If you are venturing into the backcountry that you had never been before then the first thing you might want to do is talk to someone we had already gone to the range.
Despite knowing who owns the route could result in failing your backpacking trip so you must know who was that route and anyone who is planning for Anyone who is venturing into the backcountry should have an extensive form of hiking certificates, getting a hiking certificates are licensed insurance that the costs covered.
Summer is coming ahead and if you like to enjoy the warm weather and taking hikes in the backcountry then here are few backcountry tips and facts to make sure your outdoor adventure to make it even better.
Let's discuss the list of items that you need to carry including this first aid supplies, food, gear, essential items and will talk about taking safety precautions.
Let's discuss the list of items that you need to carry including this first aid supplies, food, gear, essential items and will talk about taking safety precautions.
There are a lot of packs out there, 30, 40, 50 or even 80-pound load and taking anything more than 80 pounds is never comfortable. So, you have to have the lightest weight on your backpack which makes backpacking easier.
So, having the right pack makes all the difference so always look for a comfortable lightweight or even ultralight backpack.
Don't burn yourself packing too much stuff into the backpack and figured out exactly what you need for different days, when it comes to the weight anywhere between 30 pounds and 45 pounds would be ideal so pack your bag depends on your comfort level and how long you want to pursue.
I hate wearing cotton as it becomes cloggy when it is wet, and most importantly it doesn't insulate well when it is wet. You don't need to ponder about what to wear when backpacking, just make sure to carry Base layers, insulation layers, and outer shell layers.
When it's hot just go with the base layers and some water proof or water resistant layers, if you are venturing into colder climate areas then it's better to carry more layers to give an additional comfort because you've to stand prepared for a cloudy weather to change.
Never wear new shoes or boots because you might end up having blisters or sore knee after walking all day along. Especially if your feet aren't warm and happy, you may not be happy.
So always go with shoes that you already wore for a couple of trails to get rid of swelling and get away from blisters and sore foot during the hike.
I love eating cooking and eating in the backcountry, all that you need is just carry a compact stove with fuel. Carrying a cook set could be an extra weight or takes preparation time but you'' enjoy the experience.
And always remember never take any food in your tent. Either hang your food in a tree or even better carry bear-proof or animal proof containers.
Take single person three seasons tent (spring, summer, fall) or 4 season tent (spring, summer, fall, and winter). An ultralight sleeping pad that comes with inflatable pads will make sleeping much better and more comfortable.
Along with tent and sleeping pad, I would recommend you to carry a zero degree down sleeping bag with a watertight shell. Make sure you test out the sleeping bag, sleeping tent and sleeping pad in your garage at least few days before taking out.
You never know when your phone stops working, Phone or GPS device may stop working if the battery drains or it may stop working in remote locations.
Anything worth carrying small water purification tablets, water purifiers or drops that purify water. If there is a limited water on the trail, then it is better to bring a collapsible water bottle that will keep you hydrated.
Even empty water bottles are easier and much lighter to carry so whichever works for you go for it because water purification system is mandatory.
Rule of thumb is always to start early hike as far as you can and find some shelter out in the backcountry while there is light. Even though you set off on a cloudless day expect to see a weather change because of weather changes quickly, and you don't want to get caught in a thunderstorm.
So make sure to start early to avoid the typical afternoon thunderstorms and based on situations you can decide upon whether to keep going on take shelter when the weather is too bad to move on.
Carrying fluorescent lights sticks supports you if you end up hiking after the dark and they are very easy to attach to your backpack. Headlamps or bringing a Small LED light and the extra pair of batteries would help.
And Carry waterproof lighter and weatherproof matches to start the fire, and it's not the stone age to fiddle with rocks and sticks to start a fire.
Always carry a basic first aid equipment for hiking and make sure you know what's in there and how to use each of the items in the kit.
Because most of the first aid kits come with the pads and powders to quickly helps stop bleeding, so just see if they are all available. I usually pack an additional sport wrap along with my kit.
