How to Plan Your First Backpacking Trip

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Ready to set off on your first backpacking trip throughout Canada’s beautiful natural landscapes? Before you embark on your outdoor adventure, follow these steps to make your trip a success.

  1. Chose Where You Want to Go

If you have the itch to go backpacking, you might already have a destination in mind. The trick to picking the right location is to find one that matches your budget, skillset, and time constraints. As a beginner, you should stick to popular trails that are well-travelled and easy to navigate. Online backpacking forums and regional guidebooks can help you determine the perfect trail for you. Consider the below traits to help you choose.

  • Time of Year

Always consider the time of year. Some locations are more scenic and accessible during certain times of the year, and some may be closed during the winter months.

  • Trail Type

Consider the logistics of your trip. Figure out whether it’s best to choose a loop, take a shuttle to the trailhead, the steepness of the trail, and how many miles you’re willing to hike in a day.

  • Laws/ Regulations

Check local regulations to determine whether you need things like a permit or a bear-resistant canister. If you don’t have the necessary items, you can get fined and kicked off the trail.

  1. Pick Who You Want to Go With

Do you want to travel with friends or go it alone? If you’re a beginner, it’s best to travel with a group. Go with experienced backpackers, whether it be a friend or a group you meet online from Meetup.com. Always choose people who are already familiar with the area and have years of backpacking experience behind them.

  1. Choose the Right Gear

Buying the right gear depends largely on where you’re going, what time of year you’re traveling, and how long you plan to go for. There are thousands of items to choose from online and in-store, and many of them can take a toll on your budget. Check out this collection of Canadian coupons from Official Coupon Code to get discount prices on high quality clothing and equipment. When packing for your trip, don’t forget these items:

  • Clothing
  • Cooking
  • Sleeping
  • Toiletries
  • Emergency Items
  • Miscellaneous Tools

Research backpacking forums for product reviews and tips.

  1. Bring Food

This is no time for a low-calorie diet. While backpacking, your body needs more fuel to remain active and healthy. Browse online forums where seasoned backpackers can give you the best advice on their favorite prepared foods and dehydrated meals they like to take on the trail. Food can add a lot of extra weight to your pack, so strategize where you can stop in nearby towns to stock up on more food.

  1. Pack Your Pack Just Right

High-end backpacks are designed for efficiency and comfort. Your backpack should be proportional to your body, and an expert at REI can fit you with the right pack. Since you’re a beginner, you should choose lightweight items that are easy to carry. Your pack should feature six areas to store your items: the bottom, the center, the sides, the top, the lid, and the outside.

  • Bottom: Sleeping bag
  • Center: food, extra water, and cooking gear
  • Top and Sides: clothing, tent gear, and other light items.
  • Lid: map, snacks, compass, and other essentials.
  • Outside: sleeping pad, CamelBak water bladder, and other accessories
  1. Get Fit

Whether you’re taking an overnight trip or you’re going for several months, you need to prep your body. While backpacking, you’ll primarily use your quads, glutes, calves, hips, core, and back. Exercise regularly to get fit before your trip.

  • Squats, plank position, dumbbell step ups, and wall sits
  • Cardio exercise including walking, running, and stairs
  • As you gain strength, incorporate your full backpack into your routine.
  1. Break In Your Shoes

Prevent blisters and injury by breaking in your new shoes or boots. Start by wearing them around the house, then take them on short day hikes. You can also prevent blisters by wearing socks made of nylon instead of cotton. Cotton retains more moisture, which can cause painful blisters.

Use these helpful tips and you’ll be well on your way to a successful backpacking trip.

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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