Going on a backpacking trip is one of the best ways to enjoy nature. Whether the hike will be three days or two weeks, preparing is a key element for a successful experience.
1. Choose Your Hiking Group
The correct team is an essential part of an enjoyable trip. Choose people who will get along with each other. It may be a group of work colleagues, school friends, nature lovers or family members. Including at least one experienced hiker is a good idea.
2. Delegate Responsibilities
Planning the journey is important, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun! Delegate responsibilities based on your group’s interests and experience. One team member who is a natural organizer may be perfect to create packing lists. Someone else who loves to cook can plan the menu and purchase the food. Another of your group might consider taking some wilderness first aid classes. Dividing responsibilities helps everyone to be involved.
3. Be Physically Prepared
Being in shape can help prevent injuries on the trail. Start well ahead and be prepared physically for your adventure. Working out in a gym or at home can be beneficial. Lunges, squats, increasing your daily step count and taking the stairs more often will add strength to your legs, for example.
Go on several day hikes with the shoes or boots that you will wear on the trail. As the date gets closer, wear a backpack filled as it will be for the real deal. It’s surprising how heavy your pack can become after a few hours!
4. Research the Area and Possible Concerns
Be familiar with the location and its requirements. Some areas require a permit; others are open only during specific dates. Make sure to understand the wildlife, as well, and plan accordingly to ensure safety. Knowing the temperature extremes and being prepared for heat or cold can make all the difference to the comfort of each hiker. And of course, prepare for rain — just in case. Staying dry will make your entire time more enjoyable.
Taking the steps to prepare for your next backpacking trip will reward you and your fellow adventurers with peace of mind and safe travels.