If you haven’t camped or hiked since you were a kid, the prospect of getting back into it as an adult can be daunting. The gear scene has changed a lot, and it can start to look like you might need to pick up a second job to afford it all. On top of that, it might have been easy to grab a bag and hit the trails with no preparation when you were a kid, but these days you might not be able to walk 10 miles without some practice first. The tips below can help you get back into this activity or into it for the first time.
When you are trying to find your new favorite hobby, for lovers of the outdoors, there is one clear option: backpacking. Being more active is rarely a bad thing, and backpacking is a hobby that keeps you moving. It’s also a great way to meet new people, offering a friendly community of like-minded enthusiasts. Finally, many people find that being in nature calms them. If you have children, you can also cultivate a love of the outdoors in them.
Ultralight is the name of the game these days, and you can easily spend well into the thousands of dollars on just the basics of a tent, a sleeping bag and pad, and a backpack. However, you can start with secondhand equipment or even cheap gear you pick up online or at a discount store. Many people will warn you of this inexpensive gear, and, indeed, you shouldn’t purchase a cheap tent or shoes if it’s something you need to count on for your survival.
However, given that you’re a beginner, the most likely risk of going too cheap is that if what you buy falls apart during your trip, it could affect the way you view the whole activity. Mid-range equipment that’s good quality but not ultralight is another option. You may want to consider taking out a personal loan to pay for it. You need to fully understand what is involved in taking out a personal loan and the pros and cons of borrowing and financing money in this way.
Learning about backpacking is easier than ever, with many blogs, videos, forums, websites, and social media pages dedicated to helping beginners. The most critical things you need to learn at first involve safety, such as ensuring that you have the most important items, often known as the ten essentials, and understanding that what seems like an easy day hike can be deceptively difficult.
Beyond what you can pick up from talking to others online, there are also groups, organizations, and businesses that organize backpacking trips for people of all skill levels. There might be a group in your community that regularly takes trips of this nature, or you might be able to sign up for an organized trip. One advantage of the latter is that companies will often provide you with equipment, which can give you the opportunity to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t when it comes to tents, sleeping systems, and packs.
Featured Image by riyan hidayat from Pixabay