Getting Started: Backpacking Day Trips Close to Home
Getting away from the pressures of everyday life with the loved ones that matter most to you is one of the great benefits of camping and hiking. Getting started means learning basic hiking and camping skills, and this is best accomplished in the comfort and safety of a familiar environment.
Many will be surprised to find a wide selection of trails located in public parks. Many counties have built excellent park systems that have short, easy, and well-marked trails. These types of areas are perfect for the beginner looking to hike for 2 or 3 hours.
A short distance is perfect for the beginner to experiment with his gear and gear, as well as different weather conditions. The proximity to the house gives the option of stopping the walk if adverse weather, injuries, such as blisters or equipment failure occurs. These walks close to home are invaluable for learning outdoor skills like practicing with a map and compass, building stamina when walking, and having the feeling of carrying a fully loaded backpack. Consider these types of day trips in preparation for a trip further from home; they will prepare you for the fun to come.
After practicing your hiking and boating skills in a nearby park or wildlife area, you’ll be ready to venture further away from home. A weekend trip is the next step in building our outdoor resume. A good choice would be a destination no more than 3-4 hours from home. This type of trip is ideal for practicing tent-building skills, as well as for making bonfires and cooking outdoors. The aromas when cooking outdoors are very intense; cooking food after a hike for several hours can be one of the most enjoyable elements of our weekend adventure. Learning to improve our outdoor skills requires us to keep a journal of what we did right, as well as what went wrong and what we will need to improve future trips. Learning what to bring and what not to bring to these weekends will improve the safety and quality of these wonderful trips. Modern campgrounds bring the comforts of home to nature, and for hikers this brings a touch of home to some of the most remote and beautiful places in the world. After several of these weekend trips, we begin to learn what it takes to be self-sufficient in the interior of the country and we are ready for the challenges that an unfamiliar environment brings.
Next, we look for a destination that is not so close to home. The options are limitless, we can choose a traditional camp where we stay in a camp and hike the various trails in the area, we stay at a local inn and hike the local trails or we can base camp (my favorite) where we settle in a rural zone. area and hike different trails each day. It is imperative to investigate the different places and types of trails in our destination.
Decide in advance which places you want to hike and plan for each one. Rural areas, especially in mountainous regions, have extensive trail systems and many books and guides are available in many areas.
The lessons and skills we learned on our day trips will pay off when we venture out on a long-distance hike. If you like the social side of hiking, choose trails where hikers congregate in shelters, cabins, sheds, or camping areas. You’ll find these types of areas along long-distance trails like The Appalachian Trail. For hikes that are sure to be social, try joining a local hiking club and participating in the group events offered there.
You get immense satisfaction from hiking and camping and knowing that you can meet the challenges that nature presents while still having a safe and rewarding time.