Backpacking is a hobby or a pastime that many people around the world have adopted as of today. It is increasingly popular as a recreational activity as well as a method of reconnecting with nature through taking a break from our usually hectic schedules. But when it comes to backpacking, you need to have one thing perfected and that is your backpacking checklist. Many of us get this wrong and that could spoil the travel experience for you. Therefore, here are some tips that can help you backpack the right way.
You can start by weeding out things you don’t need. Be careful with every choice you make, a few ounces here and there can add a lot of weight in the end. A lightweight backpacking checklist, like the one here, will help you to focus on essential items. Next, focus on lightening your heaviest gear: shelter, backpack, and sleeping bag. Switching your traditional big three out for lightweight options is the best opportunity for weight savings, especially when you’re starting. If you invest in a lightweight shelter, backpack, and sleeping bag, you can easily cut 10 or more pounds and be well on your way to having an ultra-light backpacking setup.
The clothing that you take on your backpacking trip will change somewhat based on the conditions that you believe will prevail when you go on specific trips to certain locations. That said the basics will stay the same. Clothing made with quick-drying fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin is best to help your body regulate temperature and stay comfortable in both hot and cold environments. Nylon, polyester, wool, bamboo, silk, and synthetic blends are all good options. Avoid cotton – it absorbs moisture and takes a long time to dry, which can cause a variety of problems including blisters and chafe on your skin. Choose items that can be worn together in layers. Fleece and goose-down have the best warmth-to-weight ratio and make the best insulation materials for backpackers. Rain gear should be lightweight, breathable, and waterproof.
You must come up with a simple meal plan before you leave for your backpacking. It is worth putting effort into something like that. Keeping the weight of the food low is a skill that is critical to backpacking and in general, that takes travel & tourism experience. Most seasoned backpackers opt for lightweight, calorically dense foods that are very easy to prepare. Packaged freeze-dried meals and snack foods can be great, but keep in mind, they tend to be very high in sodium/sugar, which can take their toll, if eaten in excess. Another approach is to prepare your own backpacking meals, using a food dehydrator to dry meats, fruits, veggies, and sauces. Combining them with spices and quick-cooking or easily rehydrated dried goods such as pasta, couscous, instant potatoes, instant refried beans, and minute rice is a great way to customize your own highly nutritious meals. This method takes more time and effort, and you must be more willing to carry more weight, but making your meals can be more cost-effective and healthier for long trips. Our approach is usually a mix of both methods.
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