Here are some must to know tips and safety tips for a safe backpacking experience because you may never know what will you encounter in the wild. Mastering these backcountry skills will help you survive in the backcountry.
This thing is one of my favorite because of its light weight and keeps you out of trouble if you end up in trouble, just blow it away, and it can be heard much far away than a crazy shout.
You may call it as Elk or Moose, but Moose walk roughly and may cause serious life threating injuries. If you face a Moose, keep at least 50 yardsaway and stay behind a big tree or any solid object. In case, If you suddenly knocked down, get up and keep running away from it.
You must know how to efficiently deploy a bear spray repellant otherwise if the wind is blowing hard, you'll just end up being the meatball. If you've to spray then wait until it reaches about 15 - 30 feet away and spray right into the direction.
Don't get excited and shoot too soon when a bear charges you. So, make sure a can of bear spray is always accessible to you while hiking, and even when sleeping or whatever activities you are doing to safe when it comes to bears in the backcountry.
Exploring backcountry is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable activity, so with an advanced planning and abundant gear everyone can experience and outstanding experience.
If you found this article helpful, share with your friends and family. I'd love to receive your feedback so your comments and suggestions are welcome.
Anything between 15 - 20 Liters deemed to be ultralight since you are carrying less pack on your back you can move faster and increase your no of hiking hours per day. What are the advantages and benefits? Ultralight packing enables you to cover more area in a day. Many hiking enthusiasts wish to cover as much of the terrain as possible in a day.
Struggling along with pounds of Weight on your back and shoulders makes this problematic, as you will not be able to cover distances equivalent to those of someone using a lightweight backpack. The extra Weight makes backpacking more demanding because more breaks are required, and the time it takes to depart from where you set up camp for the night, ultimately eats into your daily schedule.
It is less strenuous on the body. Well, most of you already may know, but I would like to give typical advice on ultralight packing. You just need to consider sleeping bag, backpack, tents, food and survival kits when packing.
Keep them in reach somewhere like outer pockets so that you can quickly access if needed. You don't need to carry any box that comes with the medical kit just pack everything in zip-lock covers and keep them in outer backpack pockets.
Because you are not going to be home where you can't access everything you want, you don't need food troubling you. So, keep it simple. Since your stove might fail to work, ensure you have several food items that don't require cooking. If you still want to cook then choose to carry a minimalist ultralight alcohol stove.
Ultralight Dry Sack are extremely well made and lightweight. Thinking about a trash bag to replace a liner? Well, think again because now most of the lines weigh in at a feather-light less than 2 oz, and they'll keep your pack dry and wet. In case of survival backpacks we have this article with clean explanation.
Carry an extra pair of full change of clothes and two pairs of socks that are you need, and I would recommend keeping your clothes in zip-locks too using zip-locks you can easily separate wet ones from your pack.
Wear top layers and bottom layers when hiking and pack some sleeping clothes, and you don't need to carry many clothes.Naturally, you need more cloth which means more weight. But here the scenario is different.You get warm clothing which is easily foldable and weigh as much as a scarf.
How to choose the right one? When choosing the right Ultralight tents, you need to consider the type of terrain you will be covering, the kind of Weather expected, such as snow or rain, and the way you want to camp.
You may be hiking through rock-filled regions in which you would need more Cushioning or perhaps you are planning on backpacking through areas known for heavy rainfall which would require a tent with additional insulation. The most important thing is that you are comfortable throughout your specific trip.
Consider choosing a sleeping bag anywhere weight between 3-4 pounds and make sure that the sleeping bag designed with added insulation where you need it most, primarily your feet.
Usually "Mummy" shaped bag provides more shoulder and leg room than any other shaped bags. Choose one which is Ultra-light-weight, durable, and one has a heavy-duty compression sack.
