Backpacking is an adventure that blends hiking with backcountry camping. It lets you broaden your horizons beyond the car campground to enjoy a richer, more immersive outdoor experience. A key distinction from day hiking is the size of your pack-your backpack (and you) must carry all of life's essentials on your back. And you must choose those essentials with care.
To get ready for your first backpacking trip, follow these steps:
- Choose an easy destination: Short overnight hikes close to home are best.
- Get essential gear and clothing: Borrow and scrounge gear to save money.
- Plan your food: Just-add-water meals can be found at your local REI, or find easy to cook options at regular grocery stores. Also pack plenty of snacks for trail fuel.
- Get ready for your trip: Condition yourself to do the planned hike with a fully loaded pack; get your permits; brush up on Leave No Trace principles.