Backpacking Tips for Beginners: Essential Tips & Info
When planning to go backpacking for the first time you might wonder what to pack or which gear to buy. The backpacking tips for beginners in this article will help you make your first backpacking trip an adventure you’ll never forget.
Backpacking is a mixture of hiking and camping that allows one to explore nature and broaden the experience of outdoor activities. It involves carrying essential outdoor items such as a sleeping bag, a tent, and food in a backpack and hiking with these items to camp and survive in nature.
There are many tips and tricks that someone who is a beginner in backpacking needs to know to make the most out of the activity. This article will highlight some of the most crucial backpacking tips for beginners when it comes to backpacking such as essential equipment, safety and where to be begin.
How do you Start Backpacking for Beginners?
When preparing to gather your items for backpacking, one needs to differentiate between necessary and unnecessary things. Once you’re sure of that, it becomes relatively easy to start collecting the essential items for your trip.
What Backpacking Gear do I Need to Buy First?
There are many essential items that you will need to purchase before you engage in backpacking. The essential gear that you will need to buy first include:
- A comfortable and suitably sized backpack
- A tent of your liking
- A comfortable sleeping bag
- A Sleeping Pad
- Hiking boots.
What do I Need for a 3 Day Backpacking Trip?
If you plan a 3-day trip, there are specific essentials alongside your gear that you will be required to take along with you. These include
- plenty of food, both cooked and uncooked, as well as snacks and extra food.
- Appropriate clothing according to the forecasted weather conditions, and additional garments need to be packed as well.
- Hygiene essentials should be taken along, such as toilet paper and wet wipes.
- Can opener for canned foods.
How Much Food Do I Need for a 3 Day Backpacking Trip?
Out of all the items listed above, food & water is one of the most important because running out of food & water is a significant problem that we need to avoid at all costs. For a 3-day trip, you should have enough food and water to ensure two meals a day, alongside some on-the-go snacks for each day. We recommend always bringing at least one-day extra food and water, so you’ll know for sure you’ll have enough to last the three-day trip or if, for some reason, you are delayed.
What Equipment is Needed For Backpacking?
When planning for outdoor excursion trips, the required equipment needs to be chosen wisely. One has to make sure that no unnecessary equipment ends up taking extra space. For this purpose, we will help you by listing down the primary essentials you will need.
What are the 10 Essentials for Hiking?
Besides the most important backpacking items such as a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag, there are some necessary items you will need to take along with you on your hiking trip. These will include:
- A small burner stove with extra fuel alongside.
- Portable water filtering system to ensure clean drinking water.
- A small first aid kit for minor injuries.
- Navigation equipment such as a map for the area chosen for hiking.
- Pocketknife and other small tools.
- Headlamp to ensure light during the night and extra batteries for the lamp.
- Extra clothing.
- A pair of good, durable boots.
- Sun protection equipment such as sunglasses and sunblock.
What do You Put in Your Backpack When Backpacking?
You should neatly tuck extra clothing, food, hygiene equipment, burner stove and fuel, water filter, sleeping bag, and tent inside your backpack. You can carry other equipment such as maps, a pocketknife, and a headlamp in the outside pockets of your pack to allow for more space in your bag.
Are Trekking Poles Worth it?
Another critical hiking equipment is a trekking pole. Trekking poles are necessary to allow for better stability during your hike. Investing in an adequate, sturdy trekking pole is worth it as it will provide you with extra support while trekking and supporting your joints on steep hikes.
When it comes to long trekking distances, hilly terrains, etc., trekking poles become a necessity. To be able to walk comfortably without much do, trekking poles are just the right equipment. Moreover, these poles can also help you access water depth and ice strength if you come across such areas. Hence trekking poles are worth spending your money on before your hiking trip.
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How Heavy Should Your Backpack Be?
It is crucial to make sure that your backpack contains all the necessary items, but at the same time, it doesn’t end up being too heavy for you to carry. Hence, always make sure that your backpack doesn’t put too much strain on your body.
How do I Know if my Backpack is too Heavy?
Your backpack should not only be able to contain all your hiking essentials, but it should also be easy and comfortable for you to carry during your trip. There are several ways you can tell if your backpack is too heavy, such as:
- You feel discomfort when putting the pack on or off.
- Your shoulders feel exhausted and numb after wearing the bag.
- It becomes difficult to walk over a long distance with the backpack on.
- There is a strain on your back and your neck, which causes a change in your posture.
How do You Pack Food for Backpacking?
Food is one of the essentials when it comes to planning a trip. What’s more important is to ensure that the food you’re carrying is durable during your trip. While packing for your journey, you should ensure that you pack your food effectively not to waste the food, and nothing leaks in your backpack, which might ruin your clothing or other stuff you bring along.
Packing canned foods might be the easiest way to avoid leakage. For other raw or cooked foods, storing them in airtight containers or wrapping certain items such as bread in a plastic wrap is also an easy way to pack food. Ensure that you place your edible items in a different compartment of your backpack to ensure that none of it gets on your clothing or other equipment.
What Should You Not Bring Backpacking?
When preparing to pack your essentials for the trip, it is necessary to differentiate between the required items and the items that are not. Generally, backpackers make quite a lot of mistakes in this area as they end up packing unnecessary things, which only leads to the overweighting of the backpack.
There are certain items you should avoid bringing along with you on your backpacking trip. These unnecessary items include jewelry or any other valuable items as they may get lost. Try to avoid bringing large, heavy cameras that are difficult to carry. Too much extra clothing might not be necessary, additional comfort items such as a pillow, too many guidebooks as you can find a guide on your phone or GPS Tracker, extra toiletries such as bulky towels, etc.
These items will add weight to your backpack and make it difficult for you to carry it comfortably. Therefore, if you don’t want to hurt your back during your trip, we recommend avoiding packing these unnecessary items for your backpacking trip. Back to basic and back to nature, that’s what backpacking is all about.
12 Crucial Backpacking Tips
Now that you know all the necessary items and equipment required for backpacking, there are some crucial backpacking tips and tricks that you should know before you start your journey. These tips will ensure your comfortability during the trip and your safety. Make sure to keep these crucial backpacking tips in mind when preparing for your trip. These tips are as follows:
- Keep your hiking trip short.
- Plan your trip to a local, well-known area.
- Be aware of the expected weather conditions during your trip.
- Do a test run hike to check the durability of your equipment.
- Pack extra batteries for your gadgets.
- Sort out your gear and necessities such as food a few days before your trip.
- Borrow hiking equipment instead of spending too much money on purchasing it.
- Use a checklist to aid you when packing for the trip.
- Don’t cook your meals inside your tent.
- Use a dry area of terrain to set up your tent.
- Be efficient in your navigation skills.
- Use a zip lock bag to avoid getting your map wet.
Conclusion: Backpacking Tips for Beginners
Whether you’ve been backpacking once or twice or planning your first ever backpacking trip, you now know all the essentials and essential tips that will make sure that your trip is enjoyable and productive. Backpacking can be an extraordinarily adventurous and exciting activity, and many take backpacking trips annually as a part of their relaxation ritual.
The key to carrying a successful trip, avoiding any mishaps is to make sure one follows the essential guidelines. These tips will help you avoid mistakes often made by beginners and make your trip much more comfortable. It is important to remember to learn from your mistakes, and as always, practice makes perfect; the more you go backpacking, the better you’ll get at it. These tips act as a starter guide for you and will help you during your trip.