Trekking Poles made of carbon fiber shafts are often ultralight, so choose the poles those are ultralight and comes with flick lock mechanism that is easy to use and adjust. Let's find out how to choose trekking poles that can relieve stress on your knees.
Trekking poles improve your walking stability and most helpful when going on uphill’s, downhills and river crossing. If you are hesitant to carry two poles in your hand, then taking one pole could be sufficient.
Backpacking includes a lot of walking and hiking, and it's extremely convenient to have a Ultralight pack to reduce strain and back pains.
A heavy backpack can turn your trip into an exhausting one, and taking into account some hills, mountain and variable terrain involved, this is the last thing you want. Reducing the weight makes all the difference and ultimately allows for a substantially less grueling trek.
It keeps things simple with ultralight backpacking; it's all about the experience absorbing the sights and sounds, taking in the breath-taking views and feeling the harmony of the great outdoors. There is no need for optional accessories, especially cumbersome and obscure items, and definitely, no need for the biggest, most expensive gear that money can buy.
The idea is to have a Ultralight Pack and necessities to keep you happy, warm and healthy throughout your trip and don't pack anything if you don't need it. Share these tips with your friends and family your comments and suggestions are welcome, Happy Hiking.
Practicing a map of a familiar area helps you identify landmarks related to the counter lines on your map. Topographical maps give you the power to visualize the three-dimensional view of terrain, and they more information compared to trail maps, and they provide us with a realistic view of the actual landscape.
Reading topographical maps requires knowledge about reading contour lines, reading index lines, knowing the interval between the counter lines.
The understanding evaluation including steep and, identifying the direction of the river and streams flow and the map. The first thing you might want to see on any top map is the details of Legend, let’s see How to read and understand a legend.
You can find a lot of essential details at the bottom of the top map it lists the significant details like map scale, contour intervals, index line intervals, map reading clues and magnetic declination for using a compass. Let's see what does each element indicates.
Large scale maps give you more information than small scale maps. Let's say for an example a map scale of 1:20,000 means that one inch on the map is equivalent to 20,000 inches on the ground.
So, it depends on the scale ratio 1: 20,000 maps are considered to be large and 1:1,20,000 scale is deemed to be small. So, it's good to have an understanding of map scale. With a large-scale map, it’s possible to see more details compared to small scale maps.
Change in height between one contour line to another is called contour interval, and it is always same on the map.
Brown: To Indicate Contour Lines.
Green: Shows the sparse or denser vegetation.
Blue: You might have guessed it already, it indicates water, lakes, swamps, and rivers. In areas where snow and ice are usually present year-round, glaciers shown in blue.
Black: Represents actual hiking trails.
Red Indicates roads and boundaries.
In Most of the maps North is always up but it may not be same case so take a compass rose and identify where the North is.
You might wonder, why would I ever need a compass when I got the smartphone, GPS handheld with me. Well, your phone or GPS could run of out juice, and the clouds and weather conditions may stop your devices using satellite services. I agree that it’s a lot of fun having navigational devices and smartphone but knowing how to use a map and compass keeps you stay in the path without getting lost.
Before we even see how to use a compass, it is crucial to plan your route, your choice of terrain, hiking skills, and athletic conditions will all affect your plan. Plan your trip ahead to avoid any unnecessary risk, and let us start learning how to use a compass.
Topographical maps give you the power to visualize the three-dimensional view of terrain. On most of the topographic maps, North is always up, if not check underneath the map for the direction. The orientation of the map is one of the necessary skill, so let's talk about that.
As I said, North is always up on most of the maps, and there will be lines going up and down, and they represent North and South, and the lines crossing left and right represent the east and west directions.
Orienting Compass with Map
Once you orient your map correctly, then you should be able to identify the terrain with the help of peaks, cliffs, and other key objects. You got to be ready to change the directions so placing your thumb on current position will help you identify the last position.
Very Concise video From MRCAParks
You need to take a bearing before going into the woods so that you can always come back If you couldn't determine location by using terrain objects.
