Planning An Extended Backpacking Trip
Initial Planning Steps
- First of all, you should gather your party together. Who will be hiking and camping with you?
- If you are going on a solo trip, be sure to take safety measures to ensure your safety in the backcountry.
- You will then need to plan where you will be hiking and camping. This includes the general area, time frame (how long, how far, how many miles each day, total days in backcountry)
- Plan a specific route (with detailed topographical maps and trail maps), and camp site locations. Plan backup camp sites in case you encounter other hikers in your area.
Schedule Your Backbacking Trip
Once you have your party and your route all planned out, you will need to decide when to go. Different seasons of the year will help you to determine what gear to bring. Summer camping in the deserts of southern Utah will require different gear than late fall trekking in the Cascades. Keep in mind different climates and potential weather.
Plan As A Group
You are now ready to pull together all of the gear you will need to pack. It is very helpful to do this as a group, so you can see what the others are planning on bringing along. This will not only help with cutting redundant gear from the group items, but will also help each member remember essential items to pack. Make a checklist, this will also help you.
Reduce Backpack Weight
Now it’s time to trim excess weight. We are talking about an extended backpacking trip, so most of your capacity will be taken up by food and other essential gear. That means you won’t be able to bring along extra comfort items. Work together to trim excess gear to lighten your load. Ultimately, the lighter your load, the more comfortable you will be on the trail and the less likely you will be to injury or strain.Hopefully these tips will help you to successfully plan an extended backpacking trip. Happy trails!