This list contains the best preparation guidelines for individuals who have never gone backpacking.  It includes basic recommendations and tips, which will be expanded on in future blog segments.  Safe travels!

Practice Makes Perfect:

  • Pack your bag ahead of time (heaviest items centered and near your back.)
  • Carry your pack on trial hikes to get used to the weight.
  • Break in hiking boots or preferred footwear (More important than you may think.)
  • Be in reasonable physical shape (and check with your doctor if you have any doubts or prior health conditions.)
  • Pitch a tent in your yard (To ensure you have all parts and that you can.)
  • Use your compass (Ask a friend who understands reading topographical maps and how to use a compass. Take them with you on a practice hike and learn everything you can glom from them that day.)

Before you hit the road, check:

  • That your stove lights
  • That your batteries work
  • To see if anything you’ve packed has expired
  • That your lighter has enough fuel
  • That food or scented items are in food canisters. (Keep all scent contained.)

Be sure to include in your pack:  (These are just the essentials, not extras.)

  1. Maps and a compass (Practice using them.)
  2. Sunglasses and sunblock (With high SPF and no more than a year old.)
  3. Extra Clothing  (Use a layering system for best results.)
  4. Headlamp and torch (Test them with the batteries you’ll bring prior to leaving.)
  5. First Aid Supplies (Top up kit and check expiry dates.)
  6. Lighter and matches (Topped up and waterproof is best.)
  7. Knife (Check that it’s sharpened.)
  8. Extra food (Dehydrated food is lightweight and easy to prepare.)
  9. Extra Water (And water bottles.)
  10.  Emergency Blanket (Inexpensive and extremely lightweight.)
  11. Sleeping bag (That is appropriate for the temperature and weather conditions.)
  12. Tent (A good rule of thumb is to purchase the next size up. Example: If it's just you, buy a two-person tent.)

Before You Go:

  • Check what the weather and trail conditions are in the areas you will be traveling.
  • Make sure you have shared your itinerary and expected date of return with a friend or family member.
  • Make copies of your identification and contact numbers and put in a safe place.
  • Depending on where you are, consider a satellite phone or one-way emergency contact device.

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