Backpacking : Hiking Tips Part 1 : The Outdoor Gear Review
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Backpacking tips – Video
Pack light: The key to having fun when backpacking is not being so worn out you can’t enjoy it. It helps to pack light and save energy and really the saying is true; less is more. Plus it’s nice not to be super sore after an impressive hike.
Leave the valuables at home. This is an important one. When out on the trail or in the bush there is no point in bring along your class ring or your diamond wedding ring. Hiking and backpacking is about the basics and anything that is lost is unlikely to be found again.
Let someone know where you are starting and where you are going. This is often preached and for a good reason. If something happens to you and you don’t return how are expected to be found if no one knows where to look? Be smart. Be careful.
Make a checklist of your gear before you leave. This is a biggie! Nothing is worse than being miles in on your trek only to discover that you left something important behind. There are plenty of checklists on the net that you can download. Remember the Essentials : Food, water, protection from the elements, navigation/information, fire, knife, light, and first aid.
The Pack that Fits. For those like myself who like to go out for long hikes and trips, the pack you are using is vital to a comfortable trip. Comfort comes from the fit of the bag….if it don’t fit correctly, it won’t handle correctly which can cause all sorts of problems.
Shoes! This is a no brainer! Having shoes that are comfortable and broken in are so important. Nothing is worse than trying to break in a pair of shoes or boots on the trail. BLISTER CITY! Wear whatever shoes you are thinking about taking for at least a week before hitting the trail with them. You will be happy that you did. Consider your environment and what features are important. Lots of water? Waterproof. Hot and dry? Very breathable. Long distances? Light weight!
Battery Power. I find that while I am cruising around on the trails that battery power is important. I take extra batteries for my cameras and I bring along a battery supply so that I can recharge my cell phone if need be. Basically this is considered being proactive. You can’t make a phone call if your phone is dead and you can’t use your GPS if it was left on all night long.
Weather. If at all possible, get an idea on what the weather conditions are forecasted to be. If it’s going to storm for three days, why not push back the trip? If nothing else it will help you with the gear that you will need to take with you. Remember that mother nature always wins so don’t try to fight it…work with it. If the wise things to do is turn back, then do so.
For solo hikers it’s common to hear something or see something that may get your heart beating. Maybe it’s bear or something rumbling through the woods. Keep calm and don’t let fear take hold of you. When you are alone the only person you can count on is yourself. That means that everything you do is your fault and you only have yourself to rely on. Every step counts. Every decision has repercussions.
How far can you go? When planning your trip, make sure to take a realistic look at your own abilities. If you aren’t in good shape, hiking 20 miles might not be a good idea for a day hike. Longer hikes may require training.
Plan for everything. This is something that I do every time I go out on the trail. Even for a day hike I’ve got all of the essentials including extra food, water, shelter and so on. If something happens that I wasn’t intending I want to be able to handle it.