Preparation for Backpacking, Climbing, Hiking and Hunting Before Purchasing Tents and Gear

yu8When beginning your decision process on going backpacking you would think that your tent and other gear is most important. However, there is something that is more imperative that you do first. You can look at gear and different weights of tents, but if you are not physically fit then the weight of your tent is going to be irrelevant. For this reason instead of starting out with selecting tents, the different fabrics, etc. I have decided to begin with preparing for the hike. In future articles you will find information on tents, fabrics, and other essential information. It would be great to say go out, buy a tent and go backpacking. However that would leave out the preparation stage. It would be like constructing a building without a blueprint. Let me provide you with some of the ground work.

One of the greatest ways to be prepared is to get physically fit and stay in shape. Physically fit includes getting a clean bill of health from your doctor including but not limited to the condition of your heart. This is vital because once out in the wilderness there will not be an option to call 911. Do not think that you can strengthen yourself physically on the day of your hike, because you will be greatly disappointed finding out you cannot endure the hike. Whether you are a beginner or are experienced in conditioning make sure you have stretching as part of your routine to avoid injuries when exercising. For those of you who are not in shape, begin slowly by creating a routine for exercise. Walking, swimming, cardiovascular, and weights are a great place to start. For all backpackers do not lose sight of the importance of your preparation for the hike.

This includes the comfort of the backpack you will be carrying. Insure that the backpack you are purchasing will be a good fit. Start off by making your backpack five pounds heavier than what you expect to carry on the hike. Now put the pack on your back and walk for several miles, maybe around your neighborhood to see the comfort level. Once satisfied repeat the same exercise again, but this time by going for a day hike on a trail and see if you get the same satisfaction.

Take further precautionary measures in your training for possible adversities that you may encounter out in the back country. Observe how you lift because improper lifting can cause injury, always lift with your legs. Your backpack is a piece of equipment you will lift often. Slinging it onto your back can cause injury. Instead, try having your companion hold the pack while you slide your arms into the shoulder straps. If you are going solo then find a place to set your pack down, for example on a stump. Then squat down, put your arms through the shoulder straps and then stand using your legs. Our next article will contain essential information and first aid tips while on the trail.

Put On Your Walking Boots and Start Walking

099There’s a Countryside Walk Near You

One of the good things about the great British countryside, is that there is some countryside near you. Even if you live in the centre of a large town or city, you are only a short distance from open space. You can probably walk there! But whether you drive or take a bus or train, there is some countryside near you.

It was once the preserve of Sunday afternoon walkers, but with today’s flexible work patterns, any day is a good day for enjoying a walk in the countryside. If you live in London, a short train ride of an hour or less will take you to East Sussex or Buckinghamshire. You can stay closer to home and walk along the Regents Canal from Paddington to Limehouse on the River Thames. Alright, so it is not strictly countryside, but you can experience a quiet haven as you walk through 8 miles of one of the most bustling cities in Europe. Anyway this article is not about the countryside so much as to encourage you to put on your walking boots and get walking.

You Can Walk In Any Weather

It doesn’t even matter what season it is, walking in any weather has a way of energising us. Walking lifts our spirits.It is said that all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking! Walking is also good for our physical health whatever our age. It strengthens our hearts and gets our circulation going. Walking tones up our muscles and leaves us feeling invigorated.

You can walk in any weather but it is still important to wear the correct clothing. Check the forecast. Do you need to carry a sweater in your backpack? perhaps a lightweight waterproof jacket if there is a chance of rain? If you are walking in remoter places like the High Peaks in Derbyshire, the weather can change suddenly. So even though you are only 20 miles from Manchester or Sheffield, be prepared.

Carry a thermos flask and some food just it case it takes longer than you expected. Wear the correct footwear for the terrain. If you are walking on loose stones and steep inclines your walking boots should be more rigid with good ankle support.

Put On Your Walking Boots

If you decide to walk on various terrains on a regular basis, it is worthwhile investing in the right walking gear and accessories. Waterproof jackets, good walking boots, and a backpack to carry emergency supplies and extra clothing. You can buy all this online or at one of the stores that specialise in the great outdoors.

You may think that you are not fit enough to go walking up mountains. So, choose a walk according to your level of fitness and go forward from there. Walking along country lanes on a summer’s day, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna, is a wonderful experience

The important thing is to make a start. Get out of that comfortable armchair and step out to enjoy a new level of fitness for mind and body. Put on your walking boots and get walking!

