Backpacking isn’t for the faintest of hearts, but it is an unforgettable adventure that can change your life. Follow these tips on your next backpacking trip and let the trails take you where they may.
- Get the Gear
A dynamic pack full of gear can transform a novice backpacker into an expert. You’ll need cooking supplies (iodine, water filter, pots), stuff to make camp (tent, sleeping bag, tarp) and lots of miscellaneous odds and ends (first aid kit, compass, knife, toilet paper, wet wipes) to make sure that your adventure is complete. There are zillions of backpacking checklists online that can help you organize and pack your bag for success.
- Know your destination
Don’t leave your house on a backpacking trip without knowing all that you can about the places you’re going to go. You should know what poisonous creatures and predators you might encounter, the dos and don’ts of the particular culture you’ll be interacting with (if you’re backpacking through Europe, for instance), and the general types of terrain you’ll be traversing. Any and all knowledge you can gain before your trip will be crucial to an amazing adventure.
- Dress yourself for the occasion
Having the right clothes packed is crucial to having a great experience. So, have a rough outline of where you’re going to go and what you’re going to need. Heading to California? Make sure you have clothes you’re okay with getting wet. Going to Alaska? You’re going to need an awesome, versatile coat and lots of layers. Don’t bother with your stilettos, ties or fancy dresses; you won’t need them where you’re going. Wearing the right clothes on your back will help ensure that you don’t get sick on your journey and that you are as relatively comfortable as a backpacker could be.
- Less is more
When loading up your bags for your backpacking travels, lay out everything you think you’ll want and then get rid of half of it. The joy of backpacking is that you everything you bring will be on your back and you definitely don’t want to break your back by carting around a bunch of bulky sweaters, make up and hair products that you won’t even use.
- Cherish your feet
Break in those hiking boots of yours before you head out on your trip. A lot of hiking boots take three, four or even five hikes before your feet feel completely comfy in them. You don’t want blisters and sores to ruin an otherwise phenomenal backpacking adventure. Happy feet make for a happy hiker.
- Be flexible and follow your heart
This is by far the most important tip on the list. No trip ever goes precisely as you plan it, and that is exactly why traveling is so beautiful. Know yourself and be open to spontaneity, change and experiences you could never expect. This is what is going to make your adventure one to remember for a lifetime.