It’s probably a trip you won’t forget and to make sure you remember it for all the right reasons, use these five tips to prepare yourself for that first backpacking trip. Miles from anywhere in the wilderness isn’t the time to find out you need a Plan B.
Break in the Boots
Wear your boots for a few days in a row to loosen them up and make sure they’re a good fit. You rely on the comfort and fit of the boots to get from your starting point to the destination. The last thing you want in the middle of the wilderness is foot problems or blisters. It’s so much better to discover issues with them before you hit the trail.
Test the Ground Pad
Instead of assuming that your ground pad will be comfortable hour after hour, try it out before you go. Backpacking can be strenuous and you need the best night’s sleep possible. If the pad is too thin or too much cold seeps through it, it’s better to find out about it in your backyard or living room rather than along the trail.
Pack for Comfort
Plan to bring along a few tee shirts that are moisture-wicking and soft. If they have UV (ultraviolet) blocking capabilities, so much the better. Look for a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50 for the best protection against sunburn. Antimicrobial and lightweight shirts from somewhere like Over Under Clothing have significant advantages in the wilderness.
Get to Know Your Backpack
Practice packing the pack long before you go. Once you’ve assembled everything you want to bring along, practice putting it inside the backpack. You may discover that you’ll have to leave some things behind, or you’ll need more straps to carry the essentials.
Once packed, wear it around for a while to see how it fits and feels. Although the pack isn’t as crucial as footwear or clothing in terms of comfort, you’ll have the best experience when the pack fits your body and there are no pressure points.
Learn to Read a Map
You may not need a topographical map if you’re hiking on a well-trodden path, but in the event you lose the trail, it’s important to know how to read it. These maps include every feature of the terrain and can lead you a road or building.
Covering the basics from your home gives you the time and opportunity to make adjustments. When everything fits and provides the comfort you need, you’ll have the chance to focus on this exciting experience.