8 Things to Do Before You Go Backpacking


If you haven't had the chance to enjoy a night out under the stars, all of your gear in a pack by your side, then preparing for a backpacking trip may seem like a daunting task. Take a deep breath and follow these tips, and before you know it you'll be packed and ready to hit the trail. 

1. Get Used to Hiking

Just because you routinely walk around town does not mean you will be prepared to walk pretty much non-stop for the duration of your backpacking trip. Prepare by taking day hikes in terrain that is similar to what you will experience later on. This will help your muscles get used to different conditions. 

2. Practice Carrying Your Pack

A full pack for a two to three-day outing might weight around 40 pounds. That is likely a significant amount compared to what you are used to carrying around. Practice to let your body get used to the burden of a full pack gradually. 

You might choose to start with a weight vest or a smaller bag with minimal gear, which is a great way to get started. you will definitely want to use your actual pack for at least a week or two before you hit the trails, though. This will give you a chance to troubleshoot fit and any rub spots that may happen with new gear. 

3. Get the Right Gear

All that leads up to a really important tip for any backpacker: you absolutely must have the right gear for the trip you have planned. A bulky tent is great if you can drive up to your campsite, but can quickly become cumbersome when strapped to your back all day. The same thing goes for cooking gear and toiletry items. 

Buy gear that is specially designed for backpacking. It will generally be lightweight and durable. Many items serve also double duty. Soft gear like sleeping bags, coats, and pillows will usually compress to a fraction of their usable size to make room in your bag.  

4. Break-in Your Shoes

Blisters can ruin a hiking or backpacking adventure quicker than most other things. After all, who really wants to walk all day in rough terrain on bloody feet? Make sure you have appropriate footwear that will support your foot and ankle and take the time to break in your hiking shoes if they are new. 

You might also want to invest in some wool or moisture-wicking socks that won't rub even if they get wet, plus some moleskin just in case blisters start to form. 

5. Eat for Energy and Endurance

Try to eat for your health in the weeks leading up to your trip. Up your protein intake a bit to help muscle development, especially if you are training harder than normal. You are going to have to carry your food in with you, so using vitamins or supplements to make sure you get enough nutrients is a good idea. Le-Vel Thrive Reviews show users pleased with the extra energy and stamina they get from the product, which could come in handy on the trail. 

6. Understand Water Needs on the Trail

Water is essential for everyday function. While you can go a while without food, dehydration sets in pretty quickly. Check with park offices or local outfitters about potential water sources on the trail, and be prepared to carry in what you need if necessary. 

7. Learn How to Maintain Personal Hygiene

Talk to people who have gone backpacking to get an idea of personal hygiene techniques while backpacking. You'll generally need a small shovel to bury human waste, and everything else will need to be packed out. Check restrictions where you are going to be sure you are prepared to comply with them. 

8. Brush Up on Your Map Skills

Modern GPS is a wonderful technological marvel, but your cell phone isn't likely to have good service in the backcountry. Brush up on your basic map skills, and learn how to navigate with a compass just in case. 

Backpacking can be a great and wonderful experience. You'll have adventure, solitude, and time to enjoy nature. Following these tips will have you prepared so that you can enjoy that time and return home safely, ready to go again soon.

Similar Articles

It's Fun to Hike With Your Cat: How to Get Ready for the Adventure

You don't have to let dog lovers get all the fun and companionship in outdoor pursuits. It can be a lot of fun to take your cat on the trails, too. Seriously, if you invest the time and effort into preparing, cats can have a great time hiking with their humans. 

rock climbing

Whether you are a beginning rock climber or an expert, there are many things that you need to consider when planning an outdoor rock climbing expedition. Here are some things to think about before you embark on your adventure. 

Tackle the Trail With These 6 Training Tips

So, you want to take on a mountain trail? Before you head to the hills, you want to make sure you are prepared for this type of hike. These six training tips can help make sure you arrive safely at your destination, no matter how high the summit. 

Maps Versus GPS Apps: The Best Choice for Hiking

Ireland is home to more than 900 developed walking trails, encompassing a huge variety of terrain. Making Ireland something of a haven for hiking fans, reason enough to get out of the city for a while and enjoy the fresh air. From the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk in County Wicklow to the Jean Kennedy Smith Walk in County Wexford, our beautiful country has something for everyone.

Black Lantern Hanging On Tree

Before you go tenting, have a look at our useful tips for buying the finest LED camping light for the trip. If you're undertaking any tenting adventure, it is crucial to get reliable tools, for instance, a decent camping lantern should be top of your list. Should you be thinking about why a camp light is so significant, you most likely have not managed this before. 

Sleeping bag

Slipping into a warm and open to dozing pack is one of the best delights of farmland outdoors. To keep the night chill under control, you have to pick a dozing sack of the right temperature rating, protection and shape