Around the world, there are still vast areas of wilderness for backpackers and campers to explore and enjoy. Getting up close and personal with nature can be an exciting and relaxing adventure with a little pre-planning and homework.
Where to Go
Choosing an area to backpack into will largely depend on your degree of experience in the outdoors. Different areas (mountainous, canyon, desert, etc.) require different equipment and knowledge. Study any information you can find on your chosen destination until you feel comfortable with what the area has to offer. What are the general weather patterns? What types of wildlife might you encounter? Are there water sources available? Are campfires allowed? Many state and national parks encourage backpacking and camping.
Set an itinerary. Whether a single day trip or one lasting several days, let someone know where you plan to go, and when you plan to return. Accidents can and do happen, even with the most experienced, and cell phones usually don’t work in wilderness areas. Most park systems require backpackers and campers to check in, but anywhere else you’re on your own.
Experienced backpackers and campers have usually acquired some basic survival skills and can get along quite well with a minimum of equipment. Beginners tend to either over-pack, or not take along enough. Good sturdy hiking shoes or boots paired with thick socks are a must. A well-fitting backpack (yes, they come in different sizes!) that can easily hold your gear should be next on the list. A bedroll or sleeping bag, small tent, mess kit, waterproof matches, a sharp hunting-type knife, water purification tablets, and a flashlight are some of the basics every backpack should contain. Also, Vintage Blades and straight razor sets don’t take up much space, and come in handy for a variety of uses. Depending on the season and the area chosen, you can add further necessary items. Keep in mind that you will be carrying the weight of whatever you choose to take along! Space-age technology has reduced the size and weight of food packets so they pack well and are easily used.
As the stresses of modern daily life grows, backpacking and camping have become more and more popular as an enjoyable way to relieve those stresses. Gaining knowledge of the outdoors and becoming more self-sufficient builds self-esteem, physical energy, and an appreciation of nature that is sadly lacking in city dwellers everywhere.