’s versatile and affordable.
  • Sleeping pad—this comes in handy for cushioning during sleep. Choose a self-inflating pad for value and enhanced comfort.
  • Stove—it’s ok as a beginner to carry a gas-canister stove which offers more convenient usage.
  • Water treatment—You will need to treat every water you use
  • Kitchen supplies—carry pots, pans, plates, towels, cups, and utensils. Cook and eat your planned meals.
backpacking camping gear list

What Clothes to Bring?

No need for special “hiking clothes” for your first backpacking trip. A cloth made of quick-drying fabrics will be just fine.

  • Grab your long underwear—you never know when cold nights may knock
  • Nylon pants, sun hat, T-shirts, etc.
  • Puffy vest, warm hat, gloves, and a lightweight fleece pullover
  • Breathable jacket for rainy weather and also mosquito bite prevention
  • Also, you need hiking shoes. Your feet need to be protected well because they determine whether you will make it there or not. Pack lightweight slippers for walking around the camp. Be sure to pack synthetic socks as well.

What About the Food?

You will need to plan for dinner, breakfast, and lunch. Go for Freeze-dried backpacking food, which is the lightest and most comfortable option. Avoid canned food as these add weight and bulk to your pack. Carry plenty of snacks to fuel you uphill.

Getting Ready for Your Backpacking Trip

At this point, you have everything essential and ready to go. Now get ready physically, logistically and mentally for great hiking.

Follow the Following Tips:

Be ready physically—although this is not a marathon, hiking demands physical aptness. A short relatively hard trip wearing a 30 pounds backpack will get your body ready.

Be ready mentally—get familiar with your backpacking gear and clothes. Learn basic first aid tips and even pitch a tent.

Get well your logistics—Ensure you have all the legal permits and keep updated for trail conditions, fire restrictions and other valuable information.

Leave a detailed trip plan with your friend—where you’re going, when expected back. This helps them offer quick help if need be.

Pack early–be sure to pack for your trip several days in advance. A good practice is to regulate your backpack load not to exceed 20 percent of your body weight. If your backpack weighs so heavy, then relook at your packing list and see what needs to be discarded.

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