Hit the Road: Pointers for First-Time Backpackers

Exploring the great outdoors is the ideal vacation for some people. Taking in nature’s beauty and surviving independently have a certain appeal, creating a connection between you and the environment. Hiking and backpacking are the usual activities done with this in mind.

However, backpacking is not something you can do in the spur of the moment. You will need to be ready not only physically but also equipment-wise. There are a lot of things to be done before going on your trip.

It pays to be prepared, especially if you’re backpacking for the first time. Here are some things you should keep in mind.

Pack the Right Supplies

The essentials of packing are food, extra clothing, and camping materials. You’ll also need a fire starter if you haven’t mastered making a fire manually. Bring a multi-tool to be prepared for equipment repairs. Don’t forget to prepare a first aid kit in case of emergencies.

Take along a fully charged power bank for your devices. Your phone is usually what you’ll rely on for navigation. However, make sure to polish up your orienteering skills and bring along a map and compass, in case your location has a weak signal.

Make sure that your backpack is water-resistant or has a rain cover to keep your stuff dry. When you’re travelling, keep your valuables in a sealed waterproof pouch. Electronics and maps should be especially protected so that you have fewer chances of getting lost.

Research the Location

Look at the weather forecast of the location you intend to travel to and compare it with how long you estimate you’ll get there. It will help you pack the stuff you need and minimize unused items. That’s only for backpacking in cities, however, as mountains will have different conditions.

You should also look for accommodations in the cities you’ll pass by, such as cheap hostels in London. Searching in advance will help you in budgeting. This will help you avoid going over your budget due to your limited knowledge of the local prices of the city.

Be Physically Prepared

Backpacking can’t be done by just anyone. You’ll also need to be physically prepared. Your primary way of travelling is by walking, which you’ll be doing under rain or shine. Do some cardio exercises to increase your stamina.

A month before your backpacking trip, make sure to jog regularly. Focus on extending your travelling distance by taking long walks. Train yourself to carry your backpack by increasing its weight and taking it along during your walk.

Work on exercises that increase your muscular strength, particularly your core and legs. These are the facilities that you’ll rely on the most when travelling on unsteady terrain. Use stairs regularly and incorporate a substantial amount of core exercises in your routine.

Have an Emergency Plan

Solo backpacker in the mountains

Some backpackers prefer to go without a travelling companion. If that’s the case for you, then you should have emergency measures in place. Inform your friends and family where you intend to go and how much time you think it will take so that they’ll know when to be concerned.

Make sure that your supplies include signalling items such as flares and noise-making devices. In case you get lost, using these items will help passing hikers and backpackers lend you a hand.

Make sure that you prepare your supplies at least a week before your trip so that you won’t forget anything. This will also give you a chance to get the items that you are lacking. Proper preparation is the key to staying safe when you set out.