As the summer months approach, the snow melts, and the trails begin to clear, more and more adventurers are getting ready for their summer backpacking trips. Whether you are more novice and only do a day or two, or advanced and spend the entire summer outdoors, there are a few things to never forget. Here is a little guide we came up with to help keep you safe on your summer adventures.
Plan and Pack Twice and Then Do It Again
When you are backpacking tens or hundreds of miles from the nearest civilization, it is imperative that you know exactly what you need and absolutely nothing less. Also, in the case of backpacking, you have to personally carry everything with you, so you don’t want to take too much either. Do your research and see how much you’ll need for short journeys, or how much you need between rest stops on long trips. Regardless, make sure you always have plenty of fresh water by keeping a purification kit with you at all times. The absolute worst scenario for any backpacker is to run out of water!
Tell Multiple People Where You Will Be/ When to Expect You
Once you know where you are headed, about how much time it will take, and what route you’ll be using, inform multiple people. For small trips, tell your family and neighbors where you’ll be and when to expect you home. For longer adventures, let people know your plan and routes for when you’ll be at certain rest stops… and try to make contact if possible. Many of the less remote campgrounds have internet or phone access, so use it when it’s available. To ease everybody’s mind, keep a Garmin GPS in your pack just in case you ever feel like you’ve strayed off path.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
No matter how much planning you do, you cannot plan for every situation. Even if you looked at the weather and it says hot and sunny, you’ll still want to take something for warmth and the unexpected rain shower. Also, take along a little repair kit to use incase your tent/hammock rips, you lose something, or any other scenario you could see happening. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so just be prepared for anything.
Have an Emergency Plan
In the extreme and unfortunate case that you end up in an emergency, be ready! Take with you a nice first-aid emergency kit for any wounds. Use your GPS to the best of your abilities, and in the worst of situations, make sure you have something to make fire and also something to signal for help. In your emergency kit, you’ll probably want some flint, a solid knife, a map and compass, multiple flares, and some way to make drinking water. Hopefully you can bury them in the bottom of your kit and never need them, but you can sleep better each night knowing that they are there if needed.