Have you considered that you may no longer be interested in backpacking but would like to find other opportunities? It’s a good thought. Adventures, whether in lands or around the globe, are never too far away. In today’s modern world, it’s relatively easy to travel, and what preparation there is necessary (equipped with the right information) to ensure that experience gets to you.
So, where else will you find opportunities to travel? How else will you find new locations to venture? Backpacking is a great way to travel, but it has evolved into so much more. Backpacking no longer means “easy camping” or “roughing it”, whatever Long John Silver or Piggy backed Guy from the American Past would call it. Any experienced backpacker will tout the phrase “Life is a Road Trip”.
It’s a common thought that the outdoors is a buyers farce, but there are buyers who aren’t looking for a six-hour fun filled weekend out in the wilds. There are buyers who want to backpack to areas where they will be able to view wildlife, an experience they would not be able to find in a hotel. Or, there are buyers who want to backpack to where no one else goes. John Wesley Powell wrote;
“Wilderness trips are often the result of the desire to get away from the crowd and have a good time. People will go on a trip of spiritual or religious experience. These can be uninterrupted trips of weeks or months. But if a hiker or backpacker is aimless, he is Aimless. The aimlessness endemic to the human condition springs from our lack of nurture. Water, or more correctly water in the wrong containers, is an excellent method to satisfy a need.”
John Muir, the father of our national park system and founder of the Sierra Club back in the 1930’s, said;
“Adventure is serious work. It should be undertaken only when there is a specific purpose and a feasible plan. Otherwise it takes the joy out of life.”
If you are a backpacker and you want to live the ultimate Journey backpacking trip, it will be best served by you believing the following;
1. Think Shape – Backpacking is not a walk in the park. You will burn a lot of calories when you are walking long distances. You will need to consume adequate calories to keep your energy level up. You can burn up to 300 calories an hour just by fishing, which is an excellent method of exercise, and swimming if you can figure out how to swim well enough to float. The typical backpacker will need to consume 150-300 calories per hour, which should give you the energy and strength to keep on traveling.
2. Backpack With igorade – Enjoy the time on the trail and the taste of fresh fish, but keep the weight down. You can enjoy the simple things most at home, but how many times can you enjoy the taste of that peanut butter and jelly? You can’t always fix everything, so make sure you pack the right food for your trip. The food you bring can make a huge difference. If you are worried about your food, bring a little bag of used Ensure granules. The bag of Ensure Granules has almost no refined sugar, just as a person without much matter can enjoy the simplicity of a peanut butter sandwich (although I can’t speak for everyone’s taste buds).
3. Keep the Weight Down – Make sure you pack light. For every two backpacking trips you take, you can lose up to a pound of weight. But you can also gain weight easily. If you eat well, your pack can help you restrict how much weight you carry. If you are worried about your weight, buy a smaller pack so you can carry more food, but stay within the limit of a couple of pounds per trip.
4. Skills Test – Don’t rely on GPS to map out the trip. Make sure you are familiar with the maps and skills necessary for hiking. Take a practice hike so you know what you need to know.
5. Weather – Weather can be unpredictable. Temperatures change very quickly and weather conditions can change rapidly. Keep yourself updated on the weather forecast. Knowledge of the weather and ability to predict it helps you have the confidence to head out on the trail. A lot of people are afraid of what they think the weather is going to be, so avoid having that reaction and carry a book with you, or watch a DVD or learn about the weather. If you are thawed in the middle of winter, be aware that frostbite will take place.
6. Hygiene – Keep hand sanitizer with you to use before eating or drinking. Brush your teeth using purified water with toothpaste or baking soda. Bathe once or twice a day using a sponge. Whenever possible, soak in a creek.