Hiking is not only a great way to keep fit, it is also a great way to get back in touch with nature and see the beautiful side of a particular country or landscape. I try to take a weekend away at least once every 3 months with my buddy and I love nothing more than packing up my backpack and heading out into the wild to see what I can discover. There is also something incredibly therapeutic about hiking and in order to best enjoy this experience, you will need to be prepared. Having done this so many times, I feel qualified to share with you some of the best ways to get prepared for your trip.
Route and Safety
The first thing to get out of the way during your preparations is to decide upon which route you will take and how you will ensure that you stay safe. The best advice that I can give is to have two different plans in your mind around the same route. This means that you will have a fast route to a campsite further away, and a slower route to a closer campsite in case you run into difficulty. Make sure that someone back home knows what route you are taking and when they should expect you to arrive. This means that should you have any problems, it will be easy to find you.
The equipment which I know take with me is pretty basic, over the years I have honed my equipment list so that it is light to carry and covers everything that I need. In my backpack I will take a large water bottle, clothing for the elements, my lightweight tent and sleeping bag and some dried food. The only gadgets which I take with me are my phone, a swiss army knife, fire-lighting equipment and a GPS tracker, something which helps me get to where I need to and helps people at home track me. Make sure that you have a spare pair of trainers to use when your boots are drying and that is about it, the key is to keep it simple and light when packing your bag.
If you are camping rough then this will not apply to you but if you plan on using campsites then it really makes sense to get this booked up early. It has only happened to me once where I arrived at the campsite and they had no space, but once was more than enough. If you want to ensure that you have a spot for your tent when you arrive, book the campsites ahead of time.
The final thing to do before you head off into the wild is to check the weather conditions for the days that you will be away. The weather will dictate what you put in your backpack and if you want to ensure that you don’t get caught out by the elements, make sure that you know just what to expect.