The Ultimate Backpacking Guide for Beginners
The number of people who love to hike has increased in the last decade drastically. In 2017, approximately 44.9 million people took up hiking as hobby in the US!
The sudden spike is largely due to the widespread awareness of its numerous health benefits. Not only does it enrich your life by boosting your physical health it can is also beneficial for your psychological wellbeing.
Research shows that just 20 minutes of hiking can significantly reduce cortisol levels in your blood by 13.4%. This is your body’s ultimate stress hormone and spending time in nature and breathing fresh air helps manage stress effectively.
Are hiking and backpacking the same thing?
You’re probably wondering if hiking and backpacking is the same thing? Does it even matter? To some of us it might, but to others, you probably categorize it as some level of exercise. Let’s look at some of the differences to clear the air.
Hiking is taking a long walk for pleasure or exercise whereas trekking is often used to describe the same activity but with a greater level of physical labor. As far as backpacking is concerned, differences lie simply in terms of geography! It’s just a more common term in North America to describe pretty much the same thing.
You head off on the trail with all the necessary equipment you could need in your backpack. If you’re a beginner, you can check out our beginner’s backpacking checklist on our blog. A backpacking adventure is also spread out over multiple days or even months!
Here are some things you should be prepared for the first time you go backpacking.
You need to pack smart and keep your backpack compact. Think about the kind of experience you want and then take only what you need. Keeping a light backpack will help you sustain longer and perhaps, even cover a greater distance.
Test your gear
Before you head out, make sure you try out all the gear. You need to make sure that each part of your gear fits you comfortably enough to be worn for several hours on end. It’s also good to have an idea of the time it takes for you to pack, unpack, assemble and disassemble most things.
Bring your favorite food
Ask yourself what your relationship with food is like? If you are someone who can survive on eating protein bars throughout, then pack plenty! But if you need proper meals every now and then, make sure you have the supplies and gear to bail yourself out when you need to.
Wear breathable materials and of course, dress according to the season. You will have to layer up during winter season but make sure you have proper hiking shoes. Wear comfortable underwear and don’t forget to pack a raincoat.
Take someone along who has experience
If it’s your first time, it might be a good idea to head out with someone who has experience in the great outdoors. It can be a great learning opportunity for you and especially helpful in case of emergency situations.
Make sure you can handle the physical energy
If the only exercise you get on a daily basis is stretching to reach for the last pack of Doritos in your kitchen cupboard, you’re in for a real grind. It might be a good idea to get back in shape with somewhat regular exercise before you go on a backpacking trip. Start with a casual stroll and increase the levels of intensity with a light jog and then build your stamina gradually.
We can help you prep for your next backpacking trip! Browse through our daypacks, StrongLites, and UltraLites online and place your order today.
We also offer free shipping throughout the US!