Planning for a backpacking trip can seem overwhelming, even to those who are experienced backpackers. It’s not enough to find time away from family and work, there are other considerations. A hiker must identify gear, replace the last trip’s consumables, define trip logistics, and review a weather forecast.
These activities do not have to be performed all at once. A section hike, a hike covering a section of a long-distance trail, is usually planned over several weeks or months. A trip planner must use this time to his or her advantage. Some activities must be conducted before other activities. There are some things you must do a few weeks before departure, and some that can wait until the night before. Realizing this can help the planning of a section hike seem less daunting.
This article recommends activities to consider when your backpacking trip is to begin in 3 months.
3 months out
- Decide who will go on trip. Will a small group hike, or will this be a solo backpacking trip?
- Decide how long the trip will be.
- Identify a trail of interest.
- Identify a section of trail.
- Confirm the selected section of the trail can be hiked during your selected time of year. Understand the expected nighttime temperatures. Will there be snow cover? Will there be enough water available? Will water crossings be too high?
- Estimate how far you can hike this trail, during this time of year.
- Begin to understand some of the physical demands required of this section of the trail. How quickly is elevation gained and lost? Are there long segments without water, requiring you to carry more water?
- Begin to prepare for the physical aspect on the trip.
Planning a trip can be crushing. It might help to focus on one week at a time. If your time horizon is longer than three months, you can start earlier.
Do you plan your backpacking trips according to a timeline? If so, what does your timeline look like? What are the key activities of your calendar?