See all other features that topographical maps then you can start identifying hills (Circles inside the circles indicates the mountain). Cliffs (Denser contour lines), Slopes (sparse contour lines), Depressions (shown by hatch marks), River and Streams (usually show in Blue) and which direction they are flowing (Usually V share - Flowing down).
The U.S. Geological Survey provides an unmatched series of next generation quadrangle topographic maps covering an entire American landscape. All of the topographical are freely available on USGS website.
These topographic maps include very subtle layers that are not available on traditional topographic maps such as aerial photo and shaded relief images.
These maps may have a more detailed information and come with more additional features such as detailed landscape, very high detail maps, may have precise coordinate grids, might include Key points, and last but not least some of them are water resistant.
So, having an understanding of a topographic map out is invaluable. I hope this article has provided you enough information to read topographical maps, and I assume that you could identify terrain details, steep and slope of mountain or hill by just looking at the contour lines. I always carry topographical map of the trails and a compass along with me and there no other match to these.
We all buy our favorite hiking boots to enjoy a hike with our friends and of course our hidden reason, that is, to show them off. However, with our new shoes come another hurdle that we have to do before we can comfortably wear our boots for long hiking trips.
Breaking in our hiking boots is really crucial to enjoying the hike. This is not a guarantee with our new favorite pair of hiking boots. New boots are stiff and if you wear them for long hikes, chances are you will have to remove your hiking boots and carry them because of the blisters that you may get as a result.
There are various Ways in which we can break in our hiking boots, and all these steps are important to soften you boots and ultimately make you enjoy the reason you bought the hiking boots for in the first place, hiking.
The most important step towards breaking in your boots is actually purchasing the right hiking boots for you Always ensure that you ask yourself.
Questions such as Does the shoe DM or is it tight or loose? When is the hiking date? What is the weather like during the day of the hike? How long is Othe hike going to take? What is the hiking terrain like?
These are some of the questions that will help you to purchase the shoe that fit you and that will serve the purpose while being comfortable at the same time it is also important to keep the purchasing receipt so that if you go home and try them on for some minutes and you feel uncomfortable, you can always return to the store and choose a different fit.
When trying to break in your hiking boots, it is also important to invest in a pair of good quality hiking socks. Avoid the light type of socks as you will not get the right feel and will not readily absorb moisture and sweat. Test the socks with your new hiking boots and determine the comfort levels you get while wearing them.
It is a grave mistake to buy hiking boots, and after some testing you decide they are a right fit, and then you go a long hike. You may end up with a bad day as a result of blisters caused by your new boots. So days before the hike wear your socks and hiking boots and walk around the house as you do your household chores.
If your feet hurt, you might want to try it again the following day for a few minutes and as the comfort levels increase, also increase the time you have them on Do this for a couple more days until you feel comfortable Walking in them around the house.
Once you have established that you can comfortably walk in the house with your new hiking boots, it is time to up the pressure and determine if it will hold up. Go outside for short distance walks, such as 30 minutes to one hour, around the block or going to the grocery store.
Try it for a few more days and every time, increase the time for the walk. Establish the comfort levels each time you go for a walk. With time you will realize that the shoes become more comfortable and you are able to cover more ground and time during your test walks.
Once you are comfortable walking in your new shoes, trying something new, jogging. You can jog around the block or the park as you establish your comfort levels.
If you are comfortable walking and running in your new hiking boots, go to the gym in them. Do some exercises in them. Doing squats help to soften the soles and reduce the pressure exerted on your feet. Also note the time you can be in the gym for in your new boots and also pay attention to any pain you might have felt while in the gym.
Go on a short hike that simulates the actual hike. Climb a small mountain and walk through rough grounds to test how your shoes will handle the pressure and the different surfaces.
