We all know the feeling of wanting to get out and enjoy the great outdoors on the trail and under a camping tent, but life often gets in the way. From work obligations to low energy levels, planning and having time for backpacking is challenging.
But don’t despair! When you find free time, you can make the most of it with a last-minute backpacking trip. Here’s how to spend more time in the great outdoors and less time planning.
Create a Personalized Packing List
The first and most crucial step is to create a personalized packing list. This will help ensure you don’t forget anything important while keeping your load light. Start with a tent, sleeping bag, camping stove, flashlights, and firewood. Then add items based on the type of backpacking you plan to do: fishing, rock climbing, or even photography.
While making your packing list, look for opportunities to save space in your bag. For instance, bringing a high-performance rechargeable flashlight, like the Fenix PD36R, can leave extra room in your pack because you don’t have to grab extra batteries for the light.
Learn About the Area
Before you go backpacking, it’s important to know the area. Research the terrain and what type of wildlife is typical at your destination. Also, read up on rules or regulations related to camping and hiking in the area, such as fire restrictions or permits.
Knowing where you want to go and what you plan to do is also a good idea. This will help when it comes time to choose a campsite. Select your backpacking route based on the experience, elevation gain, terrain, and total distance.
Pack Emergency Supplies
Unexpected situations may arise while backpacking, so every outdoor adventure should include emergency supplies. Bring a map, compass, a first aid kit, and plenty of food and water.
Have a Staging Area
Pack up all your gear in a staging area such as your garage. This way, you won’t have to run around looking for things when it’s time to hit the road. Once everything is prepared, you can grab all your equipment and go.
Check Your Gear Before Heading Out
Now that you’ve packed emergency supplies, made a detailed list, and have a staging area, it’s almost time to head out. Before that, ensure that all your equipment functions correctly by performing a gear check. This will save you from potentially unpleasant surprises once you are out in the wild.
Don’t Fully Pack Your Bag
When planning a last-minute backpacking trip, leave extra room in your backpack to take advantage of spur-of-the-moment opportunities. This could mean adding fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market or grabbing a cool souvenir.
Bring Easy-To-Prepare Meals
After a long day of backpacking, you don’t want to spend hours preparing dinner. So pack easy-to-prepare meals that require minimal cooking. Some good choices include bowls with canned beans and ready-to-eat items such as energy bars or trail mix.
Choose a Location That’s Less Busy
When planning a backpacking adventure at the last minute, try to pick a spot that isn’t as crowded. This way, you can enjoy some peace and quiet in nature without worrying about the hustle and bustle of popular campgrounds.
Check the Weather
The last step is to check the weather. Make sure you know what temperatures, wind speeds, and precipitation to expect while in the wilderness. This will help you choose appropriate clothing and shelter for your trip.
You don’t have to put off going backpacking just because you are short on time. With these tips and the right gear, you can make the most of last-minute trips and enjoy nature more.