A Guide to Planning Your Backpacking Adventure
Stepping out into the wild, open country with nothing but a backpack full of belongings is a thrill that many people seek. However, the success of the venture relies on careful planning and research – not to mention various safety precautions. How will you stay hydrated, and what will you eat? How will you pack that all-important bag? If you’re a first-time backpacker, it’s difficult to know where to start.
Camping in the great outdoors for weeks or months at a time can be an incredible life experience. However, it can also be dangerous, so when it comes to organizing such an ambitious trip, thinking ahead is essential. With this in mind, here’s how to plan the ultimate backpacking adventure.
Choosing a Destination
The first step is to choose your destination. You will need to consider the weather, your budget and time constraints, as well as factoring in your skills and preferences. Are you a seasoned hiker who loves hot weather? Then consider planning a desert trail. Look through travel magazines and read blogs and regional guidebooks for inspiration, factoring in the trail type, distance and how many miles you plan to hike each day.
Once you’ve chosen your destination, you should collect as much information as possible on the area. Research online, read travel logs, collect books on your chosen destination and find trail maps and guidebooks. You may not want to take all of these with you, but it will help to read some informative material before embarking on your adventure.
Deciding What to Take
One of the hardest parts of planning a backpacking trip is deciding what to take. Obviously, you’ll be carrying everything on your back, so you’ll need to be incredibly selective about what you bring with you. It’s best to divide your luggage into four essential groups: clothing, cooking, sleeping and emergencies. Whenever possible, choose lightweight clothes and remove bulky packaging to reduce the weight of your pack.
Storing Your Possessions
If you’re giving up your home in order to travel, it’s a good idea to purge your clutter so you have less to store. If you own valuable items you can’t live without but don’t want to take with you, you’ll need to find a local unit where you can keep them until you return from your trip. If you’re looking for Leicester self storage, Storage Giant provides a number of idea solutions for domestic, commercial and student storage, meaning you can store your possessions without much worry.
Packing your Bag
When packing your bag, you’ll need to think strategically about how comfortable it will be to carry and how accessible your items are. As a general rule, you should pack cooking gear in the middle of your pack and cushion it with more lightweight items. Have your map, snack and other essentials in the lid of your bag, and put your sleeping bag at the bottom to balance the load.
Always carry a first-aid kit with you, as well as a headlamp to use in the dark and matches to help you start a fire. It’s also a good idea to learn what to do if a wild animal attacks, as you never know what you’re going to encounter in the great outdoors.
You should also bring a water filter or purification tablets with you to prevent dehydration and check your maps for water sources along your route before you leave. Lastly, in remote terrain, you might want to carry a Personal Location Beacon (PLB): a GPS tracker that can send a distress signal to local search and rescue teams.