If you are thinking about climbing a mountain and adding a little bit of adventure to your daily life, you need to make sure you are ready, so that nothing can surprise you and find you unprepared when you actually climb a mountain. If you are a beginner, take your time to read all the useful advice, since it will come handy.
With all those information around you, you may feel overwhelmed, but don’t worry. Here are 10 ultimate backpacking tips from the mountanairs with plenty of experience under their belt that will help you understand the process of preparation better.
However, keep in mind your own personal desires and needs. Every backpack is unique and reflects the personality of the owner.
- Bring only absolute necessities with you
Good backpack and its content are worth its weight in gold, since you will dependent on it once you are up there. There will be no stores where you can buy the things you need, but you cannot take everything neither.
You must pack just the things you might need and keep in mind the weight of the backpack, since you must be able to carry it the whole time. The main things you need to have on you or in your backpack are: clothes, boots, food, medicines and quality camping gear.
Sort everything out, pack wisely and think about all the situations that you may find yourself in. Better to bring it back home without using it, than to need something and don’t have it.
- Pick a trail
Depending on your physical condition, choose a trail accordingly. Perhaps you should start slowly and in time switch to more complicated ones. You can start by going on a one day hiking trip just so get your body used to this kind of effort.
You may even go first time just for couple of hours and then prolong the time spent in hiking. The available time is also an important element. If you just have one day off, then you cannot go far, but if you have ten days all for yourself then that is a completely different story. Whenever you go, it is important to have short breaks often, so you can avoid muscle sore.
- Choose your clothes wisely
Clothes should be completely adjusted to the weather conditions and you must be aware that nights in the mountain get cold in case you are planning to go on a longer route.The main tip from the experienced mauntanairs is that you dress in layers. Three layers to be exact.
The first one is called the base layer and it is important since it does not retain sweat, which is important for keeping you dry. The second layer should keep you warm and the third one should protect you from the snow, rain and wind. You must always have one set of dry clothes in case you get wet.
A good and warm cap will protect your head from the cold and preserve your body heat. Also, it is wise to have two pair of thin gloves that won’t sacrifice your dexterity, but will keep you warm and protect your skin from insects.
- Invest money in quality boots
There are various kinds of boots and the type you should buy depends on the weather. If you plan to go when it’s snowing, there is couple of things to pay attention to. Boots should absolutely be waterproof – lower part should be made of rubber and the upper one from leather.
Good, quality boots that can keep you warm should have 400 grams insulation at least, so you can be warm even on temperatures below zero. Additionally, they should be adaptable to snow shoe and crampon.
- Make sure you have enough food
When it comes to food, you must have in mind the amount of time you will spend in the mountain at take a little bit more than that. You never know what kind of unpredictable situation can happen, so it is always better to have additional meals.
Food should be rich in protein and be ready to eat. Pack protein bars, tuna, dried fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, coffee and most importantly – water. You must stay hydrated, so water is pretty essential and necessary for any hiking. Take small meals at a time, so your body recovers in order to continue and not get sleepy.
- Always bring first aid supplies with you
You must always have medications in your backpack in case you get ill, the gauze and bandages as well, alcohol tissues, povidone iodine for disinfection, antibiotic ointment, eye drops and personal medications in case you are using them.
All these things are an absolute necessity, because in case you fall and get injured, it must be disinfected and protected until you go to the doctor’s.
- Gear essentials
The first thing you need to have with you is navigation and compass. Even if you have someone experienced to go with you, these things take little space in your backpack, but they can literally save your head. Don’t go hiking without a flashlight or a headlight if you prefer to have your hands free.
Also, bring some extra batteries with you. Sunscreen and sunglasses will protect your skin and eyes, since watching snow all day can take its toll on your eyes.
A good knife is an absolute necessity. Also, pack matches since you will probably want to light a fire at some point. Prepare a tent as well, in case you need a shelter quickly and if you plan to spend the night. If you are a beginner, don’t forget to practice at home.
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation that you need to set up your tent urgently and you don’t know how. A good sleeping bag will keep you warm during the night, so you can recover and continue hiking the day after.
People with knee problems use walking sticks which make climbing easier, but it can be of great help even if you don’t have a knee problem. There are different kinds, but choose a lightweight one and possibly the one that can be folded so you can put in in your backpack. It will also make going down easier if it’s too steep.
- Team up
Never go in the mountain alone. Make sure you inform your family and friends that you are going hiking and always go with at least one friend with you. Mountain hiking is not for loners. The more people go the better. Besides being safer to go in a group, it will also be more fun.
Your expedition is not just about hiking; it is also about creating some nice memories. You must have someone to lean on in case of emergencies and at the end – two heads are smarter than one. Keep in mind not to touch any unknown plants.
Some may be poisonous. Also, inform yourself about the animals that may be living in the area, so you can take precautionary measures. Perhaps you may want to take a spray against bears or snakes, since you may encounter some on your way.
In case you would like to spend a day alone with your thoughts, you may want to choose the trails that are closer to a hotel, motel or an inn. This way, you can stop by and ask for directions, help, advice, food or anything else you may need.
- Bring a quality camera with you
If you are a photography fan, you will probably want to come back with nice pictures to show to your friends. Take an extra battery with you, so it doesn’t let you down when you see some amazing sight, like a sunset or some memorable moment with your friends. Be careful and take pictures only when you are in a safe place, so you don’t slip and lose it or hurt yourself.
- Leave the nature intact
During your hiking trip, you will be eating and using all kinds of things, but is it absolutely necessary to have in mind not to leave anything behind. Packaging needs a long time to decompose, so put in a little extra effort to clean after you.
Whatever you take with you on the mountain, take it back home. Try your best not to leave anything in order to preserve natural beauty. Also, it is recommended that you stay on the trail so that the animals don’t feel threatened.
If you follow these tips, you will certainly be on the right track as far as preparation goes. Create a checklist before you go and make sure that you pack everything.
This is a great way to avoid forgetting some essentials. The hiking trip you organize may be the best time in your life, so prepare everything in order to enjoy this experience to the fullest. Take all precautions you can, organize well and pleasure is guaranteed.