The Road Less Traveled: First Time Backpacker Tips
Backpacking is an incredibly unique way to see the world. Not only do you get to see things you just wouldn’t see from behind a window, you’ll meet people that can change your world, whether they give you a piece of life advice, or just offer you a chocolate bar. If you’re thinking about setting out on foot with just your pack for companionship, make sure you do your homework ahead of time for a successful trip.
Watch Your Pack’s Weight
You’d be surprised by all the stuff you think you need when all you can have is what you can carry. But when you’ve hit the trail and you can barely lift your pack onto your back, you’d also be surprised at how quickly you start chucking stuff aside. The general rule of thumb is to not go above 30% of your bodyweight. For the average male, that’s about 55 pounds, and that’s a huge amount. Seasoned backpackers try to aim for 35-40 pounds for a more manageable load.
Don’t load up your stuff and hit the trail for an extended trip. Like any sport, you want to start slow. A good starting distance is a 10 mile one-way trip. That’s enough to get you away from your car and feel like you’re actually in the wild, but it’s not far enough to get you into any trouble. Pack your backpack like you would for an overnight trip so you get accustomed to the weight. As you gradually increase your daily mileage, you’ll quickly learn if your pack weighs too much, or if you can increase the weight.
Have a Destination in Mind
Even if you’ve got a bad case of wanderlust, you don’t want to head out on the trail without a specific destination in mind. It’s much safer to let your family and friends know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and when you expect be there. If you were supposed to be at XYZ on a certain date and nobody hears from you, they’ll have an idea of what route you took, and can send help to look for you.
Find Backpacker Friendly Lodging
If you’re doing an extended hike on a popular trail, there are often hotels that are hiker-friendly, meaning they have clothes washing facilities, or places to mail any extra gear you don’t want to continue packing through. If you know you’re going to be passing through, you can call BCMI mgmt Lloydminster motels in Canada to ask them what their facilities are like before you make your detour.
Experienced backpackers have a grasp on one of the best things in life: make memories, not things. Lace up your boots and hit the trail for a truly life changing hobby.