Hiking and Camping Tips and Tricks

Mary Gormandy White

Hiking and Camping Tips for an Amazing Trip

No matter how long a trip you're planning, the right hiking and camping tips can make your backpacking adventure a success. From calculating the correct pack weight for your frame to breaking in your boots, these are the real-world tips that will help you handle whatever comes your way.

Check the Weather

Don't make assumptions about what the weather will be like at your destination. Check the weather forecast so you can select the best apparel and supplies for the conditions you will face. If you'll be hiking in winter, print out a cold weather gear list to help you pack.

Reserve Your Campgrounds and Permits

One of the most valuable hiking camping tips is to make sure that you take care of making campground reservations and getting any necessary backcountry hiking permits well in advance of your trip. If you'll be taking a hiking tour, you'll need to book this ahead of time too. Plan your route in advance and check with each destination to make sure you're good to go.

Decide on the Right Backpack Weight for You

Take everything you need, but don't carry extra gear. According to REI, your backpack should weigh less than 20 percent of your body weight. This means a 140-pound hiker shouldn't carry a pack that weighs more than 28 pounds. Use a camping checklist so you can be certain to remember the items necessary to have a great time in the great outdoors. Consider ultralight camping gear if you can.

Break in Hiking Boots

When you buy new hiking boots, take the time to properly break them in before setting out on a hiking trip. It's tempting to pick up new boots and head out on your trip, but you'll thank yourself later if you make several day hikes with them. If you don't have time to do the day hikes, consider wearing them in your regular day-to-day life for a couple of weeks.

Stay on Marked Trails

Stay safe by keeping on marked trails when hiking. Camp only in areas where overnight stays are allowed. You can request a map from most parks or use your phone to help you plan a route.

Put Together a Camping First Aid Kit

Be prepared for minor emergencies with a first aid kit designed for outdoor use. You can use a checklist of first aid items to help you make the perfect kit. If you'll be doing some backcountry hiking, consider putting together a wilderness survival kit.

Be Prepared to Build a Campfire

What's a camping trip without a rousing campfire? A toasty campfire is the perfect setting for bonding with your fellow travelers and roasting marshmallows. Learn about the different types of campfires and read up on tips for starting your own campfire. If you think you might have trouble finding birch bark or other tinder, bring campfire fire starters with you on your trek.

Practice Campfire Cooking

Cooking over a campfire is a little different than working in your kitchen at home. If you'll be hiking and camping, do some practice campfire cooking at parks or in your back yard. Get some recipes for meals you can prepare over a campfire and decide which ultralight campfire cooking equipment you want to carry in your pack. Take the things you need to enjoy healthful, delicious meals prepared in the great outdoors.

Increase Your Stamina Before the Trip

Whether you're carrying a heavy pack or just taking a few things with you on your camping adventure, prepare ahead of time by increasing your stamina. Try interval training on a treadmill or in your neighborhood so you can get yourself in shape to enjoy your trip. You'll be glad you put the time and energy into this and all the other preparations for your trek.

Mary Gormandy White
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Hiking and Camping Tips and Tricks