50 essential backpacking tips

These 50 tips should help you prepare for and stay safe during your next backpacking adventure

Backpack packed, boots on—what could be simpler than a walk in the wilderness? Well, the pleasures of the great outdoors may be simple, but survival can get pretty complicated if the unexpected strikes. For this reason, the pro backpacker will research and prepare in advance of their trip, and be sure to be equipped and informed while on the trail. If you’re new to the game or have been taking unnecessary risks all this time, now is the right moment for a quick primer.

If preparation doesn’t feel very rock and roll, just think of it as another way to heighten your anticipation. For example, get online and do some thorough virtual reconnaissance of the area you plan to visit, noting any dangerous animals that dwell there and how to avoid them. The weather report is another essential factor; while you should be prepared for any eventuality, figuring out the most likely conditions in advance will help you prioritize when packing. Local or expert websites will furnish you with tips you wouldn’t have thought of yourself—like don’t walk above the tree line during in a thunderstorm if you don’t want to get fried.

Once you’re out on the trail, hardcore though you may be, you can maximize your enjoyment or achievement by hiking smart: that means eating regularly and eating right, resting frequently, not getting lost—and knowing how to get yourself rescued in the unimaginable eventuality that things go wrong. For more tips on how to ensure that they don’t, and that your have everything with you that you need to prevail, be sure to check out this new infographic with tips on everything from how to pack that bag wisely to what food to eat. And don’t forget to clear up after yourself!


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