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Daniel Dabbs

Essential Tips for Backpacking Success

Essential Tips for Backpacking Success

You’re ready to take a backpacking trip. You’ve thought of everything -- but have you? Take some time to ensure you have everything you need and your survival skills are top-notch.

While you’re packing:

  • Make sure you’re packing everything you need (and even a few things you hope you’ll never need). A solid tent, first aid kit, and water and food sources are all things you’ll want to include. Check out our camping checklist here

    Before you go:

  • Leave the details of your trip with someone back home before you leave. We get that you don’t want anyone to surprise you on your trip, but having someone who knows every detail will help ensure your safety if you find yourself in a survival situation.
  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before you leave. You need all the energy and alertness you can get.
  • Do your research. Know the wildlife in the area, the expected weather conditions, and any permits or other requirements of the area, and check if anyone else has written about the area.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. The weather reports may look great, but always pack for cold and rainy conditions to stay ahead of the game. Even if you know the area well, still come prepared with a map, compass, and/or GPS.

    While you’re there:

  • If you get lost, don’t wander. Once you’ve found a safe spot, stay put so you can be rescued.
  • Never wait to call for help. You’ll thank us later.
  • Build a fire . This serves as both warmth and a signal to rescuers.
  • Build a shelter .
  • Keep a good attitude. This one should go without saying, but sometimes, keeping a positive attitude can change your entire situation.

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