The great outdoors with its endless possibilities, the promise of adventure and many memories can be exhilarating, but the main question is: how can you prepare for it? From packing for the weather to ensuring that you keep safe and healthy during your adventures, here are six tips to making the most of your outdoor travels:
An ultra-light backpack with an internal frame will be your best friend, especially if you’re off camping. Not only will this have enough space to carry all your clothing and some gear, but it will be light enough for you to carry across ragged terrain and up mountains. Make sure you test it out before you go though, as what may at first feel light at home can be heavy after carrying it for hours under wind and rain.
If you are traveling with someone else, you can share the weight between you two for ease of travel.
Wear appropriate clothing
Water or windproof pants, and those that can be converted into shorts, is the ideal outdoor outfit. Yes, blue jeans will look good on your photos but can get wet and heavy, especially if you face unpredictable weather in your adventures.
Extra layers are always an advantage, and make sure you bring t-shirts and hoodies in breathable fabric – they absorb sweat better than cotton. Waterproof ponchos or other forms of clothing that keep the rain away can prove essential for sudden storms and unpredictable cold conditions.
Bring footwear that is suitable for whatever activities you plan on doing. While lightweight hiking shoes are perfect for any condition, rockier terrain may require something sturdier, such as water-based sports that demand water-durable shoes. If you’re off in snow-climates, boots such as ones from this site might be more suitable. Taking care of your feet, before and especially during a hike, is essential for your health and to keep you going during your travels and having appropriate footwear is only one step.
If you are off into higher altitudes, it might be best to bring scarves, gloves, and hats, even during summer. Make sure to pack at least one change of clothes in case of emergency. And if you plan to relax in the evening after your day of sports and outdoors, don’t forget to pack casual wear.
Health and safety first
Make sure to carry insect-repellent, especially if you will be spending days outside and in the heat. Bring a whistle; this will not only keep bears away but can help attract attention and help if ever an emergency occurs.
Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere. Dehydration can be dangerous under normal circumstances, but the last thing you want is to faint in the forest far from civilization due to lack of hydration. You can bring a refillable water bottle but if you use the water from an outdoor area, make sure it is clean and fit for drinking or learn a water purification method as part of your preparation.
Undertaking outdoor activities such as camping and hiking has been proven to have health benefits, but you still need to make sure that you prepare enough to stay healthy and safe during your travels.
Carry snack bars as part of your kit. Not only will these keep you fed throughout your adventures but can keep your energy up during the hike.
A flashlight or for of lighting may prove useful for night hikes and don’t forget to bring extra batteries. Make sure you let someone know where you’re headed, especially if it is somewhere remote – forest rangers are always at hand, so it might be best to get their contact details in case you get lost or simply to let them know that you will be hiking across the forest.
Bring an emergency first aid kit that contains bandages, a space blanket, medicine, compass, sunblock and the like, and if you want to conserve space in your bag, this can be stored in one small bag.
Carry a map and plan your routes
This is particularly relevant if you are off on a forest or mountain hike, or camping, whether alone or in the company of others. Carrying a map and compass can help you gain your bearings and not only mark out where you need to go but also where places like the local police station or nearest forest ranger is in case you get lost. Maps also help warn you of any landmarks that may be a case of danger if not seen such as changes in altitude or sloping hills.
Keep emergency contacts with you
Whether this is a family member, friend, the local police station or forest ranger, make sure you know who to contact in case an emergency arises and that anyone else who might find you can contact the appropriate person. Make sure that at least one person knows where you are heading and your current location before embarking on your outdoor adventures in case of emergency.
Train for Your Trip
A month or two before your vacation, spending time at the gym or simply preparing to set up your tent and other camping gear will prove useful when the time comes to set them up during your travels. Working with weights and on a treadmill will prepare you for the hours of walking on rough terrain and up sloping mountains and help keep your metabolism, stamina, and agility ready.
Getting used to carrying heavy backpacks can help you prepare for what you will be doing in a month or two’s time and wearing the boots you plan to wear can help break it in for a more comfortable hike. It is best to come prepared when it comes to the outdoors, so make sure you are ready to carry heavy backpacks, do a lot of walking and have everything ready to face the unpredictable elements
By making sure that you have everything you will need in case of an emergency, regardless of whether they happen or not, you can prepare yourself for what you might encounter in your travels. That might be one less for you to worry about and if the situation does arise, then you are ready.