Four Essential Things To Know For Your First Time Backpacking Trip

If you are thinking about taking that first backpacking trip, there are several things you need to know before leaving your home.

Do not hike alone

You should have at least one person accompanying you in case you need assistance. Preferably, your partner or others should have some experience hiking; the more trips they have been on, the better off you will be. You can learn a lot about backpacking from another person and avoid learning everything the hard way. 

Make your first trip short and simple

It is better to go on your first backpacking excursion and hike a distance that is well within your capability. Hiking too far will mean more rest stops, and when fatigue sets in, you will not enjoy the trip as much. Also, your first trip should not be overnight. Spending the night outdoors is a big jump for a hiker to take, and you should have the experience of several daytime hikes before you attempt your first overnight trip. In addition, focus on beginner trails. Often, a hiking area will have more than one trail, and they will be graded accordingly.

Keep your backpack light

This is a classic mistake beginners make; their backpack is simply too heavy. Of course, what is heavy for one person may not be as heavy to another. The best way to prepare for your trip is to pack your equipment, and walk around with it for awhile. You can decide for yourself whether you are going to be uncomfortable. Keep in mind, what feels comfortable for a few minutes may not be as comfortable for a few hours. It is best to err on the safe side, so once you have a weight for your backpack that you feel comfortable with, lighten it up a little bit more.

Don't forget basic equipment

Even for short trips, there are several items you need to take with you. Obviously you want to take food and water, as well as the proper hiking boots and any clothing that is suitable for the time and place you will be hiking. But along with these items, you need to have a compass or captain compass. You may not plan on getting lost, but it can happen. A cell phone is also essential in case of an emergency. Your first hiking trip should be in an area with a cell tower.

The last thing you need to do before leaving your home is to notify a friend or relative where you will be. Keeping all of the above information mind, you will likely enjoy your first hiking experience.