Trail Tips and Gear Checklists
Backpacking is a relatively simple act that we sometimes complicate. Keep things simple with our trail tips and your experience will be for the better. The key ingredients to a good experience are:
The best thing you can take into the wilderness besides our trail tips are common sense and a few survival skills. The good thing about survival skills is that you can practice them anywhere. Get a good guide book and a DVD to help be on your way to having complete confidence in the wilderness. We recommend:
Once you have some basic survival skills you must learn to plan well and execute. Have good topo and trail maps of the area you are going. Mark the route, make a timeline, pack your gear and head out. Do not forget to tell friends and family your plans in case of an emergency. Or you can take a SPOT. We use our spots for GPS tracking, checking in, and for emergencies. These are handy and possibly Life Saving tools.
After gaining some experience we all modify our gear and do things a little differently. This checklist is everything you need and then some. Narrow it down to the most important items and hit the trail!
_Backpack _Sleeping Bag _First Aid _Water Bladder _Water
_Food _Fire Starter _Clothing _Spork _Stove _Pot _Tent
_Rain Gear _Sunblock _Sun Glasses _Toilet Paper _SPOT
_Dr. Bronners Soap _Tooth brush _Headlamp _Stove Fuel
_Water Purification _Insect Repellant _Chapstick _Sleep Pad
Remember to keep it light. Modern gear makes it easier to stay light and have great performance but if you overload with stuff you do not need it is pointless to spend the extra bucks on quality. Dehydrated food, nuts, and oatmeal can last for several days. Throw in some pasta and make it a week. The list above is the one I personally use. It is light and effecient. I even leave enough room to throw in a pack rod, reel, and a few flies without getting weighed down. If you like taking pictures throw in a camera and if you write a small note book and pencil will do the trick. Otherwise enjoy the wilderness. That is what really matters.
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