Going out on the adventure of a lifetime with a solo backpacking trip can bring you back to the real world with a high level of self-confidence to take on anything that the world tosses at you. However, there are many things to consider before you venture out there into the wilderness alone for your solo backpacking trip.
Going on a solo backpacking trip is something that you will never forget. Your first time hiking or camping by yourself can be an exhilarating experience that will open your eyes to the fact that you are able to do more than what everyone tells you. The feeling of conquering nature and not letting anything stop you from reaching your goal is truly rewarding, but not without its own set of challenges.
Before you go on your first solo backpacking trip, it is essential that you take some precautions and plan ahead to make sure that nothing goes wrong. For example, if the weather changes suddenly or someone stumbles upon your campsite while you are away hiking then finding yourself in a dangerous situation will become an immediate concern.
Don’t let this scare you away from going outdoor by yourself, however, because there are ways to make sure that your outing is safe and fun until the end. Here are some tips for planning your solo backpacking trip:
1) Plan Your Route
Your route will keep you on track and make sure that you cover the right amount of distance each day. Choose a route that is easy to follow and hike at least eight hours per day. If your trip is going to be longer than two or three days, aim for an average of 10-12 miles a day.
2) Leave a detailed itinerary with someone
Your itinerary is the most important part of your solo backpacking trip. Leave a detailed itinerary with someone at home so that they know where you are at all times and who to contact if you don’t check in on time. Pack a bag with everything that you may need for an unplanned overnight stay, such as extra clothes and batteries for your flashlight.
3) Carry a map and compass with you on the trip
Even if you plan on using GPS navigation on your solo backpacking trip, it is always wise to bring along a map and compass as well. Maps are useful for keeping track of where you are out in nature while compasses point you in the direction that you need to go.
4) Avoid dangerous animals and environments
Make sure to avoid areas where animals such as bears, wolves, or mountain lions may reside. Also, be aware of lightning danger zones during an electrical storm and never venture out alone if you are not familiar with the surroundings. Never approach wildlife unless they come up to you first since even domestic dogs can pose a threat.
5) Start early in the morning
Start hiking earlier in the day to avoid times of high heat and humidity when you are more likely to get dehydrated. Avoid setting up camp near water sources during the summer months since daytime temperatures can reach upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are planning on hiking at night, make sure that you are carrying a headlamp or flashlight.
6) Don’t forget your first aid kit
At the very least, make sure that you have some Band-Aids along with gauze pads, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, antihistamine pills for allergies, and bee stings, tissues, tweezers or nail clippers, and bug spray.
In conclusion, your first solo backpacking trip can be a truly memorable experience. Just make sure that you plan carefully and always stay safe on your journey.