Backpacking is an adventure where everything you own is on your back and the freedom it brings along with it is incredible. Backpacking lets you broaden your horizons as you can enjoy a richer, more immersive outdoor experience. It involves a lot of perks, from meeting someone new, to be able to do what you want when you want.
However, for those just getting started, some key tips will help you make the most out of your solo backpacking trip and ensure you'll have a safe and incident-free journey. And we want to ensure your venture into the world of hiking and backpacking is an enjoyable one.
Here are some of the helpful backpacking tips for women who are just getting started!
Carry Suitable Gears
Ensure your pack is satisfactory, it is vital to set up your tent, have a night of quality sleep, and know-how your stove and water filter works! And always carry extra supplies of the same.
Purchase The Right Clothing And Footwear
Ensure your clothing and footwear is appropriate for your destination and weather. Quick-dry travel underwear is of particular note because it helps put off yeast and urinary tract infections (UTI) for those who are prone to them.
Don't Forget To Carry Hygiene And Safety Items
Personal wipes and hand sanitizer may sound like common essentials, but these come in handy during undesirable situations. And also carry safety whistle! It will help you in times of animal encounter or a hostile person. If you're travelling solo or to a very remote location, you might also consider carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) with satellite messaging so you can send an "I'm fine" message, once a day, and so you can send an SOS if something serious happens.
Be Ready If You Confront Uncomfortable Human Interactions
To avoid them:
- Avoid camping within one Km of a road or trailhead. Stick to camping in established campsites.
- Avoid camping on or near a game trail. You don't want animals-or hunters-running into you.
- Trust your gut. If you meet someone you feel uneasy about, don't feel you have to answer questions about where you're heading, camping, etc. Feel free to make up an excuse to leave them. Tell them you have to reach your destination that day! Stride off confidently.
- Carry a can of pepper spray made for personal self-defence if that makes you feel more secure.
- Don't hesitate to use your safety whistle if you need to. Three blasts are the universal call for help.
Know What Do Do When You Encounter Wild Animals
Are there animals where you'll be hiking? Learn how to store your food using animal-proof methods and what to do if you encounter a threatening animal. Carry a can of deterrent spray if you'll be in animals territory, and hike in a group of three to four or more.
For smaller potential hazards, such as snakes, again, find out if any poisonous species may be found where you're going, how to identify them, how to avoid them, and what to do if you encounter or get bitten by one.
Embrace The Solitude
Being alone for days can be a challenge-and also empowering. You'll solve your problems and make your own decisions without any input from others. If you prefer to backpack with someone else, especially as a newbie, find a partner through your group of friends or local hiking clubs. If you're solo on the trail, help create a community of other solo hikers.
Get Prepared Physically
Spending multiple days hauling a pack weighing 30 or more pounds up and down uneven terrain will challenge you in countless ways. From head to toe, you'll need strength coupled with a solid level of cardio fitness. An ideal pre-trip training plan includes the following:
- Cardio workouts (hiking, cycling, elliptical training, etc.),
- Training hikes with a weighted backpack (increase weight and distance over time to build stamina)
- Resistance workouts to build strength and stability.
- Also, before tackling a long-distance trail, practice short trips of at least a couple days.