Backpacking Camping & Hiking

Backpacking Camping

Backpacking Camping for the most part started with a hike through the woods or mountains.  Some would say it started when Lloyd F Nelson attached a pack to a board with straps to carry over one's shoulders, distributing the weight making it easier to carry.  President Johnson encouraged people to get out and see America by signing the National Scenic Trail Act making hiking trails more accessible.  Hiking may have been in the decline a few decades ago, but many communities have since built more hiking trails and connecting paths for a hiker to get to many areas.

Whether hiking the Appalachian Trail or any other trail, you should plan your Backpacking Camping trip thoroughly.  Are you going by yourself, with a friend or a group?  Going with a friend or a group is safer than by yourself for several reasons.  The main one being that at least there is someone to help if you get hurt.  Other reasons are sharing the load, non-personal items can be shared so the loads are lighter.  Member of the group can share responsibilities as well.

Planning the Backpacking Camping Trip

Determining where you are going.

Backpacking Hammock Tent

You have to do more than just look at a map and say that is where I am going.  You have to do research.  Finding a trail that you are interested in is the first step.  Next will be reading all the information you can find on that particular trail.  Research the terrain, climate, and environment to determine if it fits your Backpacking skill level.  Obtain a map of the trail, study it, and determine how long it should take you and mark it according to your needs.  Once you determined how far you will hike each day, mark your map.  It would be advisable for you to have a second map marked identically to leave with someone in case someone has to come looking for you.

Once you have determined how far you plan to hike each day and the entire trip, you need to get in shape.  Build up endurance by working out with and with out your equipment.  Try to find terrain similar to the trail you want to do to build up your legs.  Also, work your arms and shoulder muscles.  One way is to add weight to your backpack; gradually working up to the weight it will be when you hit the trail.

Many hikers wanting to hike the AT do not realize just how long it actually takes to hike this trail.  If you were a "thru" hiker, the average Backpacking Camping trip time is 180 days.  Do not let the 6-month period get you down.  You can do what the vast majority of AT hikers have done:  Pick a section of the trail, plan your drop off and pickup date and times, and just go for it.

Backpacking Equipment Needed

Backpacking Equipment

Next, determine the items needed for the trip.  Hiking and backpacking camping equipment are just as important as planning your trip.  The hiking gear is designed to be resilient and lightweight.  Whether you are simply taking a short walk for an hour or two or planning simple overnight backpack camping, just remember

It is you against the elements and with the right gear, you will come out on top every time.

Just make sure the following five areas are covered:

  • Backpack
  • Walking boots or Hiking Boots
  • Outdoor clothing
  • Shelter
  • Food

A good place to start is by checking out the Hiking-Backpack camping checklist page.  Although you may add to or delete from this list, it will be valuable in making sure you will have everything needed for a backpacking trip.

We also recommend checking out the backpacking tents that are available.  These 1-man tents weigh less than 2 lbs. and can be set quickly almost anywhere.  We also researched the wide variety of outdoor apparel for just the right hiking boots or outdoor clothing.

What food will you need?

Planning your meals will be essential, because of room and weight.  A seasoned Backpacker will choose towns near the trail to mail nonperishable food, to them for general delivery.  This allows them to maximize the space in their Backpack.  You may want to opt for prepackaged meals.  These are meals that one just adds water to rehydrate the ingredients and are very nutritious.  On the other hand, do as seasoned Backpacker do and make up your own.  Dehydrating or buying dehydrated ingredients and making your own meals and energy bars guarantees you take what you want.

If you need meal ideas check the Campers Recipe page.  You can adjust many of the recipes can be adjusted to your needs.  If you do not find any ideas there click on the books list.  There are vast amounts of recipes that are adaptable.

Purchasing your backpacking equipment

Backpacking Gear

You can find Backpacking equipment at many outdoor retailers, our Camping Store and in some cases rented for the trip.  The right Backpacking equipment makes all the difference while you concentrate on the hike or the climb ahead.  The type of equipment that you will need is determined by where you are going and for how long.  The clothing, sleeping bags and tents taken will need to be rated for the conditions you will be in.

Have questions about Backpacking Camping?   Email us at our Contact Us page.

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