How to Plan, Prepare, and Pack for a Summer Backcountry Camping Trip
A backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and water bottle. These are some of the key essentials of a camping trip. Whether you are a camping expert or have never been on a camping expedition, these are some of the items we all know are a must-have when hitting the trail.
Before going on a camping trip during summer, it is important to prepare accordingly, this means knowing everything from the trails you’ll hit, to being prepared for the weather.
In this article, we will show you how to plan and pack for a backcountry camping trip.
Organising The Perfect Camping Trip
It is rare for someone to spontaneously decide to go camping (unless they are experts!)
Therefore, planning your trip is important as they are so many aspects to decide on. For example: how many days is the trip? What type of clothes should I pack? Should I use a down-filled sleeping bag or a sleeping hammock?
Here are some things to think about when planning a backcountry camping trip:
Where Should I Go?
The first thing you should look at when going camping is your destination. Some of the most popular backcountry camping sites are in national parks, with many scattered across the US to choose from.
As a first-time camper, your best option would be to go to a specific camping site. This generally involves going to a large shared space with other campers. There are often facilities for bathrooms and electricity at these sites too, to make it a little more comfortable.
Wherever you choose, it is vital to do your research before going. This will give you a better idea about the area you are going to, the weather during your trip, how to pack and the type of activities you can do there.
In addition to your destination, some of the things you should consider are:
- The duration of your trip
- The season and weather
- If you are going hiking, having a detailed map of the trail is a good idea
- The type of food you are taking
- The type of animals or wildlife at the camping site you are visiting
Packing For A Camping Trip
When going on a backcountry camping trip, it will be in your best interest to pack light. This is because you are likely to carry your gear on you, and overpacking can slow you down. Some of the essential items that you will need are:
- A lightweight backpack to store all your gear
- A tent for shelter as well as a sleeping bag and camping pillow
- Lightweight clothing, including a waterproof jacket in case it rains
- A first aid kit
- Water bottle
- Solar-powered torch
- Pocket knife
In addition to these items, there are other essential items you would need. These include food, cooking tools, toiletries, and matches.
Especially plan your water usage carefully. If you are going to be out hiking for 2 days, you need to take enough water to last for the whole time.
Preparing For A Camping Trip
Outside of knowing where you are going and what to pack, it is also important to know how and if your gear works. There is no point in having a camping tent if you don’t know to construct one. Therefore, it would be best to start preparing for your camping trip at least a week before your trip.
The first thing you can do to prepare is to pack your camping bag. One of the most common mistakes of a backpacker is packing too much. Therefore, packing your bag in advance is essential. This will ensure that your bag isn’t too heavy during your trip. The best way to pack your bag is to keep your heavy items in the middle of the bag with lighter items around it.
Another aspect that should be part of your preparation routine is checking if your gear works. This can involve anything from checking the zip on your sleeping bag and tent to checking if your torch or headlamp can turn on.
One preparation method that is a priority is knowing how to construct your camping tent. There are many components of a camping tent, such as pegs, guy rope and an inner tent. As such, pitching a tent (especially if you haven’t done one before) can be tricky. Therefore, it would be best if you learnt how to pitch your tent before going on a camping trip. After all, practice does make perfect.
The First Steps of a Stellar Backcountry Camping Trip
Before going on a camping trip in the backcountry, there are many things you need to know, such as the location of your camping site, popular activities and what you need for the trip.
As long as you consider all of these things before the trip and pack what you will need you’ll have a great time exploring the backcountry.
For more great vacation ideas, check out the rest of our blog.