One of the most common questions I hear, or problems I see happening for people who want to get into backpacking, is – where do I even begin??? Preparing for your first backpacking can be overwhelming.
Don’t worry! I am here to help you plan out your first ever backpacking trip, without overthinking it too much.
First, you need all the basic backpacking gear to keep you safe and comfy on the trail.
After you have your gear, it’s time to plan your first backpacking trip:
- Mentally commit to going backpacking, and say it out loud to some close friends, family, or on announce it on social media to help keep you accountable and get some support.
- Pick dates that work for you and fall into a pleasant time of year regarding weather and temperature.
- Pick a trail by doing a quick internet search of trails in your area or ask other locals where the good spots are. Most websites will have info or reviews stating the trail’s difficulty level – start off easy or intermediate if you’re already in good shape. Look for trails that are at least 15 miles or longer for a multi-day trip.
- Assemble your gear, lay everything out ensuring you do have everything you need.
- Make a menu for however many meals you will be on trail for, and a shopping list. Go shopping for food, and fuel for your stove if you need it.
- Pack your pack and off you go!
But don’t over think it:
- Don’t set in stone every mile marker you will camp at, break at, get water at, etc. Know what your options are and know plans may change based on weather, how your body is feeling, or other hikers you meet along the way.
- Don’t set a schedule of exact times you will wake up, eat, reach camp at night, etc. Allow flexibility, the beauty of backpacking is that you get to eat whenever you are hungry and sleep or rest whenever you are tired – the only real ‘time’ is day time or night time. And hey, sleep all day and night hike if you want to!
- Don’t worry if you or your gear is ‘good enough’ to be on the trail. You don’t need the newest, lightest gear (but that would be nice!) if it works – you have a warm place to sleep, food to eat, and shoes to carry you through – then it is good enough!
For more posts about planning epic adventures, check these out:
- How To Plan Ahead and Prepare – The Leave No Trace Way
- What I Wish I Knew Before Hiking The AT Alone
- 3 Tips To Have More Adventures In Your Life
Share your biggest struggle when it comes to planning a trip in the comments below!
PS – Do you have everything you need for your next backpacking trip?
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