Hard learned rules for making the most of your time on the trail.
For many the thought of backpacking brings up images of 100-pound packs, wildlife encounters, and remote rugged trails fit only for elite outdoorsmen and women. But in reality backpacking is one of the most peaceful and accessible ways to get out and explore the natural world around where you live. Sure, going in on the gear can be expensive at first, but buy right and you’ll be set for life. Learning the ins and outs of how to make the most of your time on the trail though, that comes with experience.
To help, we compiled an easy list of 9 hacks for better wellbeing while backpacking—handy for both novice backpackers and seasoned vets alike. Enjoy.
1. Eat Before You’re Hungry, Drink Before You’re Thirsty, Stop Before You’re Tired
The golden rule of backpacking. Be proactive. Backcountry travel encourages a heightened sense of self-care that many of us don’t apply elsewhere. Every half hour or so, ask yourself, “How are you doing? Are you hungry? When was the last time you drank water? Do you need to shed a layer? What about your feet—any hot spots?” That vigilance is necessary for us to do well in an environment that lacks modern amenities.
In our daily lives we often function on a sort of modern-world auto-pilot. We don’t self-assess because there’s really no immediate need to. When outside though, it takes time and energy to get anything done, so be smart and listen to yourself. I.e. don’t find yourself trying pump water late at night, cold and exhausted.