Camping and hiking are great activities but you can also run into lots of trouble if you do not know what to do and how to prepare. The main reasons of why camping trips go bad are terrible logistics and a careless attitude.
If you want your camping trips to go better, you should prepare better. Hiking is the same story, except you do not spend the night, but things can still go wrong if you fail to bring stuff with you.
Here is what you should have in mind before you set out in the wilderness.
The Logistics – Things You Need to Bring With You
When you go hiking and camping, the first thing you need on you are a good pair of shoes, boots or trail running sneakers. You have to choose the right pair, and please try not to go in your new pair. If they’re not broken in. You can get calluses which might turn bloody really soon. Going downhill is the worst feeling if your shoes are too tight and they slam your toes in on every step.
Always bring a backpack with you, a spare t-shirt and spare clothes in general. You’ll get sweaty and no matter the temperature, there might be gushes of wind at the summit, leaving you with a cold afterwards. Backpacks are essential as they keep all your stuff close to you and they don’t affect your center of balance too much.
Water is another essential thing which you never want to forget. People not bringing enough liquid with them on a long hike are just masochists. You get headaches, you can get dehydrated and in a lot of pain and trouble if you don’t have a water bottle handy. Scratch that, bring two or three, depending on their volume.
If you need to spend the night, make sure to have a flashlight, fire starter kit (lint works, hand sanitizers as well, as well as matches), a dry pair of socks is necessary, even when camping in summer. A tent and sleeping bag is obligatory. A knife or pocket knife can also do you wonders. White gas is great if you don’t feel like starting a fire, as it leaves no odor and even though it is highly flammable, you will not impact the environment by spilling it. It can also burn in winter.
For winter camping, you’ll need a shovel, a warmer sleeping bag and a 4 season tent. Winter camping is not for the easy going people, things can go awry very quickly.
Things Not to Bring – Don’t Overpack
When camping, you might want to cut down on the weight, especially if you’re going on foot. If you’re carrying so much load that you get muscle cramps afterwards, remember that you still need to go back carrying pretty much the same load, minus the food. The same goes for hiking, never bring too much stuff, heavy objects or even too much water.
Travel light and fast for the safest experience, when hiking. When camping, bring as much as you need and a little something extra, at least when it comes to food. You’ll likely have a fresh water spring nearby, anyway.
Camping and hiking can be extremely fun if you bring the right stuff with you so plan ahead and stay safe.