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8 Backpacking Tips for Beginners

First-time backpacker? Theses 8 tips are just for you!

  1. Pick a Partner

Team up with an experienced friend. Knowledgeable and interesting company is always preferable, and a shared backpacking experience is usually more fun than going solo.

Join a group. 12-15 people group trips are memory-makers.

  1. Pick a Destination

Websites.  You can find wide choice of tour destinations offered in hiking websites, where you can choose the most preferable destinations you want.

Ask well-traveled friends. They can point you to destinations that match your tastes and abilities.

  1. How Long? How Far?

Time and distance. A 1-night and short-distance trips make sense for beginners.

Base camp trips. Set up camp on Night 1, use Day 2 to take a day hike to set destination, then return to your base camp that night. This way you’ll tote a full backpack on just 2 days.

  1. Be Ready Physically

Prep hikes. Prior to your trip, take some training hikes. You need to be in reasonably good condition to attempt a backpacking trip.

Test-carry a full backpack.  Load up a multinight backpack with a tent, sleeping bag and pad and etc. Choose the right gear. Load your backpack with manageable and bearable weight. Full backpack weight should not exceed 13kg.

     5. How to Carry backpack

A backpack is designed to carry most of the load on your hips while your shoulders carry less.

  • Capacity. The number in pack names = the pack’s volume in liters. A common size for multinight trips (2-4 nights) is 60-70+ liters. For longer trips, choose 75 and higher.
  • Size: Backpacks are sized according to torso length, not a person’s height. Torso length is determined by measuring the distance between the top of your hips to your C7 vertebrae—that bony protrusion near the top of your neck.
  • Loading and adjusting a pack. Keep heavy gear close to your back and near your shoulders.

     6. What to Wear

Base layer. Sweaty cotton takes forever to dry, so choose a “technical” fabric: moisture-wicking polyester or wool. Wool? Yep, lightweight wool wears comfortably in warm weather. Underwear, men’s or women’s, made of tech fabrics is also a smart choice.

Pants or shorts. “Convertible”, waterproof, wind breaking pants are popular. Their lower-leg portions can zip off if you want more air and sun.

Footwear. Choose boots designed for hiking trips, which are comfortable and waterproof. Hiking boots are preferred to be one size larger than your foot size.

Socks. Avoid cotton. Choose wool or synthetic socks in a weight or thickness compatible with your footwear.

Head cover. It’s smart to shield your scalp from all-day sun exposure. You can wear caps, bandanas and etc.

Outerwear. Even if dry weather is forecast, however take a rain jacket.

     7. How much food to take

Food: It is recommended to take food as much as you can consume during your entire hike. If hiking tour takes 1 night, hence 2 days, then simply take food for 1 dinner, two lunches and 1 breakfast. For interim breaks you are advised to take fruits, snacks, sweets, dried fruit and etc. Food selection is an individual approach.

  1. How much water to carry

For a 1-day hike, you can take 1 liter of bottled water and 2 liters max for 2 day-hike accordingly.

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