There’s no better feeling than strapping on a backpack and hitting the trails. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to have a safe excursion.
Travel with an experienced backpacker
While it may seem tempting to rough it out in the wilderness on your own, we highly suggest backpacking with an experienced friend–especially if this will be your first time out on the trails. Sure, you can do exhaustive online research to try and preempt any obstacles that you may encounter on your journey (you should absolutely still do your research), but nothing makes up for first-hand experience. As a first-time backpacker, it will be nearly impossible to prepare for every possible scenario considering that you may not know all the possible scenarios.
An experienced backpacker has likely experienced those dreaded unforeseen pitfalls before and has since learned how to tackle them. Let their experience be your safety net and you can easily avoid some unnecessary hardships on your hike. You can still go on your solo backpacking adventure after your somewhat guided experience. Who knows, maybe next time you can be the experienced backpacker to introduce a new friend to the lifestyle. Always pay it forward.
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Once you leave the safety and familiarity of civilization, you’ll quickly realize the uncertain nature of…well, nature. There is no roadside assistance by the riverbank, and that oak tree is certainly not going to transform into a convenience store anytime soon. When you’re out on the trail, all that will be accessible to you is what nature can provide and what you carried with you in your pack. Unless your name is Bear Grylls, we highly suggest taking pre-trail precautions to make sure you’re covered out in the elements.
• The Food Essentials | Finding food on the trail can be quite a difficult task, so it pays to come prepared with viable food items and everything you’ll need for an efficient camp kitchen.
• Staying Healthy | You never know what might happen out on your backpacking trek. Come prepared with a first-aid kit and any medications you need. Take your health preparations a step further and sign up for travel insurance. A good plan should cover your any health mishaps and lost items. If you’re not sure what kind of coverage you’ll need, just give us a call at 305-648-7070. We’ll guide you in the right direction.
• Gear Up | In the modern age of hiking and backpacking, there’s pretty much a tool out there for any task. From specialized clothing to portable sleeping arrangements that would put many standard beds to shame. Make sure to bring the gear that will be suitable for your specific excursion.
Special considerations for children & dogs
When it comes to our littlest backpackers, it is vital that you take their unique needs into consideration. The outdoor experts over at REI put together a brief list of things to keep in mind when trekking with kids and dogs:
• Travel Distance | Both children and dogs may need to take breaks more frequently than yourself. Pay attention to their physical well-being throughout the trip and gauge their fitness level. Opt for shorter routes (about two miles) whenever possible.
• Self-Reliance | Giving your travel companions tasks such as carrying their own supplies can be very beneficial. For children, it teaches them a hearty lesson in responsibility and grit. As for most pets, they’ll love being put to work and they’ll be less likely to wonder off with the added weight.
• Entertainment | Be sure to bring games and toys that will keep your pack partners engaged once