Although we love hiking and have done some backpacking, it’s a continual process of learning how to do it better. No matter how much you read up on it to prepare, there is no better teacher than the trail itself. You will learn so much more as you go. I still remember how nervous I was the first time I went backpacking, and I still stress out every time and doubt what my mind and body can handle. In case you’re about to go on your first backpacking trip, here is some advice I wish would have given myself the first I went!
10 TIPS TO PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR FIRST BACKPACKING TRIP:
1. BE FLEXIBLE
You are going to be in the wild. Whether it’s getting lost or not accomplishing as many miles as you planned, a lot can happen on the trail. Be flexible and understand that you may need to change your itinerary from what you initially planned.
2. YOU DON’T NEED GOURMET FOOD, BUT BRING FOOD THAT YOU LIKE
We’ve hiked with people who cook up multiple courses and others who just eat Cliff Bars the whole way. Find what works for you. I personally hate the taste of Cliff Bars, but have found that Kind Bars (almond & apricot is my fave) combined with Honey Stinger Energy Waffles give me the energy I need and taste much better. The Honey Stingers remind me of the Korean dessert Yakgwa I used to eat growing up. We like to keep moving during the day, but like to sit down for a hot Mountain House (Lasagna is my favorite flavor) for dinner. That means the only cooking gear we need is our Jetboil. We don’t like cooking at home, so it’s no surprise that we don’t like to cook while backpacking.