Backpacking 101: Beginning
Before you ever set foot outdoors backpacking, you’re going to want to learn some of the basics. Backpacking can be an exciting way to spend some spare time, but only if you’re truly prepared.
Start by considering your destinations. Will you be backpacking overnight or just day trips to start out? This answer will help you to determine what sort of backpack to buy.
Obviously, the longer you’ll be out backpacking, the more specialized pack you’re going to need. If you’re only going on day trips you won’t need to carry bedding and a lot of other equipment with you.
However, if you’re going to be traveling overnight you’re going to want to have a backpack that you can roll up your bedding and attach it to. This type of backpack will have a frame that you can use to secure your bedding on. It will help you to keep the inside of the pack for other items that you’ll need on your trip.
When you’re planning your trip consider the weather as well. Plan to have at least one change of clothing with you and extra socks as well as an extra thermal type shirt for warmth. Weather can change quickly when you’re out in the mountains so be prepared for this.
Always have a compass on hand and know how to read it. Practice at home a bit so that you get the hang of it. Keep this in your backpack at all times.
You’ll want some kind of a survival tool as well. There are a variety of these on the market today. You can get survival knives and survival flashlights and other survival tools.
Focus on a survival tool that you’re comfortable with. You’ll find many instances where you need one of these and you want to be fully prepared.
Research your trip before you go. Know your route and share this information with someone who isn’t going with you. Be sure that they know that if you don’t check in, they should come find you.
Prepare an emergency kit as well. You’ll want the basics in this for medical emergencies as well as other types of emergencies that can arise on a backpacking trip. This should also include a repair kit. If a strap on your backpack breaks you’ll want a way to repair it enough that you can get it back down the trail.