Backpacking comes with tons of benefits to it, both mentally and physically. You’ll recharge your batteries, become relaxed, and you’ll regret not going for an outdoor adventure sooner. But, later is better than never, and you need to know a few basics beforehand. Going into the wild without any previous knowledge can easily turn into a disaster, but lucky for you, we’ll walk you through the basics of wilderness backpacking.
“Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.” — Antonio Machado
There are two generally distinct kinds of backpacking:
- Wilderness backpacking — hiking in areas away from civilization, sleeping in tents or cabins
- Urban backpacking — traveling from city to city, sleeping in hostels or other lodgings
In the rest of the blog, we’ll cover wilderness backpacking tips as a form of self-reliant travel that affords opportunities to see off-road sights available no other way.
Wilderness Backpacking Tips
We’ll remain beginner-friendly, tell you all about the equipment you’ll need and what and how to pack, and share some of the best backpacking meals and ideas with you to have enough energy to enjoy a great adventure!
The importance of having the right equipment
Once you decide to pursue your outdoor adventures, you need to be prepared to invest in some high-quality gear that will have multiple purposes and will also last you for at least several years. It’s no joke; gear can be pretty expensive. You’ll need a tent, sleeping bag, and comfy backpack if you’re looking for adventure.
Your backpack should be big enough to fit all of your things inside. It would be best if you purchase one with foamy cushions on the shoulders and the back. That way, there will be fewer pressure points, and you’ll carry it around with ease.
Ideally, the backpack should have multiple compartments for better organization. You don’t want to look for the matches at the bottom of your backpack, right?
If you plan to share your tent with people, you should definitely look for a bigger one, but if privacy is your priority, then a small tent will serve its purpose. You also get to pick your favorite color!
The sleeping bag also comes in different shapes and sizes, but what matters most is the filling product. There are sleeping bags with synthetic fill and ones with natural filling. Thanks to advanced tech, the later ones can be safely purchased by people with allergies!
Do not underestimate the trail
Sometimes, the trail can be closer to your home, and you’ll think that it’s going to be a quick journey. You’ll pack lightly, grab a water bottle and one sweater, and be on your way. Well, that’s the biggest mistake you can make.
No matter how small the trail is, and no matter how close to civilization you are, you should always prepare beforehand. That’s the golden rule of all backpackers out there- never underestimate the trail.
Look for online testimonies, read about the trail, and ask people who’ve been there already. That is the best way you can learn all about it. Also, make sure to check if the trail is marked if there is a drinkable water source, and preferably, sleeping huts in case it gets cold during the night.
It would be best if you could take a quick look at it by driving around the area, especially if there is a road nearby.
Pack and dress accordingly
Depending on the season, and the kind of trail you choose, you need to pack accordingly. If it’s summer, you’ll have no need for an extra warm sweater, but you can forget all about that tank top you planned on wearing if it’s winter.
Depending on the terrain, you can opt for comfortable walking shoes or boots with thick soles that will protect your feet and ankles. Either way, you can ditch those oxfords that you find super cute.
When you’re packing, put the tent, the sleeping bag, and the extra clothes at the very bottom or on top of the backpack. Secure them if necessary. In the smaller compartments of your backpack, you can store a power bank, flashlight, matches, or lighter, and a basic first aid kit.
Put your pocket knife in the smallest compartment; you never know when you might need it.
Food and water
It is one of the most important things to bring with you on your hike. Your backpack should have enough space to store water bottles and snacks. If you’re a whole group, you can split your stashes amongst each other to relieve some of the weight on your shoulders. You can even bring meat with you, set up a campfire, and have a friendly night filled with chat and laughter.
But if not, premade food is your friend here. Always look for food that is high in calories and full of nutrients. Forget all about the calorie count. You’ll be moving a lot, carrying a lot of weight, so you’ll be burning those calories in no time. You might even drop a pound or two in a matter of days.
The food that you’ll bring should contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fibers. Also, just when you think that you have enough water, put one extra bottle inside your backpack; you never know when you might need it.
2 thoughts on “Wilderness Backpacking Tips for Beginners”
Thank you for your article on Wilderness Backpacking Tips for Beginners
Great tips, thanks for sharing. These might be helpful to those who are just starting on this adventure.