Backpacking is an enjoyable way to experience nature and access remote terrain. The folks at Camp Trails offer the following tips to help you get started:
- Study a map or guide to know the terrain you’ll be hiking and estimate the time it will take to arrive at your destination. Pad your estimates with extra time to account for delays.
- Obtain necessary permits and reserve campsites in advance, and check local regulations to avoid fines. Know the area’s weather patterns and accommodate for time of year. Always be prepared for the worst weather.
- Remember, it’s very easy to perspire, even in the winter, so dress appropriately in layers and be prepared for changing conditions, temperature changes at higher altitudes and evenings. Avoid wearing jeans or cotton clothing. Wear polypropylene, wool or other breathable materials that wick moisture away and dry quickly.
- Always pack rain gear.
- Get to know your gear before heading out. Seam-seal the tent and familiarize yourself with its design and set-up. Learn how to operate your stove so that you’re not caught in the dark or the rain trying to figure it out. Know what you can carry and how long you can carry it without straining yourself. The pack shouldn’t weigh more than 25 percent of your weight, so take only what you need.