Preparing for a Backpacking Trip

Advance planning is the key to a successful backpacking trip.


| May/June 1980


Many novice hikers purchase far too much gear for their initial outings . . . but-with just a little common sense and a lot of preparation you can enjoy a safe and inexpensive ramble your first time out. Planning is the key to a successful backpacking trip . . . so your adventure should begin long before you set foot in the woods.

Mind and Body Conditioning

First of all, try to read (and learn) as much about backpacking as you can . . . there are any number of excellent beginner's guides available, some of which are noted at the end of this article. Next, be sure you're familiar with the area you'll be visiting. You can get trail maps and information on local weather and wildlife from the park service (or other agency) that maintains your chosen trail.

You should also start a steady program of physical conditioning . . . in order to get used to walking with a heavy pack on your back. Start your series of "shakedown" trips with a short stroll and a light load . . . then gradually increase both the distance you hike and the weight you carry. When you're ready for an overnighter, make the first one an easy junket . . . stick to heavily used paths, and always travel with a friend or with a group.

Safety in the Wilds

Every member of the trek should keep a checklist of personal items he or she plans to pack along . . . plus a separate list of community camping gear, which the whole group will double-check before taking off.

The essentials in your pack should include a map, a compass, a small flashlight, a fire starter (such as a candle), matches (in a waterproof container), a pocketknife, a supply of water purification tablets, a whistle, a couple of dimes (for an emergency call from a remote phone booth!), a Space blanket (available in most sporting goods stores), some insect repellent, sun protection (such as dark glasses and sunscreen), toilet paper, and a snakebite kit.

In addition, your group's equipment repair kit should contain needles, thread, ripstop (or adhesive) tape, wire, an extra flashlight bulb and a few batteries, a pair or two of spare boot laces, nylon cord, rubber bands, and replacement pack parts. (You can stash the smaller items in empty 35mm film canisters.)





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265