Backpacking is a fun and innovative type of travelling, which allows you to get back to nature. As a backpacker, you have the chance to visit many beautiful places whilst only carrying anything that fits in your backpack. As such, travelling light is an absolute must.
Preparing for a backpacking trip in nature can be quite overwhelming. There is so much to consider, such as where to go and how to pick tents for backpacking. To make life easier for both novice and expert backpackers, here is a guide on everything you need to know when preparing for a multi-day backpacking trip.
1. Choosing A Destination
When you decide to go backpacking, the first thing you should do is pick a destination. There are many components to backpacking, such as hiking, camping, and even rock climbing.
Camping is essential to a multi-day backpacking trip. But choosing another activity will help in picking your destination. For example, the Rim-to-Rim trail in the Grand Canyon is best for you if you are going hiking. But, if you are more into rock climbing, then the John Muir Trail would be better.
As you can see, deciding on an activity is vital in deciding your destination for your backpacking trip.
2. Packing For a Short Backpacking Trip
Now that you have decided where to go for your backpacking trip, the next step is packing your bag. Remember, you must pack all your gear into one backpack. So, it is essential that you pack light, so your backpack won’t weigh you down as you walk to your campsite.
Here are some of the must-have items for your backpack trip:
- Camping gear, including a tent and sleeping bag
- Clothing including a waterproof jacket and comfortable shoes for hiking
- A water bottle (and enough water for the entire trip)
- Plenty of food to last the entire trip
- A first aid kit in case of minor injuries
- A torch with enough batteries for the night
- Matches to light a fire if needed
- Hiking gear such as trekking poles
- A backpacking stove to cook
- Map of the area and trails
Also, make sure to choose a good pair of sunglasses before your trip, since it’s pretty easy to damage the eyes and very hard to recover. Also, wearing sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV.
3. Training For a Backpacking Trip
It might sound unusual, but training and preparing for a backpacking trip is important. Backpacking trips can take anywhere from 2 days to a few months. For the majority of this time, you will be carrying your backpack, which is generally around 30-50 pounds. Carrying that much weight every day can be tiring and exhausting. Therefore, training and ensuring you are fit is important.
Training for a backpacking trip is somewhat simple. All you need to do is start walking, running, or going to the gym. This will help you build muscle and stamina for your trip. However, it will be best if you don’t train 3-5 days before your trip to ensure that your muscles aren’t stiff or sore during your actual trip.
4. Expect The Unexpected
Accidents and setbacks can happen like any other trip and everyday life. This can be minor, like losing your map, to more serious events such as spraining your ankle or falling. Therefore, it will help to have backup plans and methods in place for these scenarios. Here are some things you can do to prepare for different scenarios:
Do Your Research
To limit any unexpected injuries during your trip, researching your destination will help. Knowing the different hiking trails can help to limit any falls and injuries. In addition, by knowing the terrain and landscape, you will know the weather and climate, the location of the camping sites and the type of animals you might meet along the way.
Sharing Your Location
When going on a backpacking trip, it is always a good idea to let someone know where you are and the timeline of your trip. In this way, if something were to happen, someone would have a general idea of where you are.
5. Know Your Gear
Knowing your gear and how it works is vital when going on a backpacking trip. This can include how to pack and unpack your backpack or how to pitch your tent. Therefore, before your trip (preferably 3-4 days before), it will be best to check if your gear works and is in good condition. Over time, certain tools and equipment, such as your sleeping bag, will get damaged. Therefore, checking your gear before your trip can ensure that nothing will be broken when you need it most.
A Quick Guide for a Multi-day Backpacking Trip
Before going on a backpacking trip, there are many things you need to think about, such as where to go, the activities you will be doing and even the weather at your destination. In this short guideline, we have highlighted some of the most important things you need to think about before your trip.