Archives for February 2014

Planning a Backpacking Trip

Planning a Backpacking TripBackpacking can be one of the most exciting summer excursions you have ever had. The mere thought of being away from home and camping in the woods can give you a rush of adrenalin. Probably, the last time you went on such an outing was when you were still a child. Back then, you had caring parents to watch over you. This time round, you are an adult and would like to relive the adventure. Nonetheless, you have this fear that there are things you are going to forget. You are also uncertain about places to go backpacking and what lies in wait. With proper planning, you can have a backpacking experience that you will never forget. Here’s how:

Get a partner

Whenever you are venturing out into places you have never been to, it is always good to bring along a companion. If possible, get someone who has an experience of hiking for long distances and camping. This way, you will be able to encourage each other along the way and cover the distances you have purposed to go per day. Having someone by your side also helps just in case one of you is injured or falls ill.

Plan your route

A successful backpacking trip requires a lot of planning and effort. Get some background information on the area you are going to visit. Buy a topographical map which shows how the terrain looks like. These maps also show natural features such as rivers, lakes and forested areas. They also show man-made features such as foot trails, road and rail networks. If this is your first time, pick a short route that will be easy to navigate. Determine how long you will be hiking in a day and identify possible stopovers where you can pitch camp for the night. Look for a guidebook on the area. These are quite helpful as they are written by people who have been there before.

Check for permits and other access rights

Most camping sites require advance booking. There may be camping fees to be paid. Confirm and book early such that you are not caught up in high season last minute bookings. Gunflint trail resorts provide ideal facilities for backpackers. Contact the resort and make the relevant arrangements. Find out if there are restrictions on lighting of camp fires. These are usually restricted in forested areas especially during the dry season. This information will make you aware of what lies ahead such that you can prepare to deal with it.

Pick your backpacking gear

This will depend on how far out you intend to go. Some of the basic items you will need to carry include clothing, first aid kit, compass, water containers, knife and matches. You might consider renting or buying your own backpacking equipment.