The first thing on your list when going on a backpacking trip is to leave information with a friend or family member. If you don’t arrive back at the designated time and date, they need to call someone to go and find you!
Think of the latest news stories – lost and presumed dead campers. Do you want to be the next news story?
Keep your wits about you. Don’t venture into the backcountry without several items:
Plenty of food and water – more than you think you may need.
Compass and/or GPS – know how to use them
Emergency blankets – weather can change without warning and suddenly that nice Summer day can be cold and rainy
Plenty of fuel for a campstove – hot food is needed when hiking
If you are in bear country, don’t even think of hiking by yourself, and if in a group, be sure to take the bear spray. Use the bear poles for food and protect yourself.
Never take new boots or shoes on a long hiking trip – break them in on several short day hikes first.
Clothing of cotton should never be worn. Wear quick drying nylon gear in the summer, and layer with fleece. Wear wool in the winter – it keeps you warm even when it gets wet. Always wear a hat – summer or winter. Wool socks are the best to wear summer or winter.
Best of all, have fun! Be one of the few people who venture off the beaten path and goes backcountry.