Backpacking First Aid Tips

33Today’s focal point will be on a few first aid tips. This is by no means a complete list of the possible emergency situations you may face. This is why bringing a first aid kit and handbook are vital part of your backpacking gear.

Two possible difficulties that are very serious are hyperthermia and hypothermia. When your core temperature drops below normal this is known as hypothermia. Symptoms that you may observe are shivering, chills, and lack of coordination. The other adversity you may face is hyperthermia which is when you overheat because your internal body heat cannot be released fast enough. Hyperthermia occurs mainly in the summer time and signs consist of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, and weakness. Some other circumstances that can cause you misery are blisters. Deterring blisters actually begins with the purchasing of the correct footwear. One more thing to remember when choosing your footwear is making sure you try them on with the same socks you will be hiking in.

While you are hiking it is essential to keep the right posture because it will help in reducing strain to your muscles. Your walk should be with your head up, shoulders back, relaxed, and swinging your arms. One more meaningful tip is to set yourself up with a good walking pace. Just begin your walk with what feels natural to you. Setting your pace is easy when you are by yourself, but becomes much more challenging when hiking with a partner or a group. The reason for this difficulty is because with a partner or group your pace must be that of the person who has the slowest pace. Trying to set a faster pace could result in an injury of the person who is trying to keep up. Also you may find those hikers becoming annoyed and distressed. This is not how you have fun when you are backpacking. Remember that safety should always come first. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings and where you are walking. Trails will not always be smooth, but there will be ruts, holes, and other hazards that can trip you up.

Other basic first aid suggestions consists of protecting yourself from sunburn. To do this wear sunblock and a hat with a wide brim to protect your face. For your neck and ears I would suggest you wearing some type of veil which will cover these two areas. Next have insect repellant available at all times because there is no way of escaping those annoying mosquitoes and other insects. One more option you can choose for defending off the insects is to invest in bug clothing. You can find this clothing for just your head or to cover your whole body. Make sure that while you are on this backpacking adventure that you keep yourself well fed, hydrated, and rested. Finally, make sure that those items like clothing, bug spray, or anything else you will need to use for the next day’s hike is readily available. This will save time and aggravation from having to dig around in your pack try to find something.

Backpacking Tent Features

gffWhen considering buying a backpacking tent today it can be overwhelming with all the choices that are available. To complicate matters there are features that may give you a headache trying to figure out which is better. So today my aim is to give you some clarification on features to aid you in your choice. Let’s begin by looking at whether you need a three or four season tent.

The three season tent is good for summer, spring, fall, and is the normal choice for these seasons. However, if backpacking year-round and in the snow is your desire then a four season tent will be necessary. Next decide whether you want a freestanding or non-freestanding tent. The difference in these two is that the free-standing tent can stand on its own and does not need to be staked down. The free-standing tent is also easier to set up and move around if necessary. However, if windy conditions exist it is recommended that you stake your tent down so it does not blow away. Another advantage of the freestanding-tent is when it comes time to break down camp. You can point your tent opening toward the ground, shake and all the loose debris will fall right out of your tent.

Next you would determine whether you would like a single or double wall tent. In looking at a double wall tent you will find that it consists of a body and fly to cover it. Advantages of the double wall is they are usually less expensive, better ventilation, and drier in the wet conditions. In comparison the single wall tent does not have the luxury of an inner body. The benefits are easier set up and lighter to carry. However, the down fall to the single wall tent is poor ventilation which can cause a buildup of condensation which can become a problem. Finally, we turn our attention to the design of these walls and floor of the tent.

On the two wall tents a portion of the inner body is made out of mesh. This is the reason that the circulation is so much better. You can find a partial or substantial amount of mesh on your tent body. If you enjoy gazing at the stars then all you have to do is pull back your fly and experience it from the comforts of your tent. If it is rainy then pull the fly back over for full protection from the weather. It is worth mentioning that you can have a no-see-um mesh for your tent. Very small two-winged flies found all over the world are known as biting midges, this includes no-see-um, sand flies, and other tiny bugs. This mesh was made to keep them out and has approximately six hundred holes per inch. Now in regards to the floor of your tent make sure that the seam is factory sealed and waterproofed. In fact you should make sure of this for all the seams of your tent. Another floor to check out is called a bath tub floor. There is no seam on this floor because the floor is one piece, carries up a few inches on the side wall and is attached there. Last important tip, do your homework before shopping. Anything you are not sure of can be found on the internet. I hope this has given you some insight on the selection of a backpacking tent.