As spring rolls into summer, and it’s about time for students to take that much-needed break from academics, a great number of serious scholars decide it’s time to get away from anything and everything electronic. The entire school year, they are parked in front of a computer working their days away striving for that almighty 4.0 GPA and so, by the time summer hits, they are ‘brain dead.’
Summer backpacking journeys are becoming increasingly popular among students, but for those who have never hit the wilds on their own, a few safety tips are in order. Five tips for backpackers when it comes to packing everything in just one backpack. Take a look at my top summer backpacking tips.
Related Read: Complete Backpacking Checklist
1. Do the Research BEFORE You Set Out
What sounds like heaven just may turn out to be hell on earth – literally! Always research those places you intend to backpack through. For example, there is nothing lovelier than BLM (Bureau of Land Management) forests in the Pacific Northwest, but remember that summer is fire season, and it is very dry there. A small spark can ignite tens of thousands of acres in a rampant wildfire which you could be caught in the middle of. Know your dangers before choosing your path.
2. Always Pack a First Aid Kit
Yes, you know that you need a basic kit with bandages, peroxide, 70% rubbing alcohol, and a few other first aid items, but when backpacking, you may need such things as antihistamines and antidiarrheals as well. Obviously, you want to travel light, so keep it small enough to fit in your backpack.
3. Lightweight Pup Tents Are a Must
While you dream of laying out in the open in a sleeping bag under the stars, there are multiple reasons for packing a small, lightweight pup tent. Not only do sudden summer rains hit when least expected, but you may want to avoid those pesky flying creatures that bite and sting. You’re always safer with a light covering.
4. Assemble Basic Hiking Gear
One or two outfits, besides the one you are wearing, are going to be needed. It may be days before you find somewhere to wash your clothes, and after a while, you’ll begin smelling like one of the forest creatures you’ve come to observe. Besides, basic sanitation can help to prevent any nasty bacteria from causing inflammation or an infection on your skin.
5. Those Little Extras Are Not Really Extra
Then there are those little extras that are not really extra at all. You are out in the wild and there are things to see and explore that you may never see again. What about a compact, lightweight pair of binoculars? If you are going to backpack through BLM forests, for example, you’ll want to sit very still and observe wildlife in its native habitat. Have a peek at this website for reviews of the best compact binoculars for just this type of use.
Recommended Read: 3 Tips For Backpacking In The Winter
A Few Closing Thoughts
Some seasoned backpackers also suggest you take a basic self-defense class because you never know who or what you’ll run into. Also, take time to consider whether or not you’ll want to carry some kind of firearm for protection against dangerous animals that might threaten you on your journey. The key is to travel light, bring plenty of water, and know where you are going before setting out.
Don’t forget to bring a GPS enabled cell phone ‘in case’ and download a tracking app. Search and Rescue can easily find you with an app like that, so always hope for the very best, but as the old saying goes, prepare for the worst.