I recently finished reading ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed (and then quickly watched the film too). If you haven’t had the pleasure, I suggest you put it on your reading list! It’s a fascinating tale of a young woman who sets an enormous challenge to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail. It’s 2,650 miles of hiking, camping, pain, and misery! But, don’t let that put you off! There are some incredibly inspiring parts, and it certainly made me want to hitch up my bag and travel. I don’t suggest starting with such an epic adventure, but the Great Outdoors is a great place to explore. Here’s what you’ll need for your first trip.
Shelter – Your tent or shelter will be your home for the night. And, if you think the hiking days are long, just wait until you’ve got a wet tent! That’s why it’s usually worth investing in the best tent you can afford. You’re looking for space, breathability, and – most importantly – waterproofing. Another good attribute is practicality. Make sure it’s quick and easy to set up and take down.
Sleeping bag – After a long day’s hiking, your sleeping bag is a welcome and warming treat! Again, get the best one you can afford. They are generally rated on their ability to stay warm and dry. This will be your single most important purchase if you’re planning more than one night in the wilderness.
Clothes and dry bag – Packing for the wilderness requires a completely different mindset compared to traditional backpacking. Remember, your number one goal is staying warm and dry. Lots of thin layers are perfect, so stock up on them. Socks are also a lifesaver, so make sure you pack as many as you can fit. Trust me, there’s nothing like slipping fresh socks on at the end of a long hike. Lastly, take a dry bag to put all your dirty and wet clothes in.
Fire starters – If you’re planning a real night in the wilderness (ie, not on a campsite), you’ll need to start a fire. Firstly, it’s the best way to cook food without a stove. It will keep you warm and cosy. Secondly, it will keep away any intrigued animals that might stumble upon you. My advice is take a match, a lighter, and firestarters. But, if you find yourself without these items, it’s always useful to know how to get a fire burning with nature alone. Learn that before you go at http://go.ridgemontoutfitters.com.
Personal hygiene – Just because you’re out in the wild, doesn’t mean you should forget about hygiene! In fact, it’s now more important than ever. Cleanliness is essential out in the wild. If you don’t keep clean, it can allow bacteria to grow. And trust me, there’s nothing worse than getting ill out in the wilderness. Keep plenty of personal hygiene products with you at all times.
Heading out into the wilderness is all about being prepared. Make sure you are fully stocked up before starting your adventure. Good luck!