When planning an overnight backpacking trip, whether you are a first-time traveler or have been tramping through the woods for years, there are a few questions to consider. What should I do now? Is a permit required? I’m not sure what to eat. What should I bring?
In this article, we will explain how to plan a backpacking trip in six easy steps so you can feel more prepared and confident. Follow this step-by-step guide to planning backpacking trips to get ready for your expedition.
What is a backpacking trip?
A backpacking trip is a great way to travel and occupy yourself. It combines hiking with camping, allowing you to expand your horizons beyond the campgrounds for a more complete outdoor life.
Backpacking excursions, in general, are quite cost-effective and provide you the opportunity to experience new outdoor activities. As a result, not only can you shoot amazing images of natural sceneries, but you can also share incredible stories with your family and friends.
Backpacking trips require a lot of planning. If you’re a newbie, it’s best to start at a place close to your home or office.
The guide to planning backpacking trips you should follow
When planning a backpacking trip, deciding on a destination can be difficult because there are so many amazing paths to select from. But don’t panic; by asking some simple questions, we can help you narrow down your choices.
Pick a suitable destination
When you plan a backpacking trip, picking a destination can be a little challenging as there are various awesome trails to choose from. But don’t worry, we can help you narrow your options with these general questions.
- How far would you like to travel? For newcomers, 5 to 7 miles each day is a good goal. Professional backpackers choose a distance of 8 to 12 miles. Don’t try to cram too much stuff into your backpacks. At the start of your journey, you will be fatigued. Have faith in us!
- What is the level of difficulty? Do you prefer to test your limits?
- What are the most significant features you’re searching for? Massive mountain ranges? Is that a lake?
You can seek advice from experienced travelers to determine the finest destination for your trip. And think about details after that. How long are you going to travel? What trails, routes, sights, or campgrounds would you like to see?
Do research before going for a backpacking trip
Once you’ve decided where you want to go, do some preliminary research to minimize risks and eliminate unrealistic what-if situations. Before going hiking, it’s a good idea to research the climate and weather patterns. Keep track of the hours of daylight to ensure you arrive at your location before dusk. You should choose a location near a river or stream. Check weather forecasts periodically. When a storm, flash flood, or heavy snowdrop approaches, don’t bother to cancel or turn back.
Backpacking gear and clothing you should bring
For a newbie, the most time-consuming job is choosing clothing and equipment. For your convenience, we’ve built a checklist that you may use as a guideline.
Regarding backpacking gear, lightweight and compact things are prioritized. Actually, you can pack your camping gear when going backpacking. These are some suggestions you will need:
- Tent: This must-have item is a good accompaniment to a night out.
- Backpack: You can’t forget the symbol of backpacking adventures, the backpack is a must-have for each traveler. Choose one that is comfortable for your hips and shoulders, and that fits your body
- Sleeping bag: Consider several options of sleeping bag materials. Each comes with pros and cons, so choose wisely.
- Kitchen supplies: Please bring enough pots, plates, and cups so that you may make your planned meals as well as consume them on site. If you plan to wash dishes, bring a tiny sponge and some biodegradable soap with you.
Choose comfortable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying backpacking apparel. It’s best to stay away from cotton because it absorbs water and becomes heavier when wet. Consider the following:
- T-shirt, long-sleeve shirt
- Long trousers, joggers
- Waterproof jacket
- Gloves, Hats, Caps, rain shelters
Prepare enough food and meals
Preparing food is a crucial step in a guide to planning backpacking trips. Here are some tips to prepare light and easy dinners. In order to mitigate backpack weight, stay away from canned food and plan your meals ahead of time. Keeping in mind that too much food will add heaviness to your pack.
- Use premade dishes such as noodles or rice entrees for dinner.
- Lunch should consist of high-calorie and high-protein foods. Use dried fruits or nuts as snacks to keep things simple.
- When it comes to breakfast, hot oatmeal or cereal is the way to go. Additionally, try a cup of coffee, a teabag, or an energy drink.
Get mentally and physically ready
Because a backpacking trip is physically challenging, you need at least to complete a pre-trip workout to properly prepare. Don’t wait until backpacking day to load your pack; perform plenty of day treks and deal trails with similar distances to your destination. It’s also a good idea to learn some basic first aid and navigation skills. Backpacking adventures will benefit from your ability to navigate using a map and compass.
Another important step in a guide to planning backpacking trips is to calm yourself down before the starting date. Don’t be too concerned about it. Backpacking’s ultimate purpose is to calm your mind and unwind after a long day at work. So get loose and go on a trip.
Remember to check everything again
Before your journey, double-check everything. Complete any residual cleaning, check all-electric equipment and secure all windows and doors while you are gone from home for an extended period of time.
Assemble all of your possessions and necessary equipment. You can try out your tent and sleeping bag at home to make sure everything is working properly. Check the weather prediction for the next five days and proofread your hiking checklist.
We hope that you will find this article useful for your guide to planning backpacking trips. On your journey, you will encounter thrilling and novel encounters, so get ready to discover nature.