Camping, trekking, and hiking are among the healthiest outdoor activities, but they require adequate preparation and planning. If you’re typically going outdoors letting others handle the organizational part and want to learn more about what things to consider when planning an excursion, today we’ll help you out with a few tips, so let’s begin from the top:
One of the first things you should take into consideration is the composition of your camping group. Everything from gear to resource management is different depending on how many campers, hikers, or trekkers are planning to take the trip.
Solo trips can be very fun, and each time you’ll be greeted with a unique, fresh experience. However, you’ll also have to make sure that you’ve packed everything properly, and that you know the route well.
Camping and hiking groups sometimes assign roles to some of the members; the person with navigational skills is typically the group’s leader; the person who can cook is in charge of supplies, and so on.
Larger groups usually travel with RVs and larger vehicles, which allows them to stockpile more fuel and keep the food fresh in built-in fridges. Smaller groups generally share all chores and tasks.
Although scouting various camping locations and trails and then deciding where you’ll set up camp may seem like a sound plan, in reality, things are much different. The more you know about the particular outdoor location you want to visit, the better you will be able to prepare for whatever challenges may await you there.
For example, if there are no sources of fresh water on the campsite or near the trails, you’ll need to bring a few extra bottles of water; if there are no convenience stores nearby, you should consider bringing more food.
Check whether the destination offers any facilities or not, such as public restrooms, hotels, and parking lots. If you wind up on a location without any facilities, you’ll need to rely on your DIY skills and creativity to fashion a makeshift toilet and a disposable shower.
Measure the distance between the starting and the ending point. You can use Google Maps to do so, even while driving to the spot. If the place is several hundred miles away, it may be smart to pick and choose a few resting spots, so that the drivers can get a moment of respite.
If you did not manage to find any parking lots nearby, research the basics of topography; this will help you learn more about the landscape of the destination, allowing you to easily navigate through hills and off-road paths.
Wild beasts and animals rarely go near humans, and nearly all hiking trails and camping spots that are even remotely dangerous are marked as such. However, stray wolves and bears sometimes wander off from their usual hunting spots, so it won’t hurt to familiarize yourself with the wildlife that surrounds your designated outdoor trip location.
On a more positive note, animal spotting is a beautiful experience; again, you should do a bit of research regarding common native animals before beginning your search when you reach your destination.
Basic knowledge of plants is also recommended. If you get hungry and happen to run out of food, knowing which plants are edible can help you out in a pinch. Moreover, it’s even more important to know which plants are poisonous, especially if the nearest hospital is miles away.
One of the most important things to consider whenever planning an outdoor trip is making a checklist. You’ll have limited storage space at your disposal, so try to make the best use of it.
Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion – dress light, but make sure you are adequately protected from direct sunlight. Weatherproof footwear is also important, but it also needs to be breathable and comfortable.
A first aid kit is always recommended, even if you’ve made it yourself. A box filled with a few bandages, disinfectants, and ice packs is the most basic kit that won’t occupy too much storage space.
In terms of tools, all members of your group should at least have a pocket knife. Hatchets are far more convenient than actual axes while a couple of basic pottery items can substantially improve your cooking experience. Bring a few fishing rods if you’re camping near a river; make sure to bring a fishing license as well.
Camping is more flexible than trekking and hiking in terms of gear, as you won’t need to put as much of an emphasis on packing the necessities solely in your backpack. Hiking is more limiting, as you’ll want to find the right balance between items that are both necessary and light enough to not burden you too much. Trekking is among the most fatiguing outdoor activities (right next to mountain climbing), so bring only the most essential items.
The Leave No Trace movement is focused on spreading ecological awareness among campers, hikers, and trekkers. Basically, if you want to keep nature undisturbed and contribute to its cleanliness, bring a few garbage bags and leave the place in the same condition as it was when you came.
The general pandemic guidelines apply to everyone, regardless of location and time. Maintain social distancing whenever possible, wear a mask if the trail is packed, and avoid organizing trips with strangers.
Contact sports aren’t recommended; you can research non-contact sports and recreational activities to keep you occupied throughout the experience. Doctors also advise against friends bunking up under the same tent (unless they are family members); consider using individual sleeping bags instead. Search the web for relevant resources that can help you organize a safe trip for you and your friends during pandemic times, as the regulations are different from country to country.
We hope that this brief guide was useful to you and that you have learned something new today on how to study and prepare for an outdoors trip in a pandemic-friendly fashion. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!