Friday's 5 Fitness Tips — Backpacking for Beginners

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OK, so it’s actually 4p.m. Thursday as we publish this, but we wanted to give you some extra time to get excited about your active weekend with our Friday’s 5 Fitness Tips. This week’s tips come from Stonewear Grassroots Team Member Lauren Beihoffer. We hope you enjoy this regular addition to the Live Stonewear! Blog.

There’s no greater way to escape from the stress of everyday life than to venture out to the wilderness for a few days.  If you are seeking a break from cell phones, schedules and city life, a backpacking trip may be just what you need.  Before you start planning your time in the wilderness, consider these five tips for ensuring a successful backpacking trip.


1. Gear

Once you venture onto the trail, you will be carrying everything you need for the trip on your back.  The gear you choose will determine whether your excursion is successful or not.  You will need to have lightweight, top of the line gear that performs well under a range of temperatures and weather conditions.  This includes a good-fitting backpack, a cooking stove and cookware, all of your food, moisture-wicking clothing, waterproof bags for storing gear, a lightweight tent and sturdy hiking boots.  Also, make sure you practice packing your bag and determine a strategy for how items will be layered (for instance, store your tent on top so you will have easy access to it if suddenly needed in bad weather.)

 2. Water Filtration

A good water filtration system is essential for extended stays in the backcountry.  There is no way you can carry enough water for your entire trip. The best rule of thumb is don’t drink the water!  Even if the nearby streams look pristine, there could still be harmful bacteria and viruses lurking in every drop. You will need to purchase a purification system and learn how to use it appropriately before you leave home.  There are different systems to choose from, some employing filters, chemicals, UV radiation, or a combination of methods.

3. Consider your fitness level

 On any given backpacking trip, you will need to be able to hike 10-20 miles each day in rough terrain.  In addition to covering long distances, you often will be hiking at high elevations that require more endurance.  When planning your trip, consider what type of hiking you are able to do comfortably.

4. Safety

To stay safe on your extended outdoor stay, take a buddy with you.  Never camp in the backcountry alone, if possible.  Also make sure that someone in your group is carrying a first aid kit.

5. Leave no trace

While backpacking and primitive camping are great ways to connect with nature, make sure you leave the trail exactly how you found it.  You will not be camping in traditional campgrounds, so make sure to take extra care in leaving no trace.  And don’t forget to enjoy your time communing with nature!



By Lauren Beihoffer, HikeBlogLove, Stonewear Grassroots Team Member


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