A quiet and adventurous hike through the wilderness is the perfect way to escape from the strenuous and fast-paced lifestyle. The reliance on a sturdy base camp in the wilderness adds another layer of thrill and assurance to the hiking escapade.
However, it is imperative to be prepared for any emergency when venturing into the wild. Moreover, this preparedness is going to allow you and your friends to completely bask in the glow of nature and enjoy your trip.
Therefore, this comprehensive guide is going to explore all the essential details you need to know for an unforgettable hiking and camping trip.
1. Invest In Heavy-Duty Equipment
Depending on your hike length, weather conditions, and various other factors, what you need to carry with you will change. It is vital to check what day and night temperatures you are most likely to face on your trail.
Moreover, it is also important not to overpack and to make a list of the things you think you’ll require for your trip. For a memorable hiking experience, the most important investments are your socks and hiking boots. A good and sturdy backpack is going to support your load, be optimally sized for your adventure, and fit your body.
In case of a hike in the day, carry a jerry can with reserve water or an easy-access water bottle pocket since staying hydrated is critical to hiking success. You can also ask your local outdoor shop to help you fit your pack.
2. Assess the Terrain
It is recommended to pack cautiously for your trip; however, before you start thinking about what to pack, you need to decide on your hiking terrain. The best tip for first-time hikers is to choose a trail that you know relatively well or hire a hiking guide.
Knowing your trail is going to lead you to gather important information about your upcoming hike, including its difficulty, length, and distance.
3. Clothing Guide
One of the common challenges of hiking preparation is choosing the best clothing for your trip while using minimal space and weight. Layering is ideal in this situation since it allows you to select light and versatile clothing for a variety of hiking circumstances.
Use a 3-layer approach, with each layer having a specific role and purpose for your hiking needs. These 3 layers, when properly chosen, prepare travelers to walk in the most difficult conditions. The three-tiered scheme consists of:
- A base (transfer) layer adjacent to your skin.
- On top is an adjustable insulating layer.
- An outer shell to keep you dry and protected from the elements.
4. Suitable Tent
While camping in the wild, your tent is your sanctuary. If you don’t plan on carrying anything on your back, buy a tent that’s somewhat larger than you need to accommodate your luggage. There are low tents and taller tents that allow you to stand in the center, so choose the size and height that works best for you.
Once your tent has been pitched, it is a good idea to take your shoes off whenever you are inside, as mud and dirt can make a mess in your tent. Plus, leaving your shoes inside can ensure they stay free of creepy crawlies when you are not wearing them.
5. Sound Sleep
The perils of a demanding hike can easily break even the fiercest spirits; therefore, quality sleep is a must to regain your lost energy.
Pack an inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, and pillow, as well as an extra blanket for cold evenings. A double sleeping bag is an excellent purchase if you have a camping companion, or even if you don’t, since it is less likely to tangle than a single sleeping bag.
6. Apply the “Leave No Trace” Philosophy
The seven principles of the “Leave No Trace” (LNT) concept guide outdoor enthusiasts in minimizing their environmental effects.
LNT, founded by the US Forest Service and NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, is a philosophy and educational organization committed to environmental preservation.
The philosophy entails tips such as:
- Prepare to bag up all of your trash.
- Check local restrictions in the area where you want to trek to determine if you also need to have a method for packing out human waste.
- Avoid camping near streams, lakes, or rivers.
- Don’t cut down trees or vegetation for any reason.
In essence, consider if any action you take could potentially impact nature and avoid doing it.
7. Prepare for Emergency
The wild is a place to relax, but it also includes potentially life-threatening scenarios. Therefore, always carry an updated first-aid kit with essential safety items.
In case you feel like you might be getting a blister, stop where you are, remove your boots and socks, and cover the affected area with some moleskin or second skin. Avoid consuming any plant that you are not sure about.
Additionally, cable ties and duct tape are invaluable in emergencies. Tent poles can be repaired with cable ties, and unplanned leaks can be stopped with duct tape.
Hiking is the most intimate way to enjoy the vast and varied beauty of nature; however, this intimate way can also lead to life-threatening scenarios if you are not smart about it.
Therefore, it is crucial that you plan your trip beforehand, get familiarized with the terrain, and pack the essentials without overpacking. Moreover, stay vigilant throughout your hike, avoid overexerting yourself, and be prepared for any unwanted scenarios.