This is a list of tips and recommendations that should make your hike or backpacking adventure safer and more enjoyable:
- Avoid unnecessary surprises by checking the weather forecast for the area you will be visiting. Being aware of possible changes in the climate before they happen (rain, strong winds or major temperature drops) will help you to plan a more enjoyable trip.
- If you are hiking in a group, let someone that hikes at a medium pace take the lead. This will slow the fast hikers down while challenging the slow hikers to keep up. You don’t have to stay close at all times, but you don’t want to end up with a broken group either. For instance, if you encounter a fork or split in the trail, you will want to be close enough to ensure that everyone takes the right path.
- When planning your trip, it is important to give yourself enough time to enjoy the beauty of nature as you go! Taking a moment to admire a magnificent sunset on a mountain ridge, photograph a herd of deer passing by, or discover the exotic bird singing on a hidden tree branch is allowing yourself to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of your natural surroundings.
- Make sure you are comfortable at all times; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For instance, if you have a rock in your shoe or a wrinkle in your sock, take a break and fix the problem. When hiking for long periods of time and with weight on your back, one little rock or a wrinkle in your sock can turn into a blister on your foot and an unpleasant hiking experience.
- For long distance backpacking trips, do your best to divide your daily mileage based on elevation changes, terrain, and difficulty. A 10-mile day on fairly even terrain with little change in elevation could equal a 6-mile day on a challenging steep uphill section.
- Keep in mind that while backpacking in the wilderness, you will be using water to stay hydrated, cook dinner and possibly breakfast, and some personal hygiene (such as brushing your teeth). Make sure you provide yourself with enough water by planning ahead and taking advantage of the water sources as you go.
- Stick to your plan but be flexible when it’s worth it. If you still have a few miles to go, but you encounter an amazing camp site with a convenient water source, a breathtaking view, accessible fire wood and a protected flat area for your tent, you should definitely take advantage of it. This small deviation from your plan could turn into the highlight of your trip!
Hiking and backpacking are amazing outdoors activities that will provide you with the benefits of a complete low impact workout. Immersing yourself in the wilderness will also allow you to disconnect from your daily modern routine, activate your five senses, and help you connect with nature. If you have never hiked before, start with easy short hikes around the natural areas nearest you; get to know your limits, build up your endurance, and start gearing up! You will be ready to start planning your first backpacking trip in no time!
- Why Hiking and Backpacking is so cool.
- Learn all you need to know to be prepared: Hiking and Backpacking Checklist
- 10 Basic Rules you need to respect while hiking and backpacking in the wilderness.
- Answer ‘the call of the wild’: Backpacking Gear.
- Best Hiking and Backpacking Food.
- Hygiene Kit, basic items and practices that will keep you safe and comfortable.
- Learn how to pack a thorough Wilderness Emergency Kit.