Choosing to go on a backpacking trip can be a fantastic adventure. It’s also one that has the ability to go very wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. Rather than just hitting the road and hoping for the best, you should keep these four smart tips in mind for your first backpacking trip.
Plan Your Route
It’s always a good idea to know where you’re going and how you are planning on getting there. Simply being able to know your starting and ending point can be very useful, especially if you’ve never traveled that route before. You don’t have to plan out every stop along the way, but knowing roughly where you want to be every day is a good way to keep yourself on pace and to ensure that you don’t lose track of time.
Give Yourself More Time
Many first-time backpackers assume that they’ll be able to move more quickly than they are actually able to move. For some, it’s a simple overestimation of the time and effort it takes to get from point A to point B. For others, it’s more about not understanding the joy that comes from slowing down and really taking in their surroundings. It’s a good idea to either shorten the physical length of your first trip or to give yourself more time on your intended route.
A good backpacker needs to remember to bring everything he or she needs while on the trail. It’s generally a good idea to reduce your carrying weight as much as possible, as even a light pack can get very heavy over time. Try to make sure any tools you take have as many uses as possible and that you pack equipment like a custom tarp that can actually hold up to real-world use.
Bring a Friend
It’s never a bad idea to bring along company on your first big excursion. If you know someone who already knows the lay of the land or who has spent time backpacking before, you’ll be able to avoid many common pitfalls and get a chance to learn from their experience. If you’re looking for a solo trip, try to find someone with whom you can travel for the first leg of your journey so that you can get valuable knowledge before you start off on your own.
If you’re willing to plan ahead, backpacking can be fantastic. Pack well, give yourself time, and don’t feel like you need to do it all alone. Once you get some experience under your belt, you’ll be able to have fantastic excursions on your own.
About the Author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.