Backpacking is a great way to spend quality time in the great outdoors with friends and family. By backpacking away from civilization, you will be able to leave your worries behind. When it comes to planning an extended stay backpacking trip, it is important to prepare your trip carefully. Below, three top tips will be discussed, so read on.
Tip #1: Details
Laying out the details of your backpacking trip is essential to having an enjoyable and safe hike. It is important to lay out all the details of your trip before you even start to gather the gear you want to bring along. Plan the route, the duration of the hike, each day's hiking lengths, where you will be camping and stopping each day, and who will be coming along as part of your group. Learn how to utilize topographical maps and a compass (if you don't already know how). Maybe you have a GPS that you hike with. That's fine, but technology has a way of failing right when you need it the most.
While planning your trip, it is a good idea to gather your group together to make sure everyone is on the same page. Go over all the plans and details, and make sure everyone is OK with them. It is also important to leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member that won't be going. If there are any problems in the backcountry, they can use this itinerary to send search and rescue to find you. These details will help you to pull together the right gear for your hike.
Tip #2: Pack The Right Gear
With the details of your trip set in stone, it is now time to gather the proper gear for your hike. Just like the planning phase, make this a group activity. Have everybody bring together their gear and lay it all out. Have each member of your group go over the gear they plan on taking and the reasons why. Group gear, such as cooking items, meals, and tents, can be distributed throughout the group. This is also a good time to double-check each other's loadouts. More seasoned backpackers can help less experienced hikers pack their gear into their bags. Just be sure to remember that too many ounces will add up to make for an uncomfortable hiking experience.
Tip #3: Cut Ounces
Backpacking Truth #1: You will be more uncomfortable the heavier your backpack is. Backpacking Truth #2: You will have a more enjoyable backpacking experience the lighter your backpack is. These two backpacking truths cannot be stressed enough in this article. The problem is that with an extended backpacking trip, you need tons of food and gear to stay alive on the trail. This fact is a major hurdle to packing light and staying comfortable on the trail. Cutting ounces will really help you lighten your load.
Start by bringing a scale to your gear up party. Weigh each gear item and ask yourself if you absolutely need it. If you do, try to find the most lightweight alternative on the market (for example, substitute a camp chair with an ultralight backpacking camp chair). If you don't, LEAVE IT HOME! Most comfort items fall in this category, and while it can be difficult to leave all of your comfort items at home, do your best to trim as many as possible.
Hopefully, these three tips will help you to pack a successful extended backpacking trip. Thanks for reading!