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Backpacking For Beginners - The Backpacking Basics

Mar 12, 2008
Backpacking can be a great hobby and sport. It is challenging, adventurous and exiting. It can be enjoyed by almost anyone who is reasonably fit and healthy, whether you are young or old, male or female. There are countless options on how and where to do it. Backpacking is a great way to get some exercise and get fit while having some fun at the same time. Read on if you would like to learn more about backpacking for beginners and what it is all about.

Backpacking is the combination between hiking and camping. Backpacking trips involve hiking through the countryside and wilderness areas and camping overnight. A backpacker has to carry everything they need on their back in a rucksack. A backpacking trip can be short or long depending on the individual; you can stay away for one night or for weeks at a time if you want to.

The longer the trip the more that must be packed and carried, so having a backpacking gear list and planning both the packing and the trip is essential. Some areas that are very popular backpacking destinations will have camp sites set up. They may simply have a fire ring and posted maps or they can have cabins, as well as a pitch for tents and a toilet and shower block. Other areas may have nothing at all and backpackers set up their camp wherever they find a good spot.

There is a community in backpacking. Everyone works together to preserve the wilderness that they love. There are certain accepted and unaccepted behaviors in backpacking. Backpackers try not to disturb or damage the area they travel in. They clean up all traces of their camp and never litter or take anything along their travels. The one thing you are allowed to take is photographs, so a small lightweight camera can form part of your backpacking checklist.

Backpacking requires a person to keep safety in mind always. There are many hazards in backpacking and a person who does not think about being safe is sure to fall prey. The backpack itself can pose problems if a person does not learn how to fit it and pack it properly. The physical activity can be strenuous and a person must be conditioned to handle walking through uneven and rough terrain. Basic first aid and general idea of wilderness safety are other things a backpacker must know. It is easy to get lost and hurt in the wilderness, so every backpacker must have a good handle on staying safe.

People backpack for different reasons. Some do it for the excellent exercise. Some people like backpacking because of the adventure and love of nature. Others backpack as a way to learn and explore the outdoors. Whatever reason people backpack, there are large numbers of them and they continue to explore, love and walk through the wilderness with the common goal of a good backpacking experience.

This is just an outline of the basics of backpacking for beginners, there is a lot more to learn such as how to pack a backpack properly, how to choose the right backpacking cookware and knowing the right backpacking supplies to take. There are many good books on backpacking and I would recommend that you read through one and get a good knowledge of the backpacking basics before you set out on your own adventure. This way you should have a safe and exiting backpacking experience rather than one that you will remember for all the wrong reasons.
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