How to prepare for your first camping trip

Can you remember the last time you went somewhere for no reason, but for the sake of the process? How long ago did you turn off your cell phone so you wouldn’t be bothered by notifications? How long ago did you let yourself dream without thinking about business?

To achieve harmony with ourselves, as well as to solve burdensome problems, it is often advised to travel. And then, traveling is a costly affair, it does not always have time, money and company. During a pandemic, travel is better to forget. But about the trips – do not! After all, the campaign is the same trip, just more accessible – in all senses.

It is scientifically proven that during a leisurely walk our brain is most active in solving complex problems. This is also when inspiration comes to us. And if you walk in the woods or in the mountains, the effect will be many times stronger! You’ll see, after the hike you’ll return home with at least one cool idea.

By the way, hiking is not always walking. In addition to hiking, there are hikes by bicycle, water, ski, etc.

So, hiking to be! But, like any business, it needs to be prepared for it. Especially for those who have never hiked on their own.

Determine the route and the place

Even experienced tourists always plan their routes in advance. First, when a person has a plan, the route is easier. Secondly, for some routes it is necessary to inform the local authorities about their plans. This is especially true for mountain and water trekking.

Before the hike be sure to let a few people know where you are supposed to be and when you have to return. Most likely, this information will never come in handy. But it is better to be on your safe side: in case of force majeure it will be of much help to the rescuers.

In the first expedition it is better to go with an instructor and a group (following the recommendations in your region!). So you’ll get good experience and save yourself from a lot of mistakes which are bound to appear if you are going to lay the route by yourself.

Hiking tours are divided into amateur and sports. The first include the recreational nature, leisurely schedule of movements and last relatively short, from a few hours to a week. The second – for trained people, there are different categories of complexity. The highest category of complexity of the walking route is VI (sixth). It is assigned to routes with length not less than 400 (!) km and duration from 30 to 45 days! Go by link to read more 

Packing everything you need

What to take on a camping trip depends on the season, duration, terrain, weather conditions, and other factors. But there are things you’ll need regardless of whether you’re riding a bike in summer or skiing in winter.

In a hike three things are important: equipment for sleeping (if camping with overnight stay), equipment for travel and navigation, all for food.

Equipment for sleeping: a properly chosen sleeping bag (at the right temperature), a liner in it and a set of spare dry underwear. Dry underwear is especially important in the autumn-winter and water hikes, when there is a chance to get wet completely.

Equipment for travel and navigation: the right shoes and clothing. When choosing, pay attention to the balance between moisture/cold protection and breathability. Softshell clothes models are a good option, they keep you warm, protect from moisture and wind, and provide ventilation. Footwear let it be with reinforced sole and good waterproof properties.

As for navigation: always take a compass and a map of the area! After all, the phone can be sat down, and the GPS track does not come up at the most inopportune moment.

Everything to eat: a dry ration, a gas cylinder with a burner, and waterproof matches.

When you get wet in the hike, you can dry your clothes directly on yourself while you sleep. It’s best to do it in warm weather and only when other drying options are impossible! Two important points: 1) it must be well wrung out and 2) no membranes. Wear such clothing over a sleeping dry set. While you sleep, your body will dry the wet clothes with its own heat. So in hiking often dry socks, mittens, and pants.

Study the terrain

Even if you’re going to a one-day hike just a short distance, allocate a little time to study the area.

First, it will allow you to assess possible difficulties. For example, you’ll realize that there are no springs along the route, which means that a full supply of water should be taken with you.

Secondly, you will understand where it is better to spend the night and identify reference points along the way. This is especially true when the hike involves one base camp and different routes from it in different directions.

The most important thing in the campaign – to have access to water. If it has run out, and the route is far from water bodies, you should pay attention to ravines and lowlands – groundwater is closer to the surface there. Also, there is always more water in deciduous forests than in coniferous forests. Such information can help in a difficult situation, so it is important to know more about the location of the hike in advance.

Who to go camping with

You can go camping on your own, with a hiking club or with a commercial club that organizes the trip “turnkey”. The choice depends on how much time and resources you are willing to spend to prepare and buy equipment.

Independent trekking

For the first hike you should choose not too distant popular areas, about which it is easy to collect all the necessary information: the thread of the route, overnight stays, contacts of hotels and transfer organizers.

If in doubt, it is better to find a guide: there are a lot of nuances in trekking, which is easy not to take into account by inexperience.

To gain experience, you can join a local tourist club and take a basic school of tourism. They’ll teach you how to use a compass, tell you which trees and branches are good for a fire and where you can make one, why it’s better to replace fleece with fleece, and how to pack everything you need for life outside civilization in your backpack.

When you go on your own journey, it is possible to adjust it to your needs: to move at a comfortable pace and in any direction. You take all the responsibility for yourself, you control the situation and make your own decisions.

Camping with the organizers

In this case you completely entrust the route and organizational matters to the guide who knows the region in advance and the nuances of the hike. All you have to do is memorize the tips and relax and enjoy being at one with nature.

On a turnkey hike, all you need from you is special clothing. The rest of the hassle of preparing things and gathering equipment is usually taken care of by the organization: compiling a set of food and menus, preparing equipment depending on the region and the season of the route.

If you have never been in a hike before, to go with the organization – the best decision. You can trust the professionals and learn the applied hiking skills. The complexity of the route you choose yourself, and guides evaluate your experience and determine whether you can handle it.