How To Plan A Backpacking Trip

Senior man trail hiking in a mountain forest

Looking for adventure? Consider backpacking — become unplugged from your everyday world and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Although, planning an excursion that seems to be so carefree does take some complex planning, so follow these five steps for digging deep into the backpacking details so you can enjoy a stress-free getaway.

Distinguishing Trip Choices

First things first, there are two major components to consider: time and distance. How long do you have and how far do you want to travel? After establishing those guidelines, you can determine how many miles you will need to travel a day, which will guide you to a route that is suitable to your time constraints.

Pinpointing a Destination

If you are planning a quick weekend trip, you will want to choose a destination that is close to home, rather than hours away. Or, if you are traveling with a crowd, plan based on everyone’s strengths, or divide the heavy supplies so no one is lingering behind. Also, when choosing an area, make sure you consider the climate. Are you drawn to the sandy desert? Or do you love scenic waterfalls?

Following the Route

Now that you have chosen your trail, it’s time to study it. Grab a map to locate the campsites, water sources, and terrain. Day by day, depending on how much you plan to progress, you’ll want to locate places you can rest your head at night. Also, it’s no secret staying hydrated is essential in everyday life, but it’s especially true when it comes to backpacking. Make sure you have a reusable water bottle on the packing list and pinpoint where you will be able to fill it up. While this water won’t be ready to drink, make sure you also have a purifier on hand as well. For terrain, you’ll want to prepare yourself or the group for when it’s going to be time to put the pedal to the metal, so find where the elevation kicks in, or where the ground conditions will be tough.

Gather Supplies

You aren’t going to be close to any civilization, so it’s dier you are strategic with your packing. If you need suggestions, check out Rei’s backpacking checklist.

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Finalizing Details

Now, the hard part is over, as it’s just time to check off the boxes. Get your backpack ready to go, check the weather forecast, and share your itinerary with a friend or family member. It is crucial someone knows your route, as well as when you plan to return. Happy backpacking!