It is important to note that during hikes, you will probably be carrying some luggage with you e.g. backpacks that has all the items you need for the hike. This is probably a good time for you to test this as well. Carry your backpack and go on your simulated hike.
Our aim is to break in our hiking boots. So it is important that we keep wearing them in our effort to achieve our goal. So, how do you know that you have achieved this?
You will know that you have achieved this if you can comfortably wear your hiking boots for a whole day without any discomfort whatsoever. This is also a high time to set your boots aside for the big day, the hike.
If you have tried breaking in your hiking boots in vain, this might be a good time to bring them to a specialist to customize them for you There are many specialists in hiking equipment and finding one to help fix your boots will not be difficult and they can help customize your boots for you.
This is actually something that you have to resort to if there is constant pain in the same area of the boot throughout your test phase. Explain to the specialist in detail the pain you feel and then they will know what to do to help you relieve the pain when you wear your boots.
I go hiking as part of a team on a regular basis, and I can tell you that it can be very painful and uncomfortable going to hike without breaking in your hiking boot. If the boots are new, then you might end up getting a blister at the bottom of the foot. Adding to that noticed a little bit of chafing under my inner thighs and armpits. Sadly, there was nothing readily available at that time, and my outdoor experience ended up with the little discomfort.
The most commons reasons for skin chafing is due to excess weight, and your skin might be producing an excessive sweat, it can be even worse if you are hiker or an extreme backpacker.
Chafing can occur at any part of the body, it could be down between the legs, and in and around the thighs, groin areas or under the armpits, but most common places are inner thighs and armpits. What would you do if you happen to have skin chafed under inner thighs and other parts of the body?
Having a tight shoe or boots adds more moisture to your foot, and more friction and rubbing to your feet will cause blisters. Blisters are the most common issue for backpackers. Lack of understanding of how to break into new shoes/boots and lack of understanding of conditioning for feet while hiking is the two primary roots of these nasty blisters. Here is a dedicated article for breaking into a new hiking shoes.
If the boots are new, then you might end up getting a blister at the bottom of the foot. Blister are nasty and can be very painful, So to avoid blisters wear Boots indoors make it a point to wear your new hiking boots indoors every day for the first Week. You can wear them as slippers for the better part of the mornings and evenings or the whole day. It depends on whether you are always indoors or go to work.
You will initially experience some discomfort and possibly pain, particularly in the toe area and heels. This is pretty common and should wear off once your feet get used to the boots. I'd recommend restricting wearing the boots indoors for the first week without venturing outdoors to prevent suffering blisters.
If the redness and irritation were getting severe, then you might want to see your doctor for the medical prescription to heal skin quickly. I'd suggest few simple remedies for treating the skin chafing. Washing affected areas are so important to stop spreading further and using gentle cleansers removes dirt on the moist areas without harming skin.
1. Apply Petroleum Jelly
You could use petroleum jelly on the skin areas to soothe skin, but it's not comfortable when you are walking or doing any activity.
2. Apply Baby Powders
Baby powder can keep the skin dry for most of the time and also helps us to maintain the moisture away from the affected areas. So, apply powder when you are heading out to prevent further friction on the Skin. So, we know what is chafing, and we are aware how to take care of irritated skin so Let's talk about how to prevent inner thigh chafing, quick short term solutions and permanent solutions.
Keeping your skin dry inevitably stops the skin from further chafing so stop staying in your wet clothes. When heading out for a day hike apply baby powders on affected areas so that it keeps away moisture and keeps your skin dry.
Most of all importantly give your skin some time to being active again which helps to heal your skin faster. The best way to prevent chafing on the skin is to avoid friction in the first place, and using skin protectants, Anti-chafing balms and applying anti-chafing powers on the hot spots could benefit in the short term.
1. Using Skin Protectants
Monistat anti-chafing cream comes in a gel, and it is nongreedy, most importantly odorless and very convenient to use. As it arrives in the form of the gel, it quickly dries up and sticks to the skin compared applying the lotion and the powder. You are going to get the benefits of using cream and powder.
