Backpacking is a popular pastime for avid nature lovers and adventurers. Wilderness terrain can serve as a proving ground for those seeking to challenge their bodies and minds. Although enthusiasm for backpacking is an important asset, being properly prepared is fundamental to backpacking success. Commit yourself to learning basic backpacking skills to ensure your safe ascension to more challenging adventures.
1. Assess your equipment prior to a backpacking trip. This is especially true if your equipment is new. Assess each piece of equipment for tears, rips, and worn areas. Try on each piece of clothing to ensure it can perform its intended function. For example, wet weather gear thatâ€™s full of holes wonâ€™t provide rain protection. Walk in your hiking boots to ensure proper fit and to check for pressure points.
2. Get your body into backpacking shape. Plan an exercise routine that includes aerobic and weight-lifting exercise. This will help prepare you for the uneven terrain and adverse weather conditions associated with backpacking trips. Gradually increase the amount of weight in your backpack as you take a hike along practice trails. Avoid common injuries like rolled ankles and shin splints by taking the time to prepare for each backpacking trip.
3. Train and adventure with experienced backpackers. Benefit from the experience of your peers as you prepare your body and mind for backpacking. Listen to stories about backpacking mishaps to learn from their mistakes. Work your way up to their level by paying attention to their routines. Join a backpacking club to stick to a regular training schedule.
4. Develop your land navigation skills. Learn to use a map and compass effectively for extra backpacking security. This will help in case you become separated from your backpacking group. Practice reading different maps to get used to commonly used symbols. Complete real-world land navigation to solidify your experience.
5. Learn proper first-aid techniques. Take CPR and first aid courses to ensure youâ€™re prepared for emergencies. These classes are offered by organizations like the Red Cross. Discover the correct way to pack and store a first-aid kit. Read a variety of backpacking books to take advantage of the wealth of useful information.