As you may already know, an overnight backpacking trip is an excellent way to relax after a hard week, but getting ready for your first trip can be challenging. Taking a one-night overnight trip is a great way to test your equipment and to prepare for longer trips. This guide knows that once you experience an overnight backpacking trip for the first time, it will not be your last. Here are a few useful hints to help you prepare for your first overnight backpacking experience.
The backpack is the most important choice in preparing for the trip. It has to fit you perfectly and feel good with a full load. Try it on before you buy it. If it does not feel right in the store, then it will quickly make your trip a miserable trek. Whether you go with internal or external frames is a matter of personal choice. A common mistake that most beginners make is that they do not buy a pack that is big enough for all of their equipment. The main difference between a short trip and a long trip is the amount of water, food, and clothing that you bring. Bedding and shelter are the same for almost any trip. However, you will need a bigger backpack in cooler weather because winter gear is bulkier.
Where many beginners underestimate the size of backpack they need, they often overestimate the size and space that they need for shelter and bedding. When you are on the trail, you do not need to think about sleeping on the king size mattress that you have at home. The less space you need for your tent and bedding, the more you have for the essential items such as food and water. Many trails, such as the Appalachian Trail have shelters at regular intervals that you can use to sleep in.
The Weight of Water
Water is the heaviest item that you will carry on your trip. This is where you need to do a little bit of research beforehand. Some trails have water at regular intervals along the way. Others do not. Another option is to bring along a water filtration and purification system, but you still have to have a natural water available to use these devices.
What Food to Bring
For your first overnight, you don’t need to get fancy about food, but this is a more difficult item to plan for longer trips. The most important consideration when planning food is spoilage. Don’t plan on cooking a gourmet feast on the trail. Keep it simple. Oh, and don’t forget the can opener if you bring canned food.
Preparing for your first overnight can be daunting, but soon you will become an expert at overnight hops.
Overnight hiking trips challenge you physically, and they challenge you mentally. People on the trail tend to have a sense of camaraderie that you will not find anywhere else. Careful planning and consideration will make your trip the most enjoyable experience possible and after the first one, you will be sure to be hooked.