Although it was women's product I would recommend using this I got better results using this cream, it’s an excellent chub-rub, and it works. Let’s see how anti-chafing balms can prevent skin chafing.
2. Anti-Chaffing Balms
Body Glide has been around a while it comes with the natural ingredients, body glide balms are also non-greasy and odorless. Coco and almond essentials keep your skin moist whole day and help skin to retain moisture and free from chafing. Apply Body Glide before you put on clothes and head out wherever skin is sensitive to skin. Let’s see how Anti-Chafing powders work for the skin.
3. Using Anti-Chafing Powders
I want to pack this powder instead of carrying big 6-ounce bottle will add more weight, and I'm ultralight hiker mostly If I were to use this product mostly I will apply right after freshening up so it would keep my body parts dry all day.
Sprinkling monkey powder onto areas prone to chafing will reduce friction and skin damage. Not sure if you like the fragrances or not but this thing will come with a mild and fresh scent, but if you apply lousily powder may get all over the place so apply gently.
4. Permanent Solution for Her
Wearing anti-chafing thigh bands will prevent thigh chafing for women so you can wear these bands under the skirts and the dress and they are even helpful in the rapid long-distance hikes. So, you don't need to worry about applying gels, balms or powders on no gap thigh areas and keep the friction away by wearing simple bands.
5. Long-Lasting Solution for Him
If you have been looking for the permanent solution to soothe sensitive body parts Using right kind of underwear is most important than applying anti-chafing gels, balms, powders because how long are you going to use these on your body if you have issues daily?
So, here’s the permanent anti-chafing solution and I’m sure you are going to love this, because these pouch underwear is extremely comfortable, gives your relief from sticking and skin chafing and separates the third leg from clappers.
I recommend that you use a pair of thick Woolen socks that are suitable for hiking. Invest in a pair of insoles to use when backpacking, a pair of arch supports can also do. Because getting moisture of any kind leads to friction and the friction on bottom leads to blisters. So always keep your feet dry to avoid blisters.
You can't keep your feet dry when you are heading out for a long hike, try to aim for the breathable shoes. Having a pair of waterproof shoes doesn't solve this problem because waterproof boots won't let air in so you got to choose the shoes which are breathable. In case if your foot gets wet, breathable shoes let air pass through in and out and let your foot keep dry.
Also, keep your socks dry if it gets wet too take it off and let them dry on your pack, and do whatever you can to always keep your foot aired out. Also, remember to keep your toenails trimmed, they can rub against other toes and cause blisters and sores.
The quick way to heal your blisters is to keep a competed blister patch on the cleaned blister. Few other tactics for dealing with blisters at the bottom of your foot are
1. Icinig it
Icing helps to reduce pain, icing may not do anything to heal the blister, but you won't notice much pain.
2. Patch Blister
With athletic tapes relieves pain, and provides stabilization of muscles and reduces inflammation. ENGO blister prevention ultra thin patches attach directly to the shoes and not to your skin so that your shoe fit won't change at all. And also these blisters won't irritate your skin, unlike traditional blister patches.
3. Using Liquid Sprays
New skin liquid spray forms a tight, waterproof layer which prevents blisters getting worse compared to regular band aids. New-Skin Spray dries quickly to form a protective waterproof cover and keeps out dirt and germs while letting skin breathe. Apart from these avoid getting any moisture, dust or pebbles into the shoes and always keep your feet clean and dry.
You need to have Good fitting hiking boots or Hiking shoes Whichever work for you and never carry a new pair of boots or shoes for through hike. Proper fitting shoes/boots will keep you always from blisters.
And keeping you away from friction is all that you need to prevent chafing. So I’d highly recommend using STEALTH Circular Dual Underwear for Men and Anti-chafing thigh Bands for Women. So, I hope this article is helpful and share it with your friends and family as it might help them to get over the pain.