Dining out while backpacking is not a complicated matter for me. Let me explain
Back in 1956 when I first met a fellow backpacker in Alaska we began a few trips into the wilds of the Yukon. His name was Brown, in the military no one had a first name. This guy Brown had been on expeditions climbing Mt. McKinly and was a lot more advanced than I was at that time in the world of Backpacking. This guy Brown taught me all I know and ever needed about eating on the trail.
Backpacking has been very good to me. It has taught me self reliance a trait somewhat missing today especially in our young people.
Simple and Light were his guidelines.
Dinner….Rice with Cheese and Onion Flakes…..Dried Fruit…Tea
Interspersed with an occaisional snack and plenty of water.
All of the above are cheap, lightweight and nourishing. So whether we were beginning our backpacking trips via a car, which did not get you very far in 1956 Fairbanks, Alaska. Or by plane the food did not take up much space and did not weigh all that much either. You might also note the cooking equpment was very sparse.
A small white gas stove and a small cooking pot were all that was needed to prepare a gourmet meal.
While I am on the subject of Alaska circa 1955 – 58. It wasn’t a state at that time and the aeronautical maps were not very detailed. Large geographical areas were blocked out with yellow stating unsurveyed area – no information. And, we had very primitive navigation aids. No GPS or modern navigation or communication equipment. Your were on your own once you filed your flight plan.
Let me post about this another time.
All I want to get across here is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on trail food or cooking equipment. Go basic, go light after all it is the experience that counts. But you do need to keep your tank full because it take a lot of energy to carry your equipment all day while walking over rugged terrain.
Hoping this helps get you started backpacking,
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Spring and warmer weather is just around the corner. For backpackers especially solo backpackers you need to get a heads up on how to deal with strangers on the trail. I have ran a post like this earlier, however you need to be constantly aware at all times of your surroundings especially strangers.
Backpacking can be a fun and adventurous experience. However, in the real world we live in you need to pay close attention to your surroundings at all times. Particularly as it applies to other people on the backpacking trail.
The backpacking trails for the most part are extremely safe. In my 60 years of solo backpacking I have never felt threatened or insecure. However, I have heard the same stories you have probably heard so let’s be aware at all times of our surroundings.
Ok, let’s talk about socializing while backpacking on the trail. As some of you who have read my posts know I like the trails from late October until mid April. Most of the two legged animals are at home keeping warm. I like the feeeling that I am all alone, self suffiecient and enjoying it.
However, no matter when I have gone backpacking, I will always run into someone else. I have been out until Christmas Eve with snow on the ground and I have met another backpacker. Cold also. And I have been out for extended backpacks and not seen another human being.
But, you should be prepared on how to socialize on the backpacking trail. My usual meeting conversations goes something like, hello, where are you headed to, where are you from, good day to you. I’ll answer some of the same questions but I don’t encourage more. When I say I, that’s what I mean. I am not out there to meet people in fact I would rather not.
Most of the time at the campsite I will socialize a bit on topical issues. Strangers don’t have to know your personal life story. They don’t need to know specific details on who your are or where you live.
My caution to folks just starting backpacking alone or solo is when meeting one or another group on the trail is to greet, and move on. I don’t tell anyone where I am heading to. I don’t tell anyone where I just came from. If you get that sudden feeling of not being uncomfortable with this meeting, you can say you are meeting another person up the trail who is waiting for you. Or, that your backpacking buddy is just behind you on the trail.
I have never felt threatened while backpacking. Just keep in mind that events have happened to folks while backpacking and you need to at least keep your senses aware, not alert as to your surroundings. This is a wonderful sport. One you can do alone, with others, family so lets all keep it safe also by just being aware of where you are at all times.
Thanks for stopping by and reading .
Your Backpack is one of your key pieces of equipment when you hit the trail. It literally will be carrying all of your life support system. Backpacks today are engineering marvels – they will allow you to independently live out of doors from just an overnighter to just about as long as you want to stay out of doors.
Let’s look at a few key features that you need to consider when selecting a backpack.
1. Internal Frame vs. External Frame Backpacks. Most of what you will find in the marketplace today are the internal frame packs. The internal frame pack allows for a more stable back pack that is for more of a balanced load on your back. Important when scaling those awful “swithchbacks”. They are also more streamlined in shape allowing for more freer body motion. I have never owned an external backpack, but have used one and I prefer the internal pack.
2. Size Matters. The size backpack you decide on depends on just how long you might be staying out. Most hikes today are 2 – 3 nights on the trail. These packs are sometimes called “weekenders”. This would be the size pack I would recommend to a new backpacker because it is big enough to allow you to grow until you develop into a week or more backpacker. To put this ito numbers that you will be looking at when shopping A 3500 – 4000 cubic inch capacity backpack should do just fine.
3. The Backpack Contains What? Your Backpack will be the home for most of food, home and sleeping equipment, cooking equipment. Many others two numerous to mention but, think about and make a list of your daily needs where there are no stores an yoyu will quickly get a picture of just how important that backpack is. One of my other posts list the basic requirements for different lengths of stay on the trail. Flashlights, extra clothing, rain wear, first aid, survival stuff, reading light, e book, and on and on so without getting too large of a backpack you do need to get one that will carry enough to keep you warm and dry.
4, Pockets. Many of the backpacks you look at will seem like they are nothing but pockets. But, belive me when you are out on the trail that last thing you will want to do is rummage through that backpack to find matches, Just an illustration but I have found you can’t seem to have enough pockets. Things like flashlight, matches, snacks ets., are and will be just as important to a relaxing hike as the sleeping bag is.
Other items like padding and hydration will be addressed later. But, for now you have the basics. The next step is to do it! Backpacking to me, is one of the last independent survival sports left. It is you, your wits and stamina, against the elements. I hope this encourages you to give backpacking a try. It has been very rewarding for these last 60+ years.
Also, might want to add, most of your backpacking investment is long term or life time.
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It might be hard to believe with snow on the ground in some areas that summer is on the way. And, the adjustment to backpacking summer clothes is on the way! The first adjustment that will be necessary of course is lighter clothing.
Backpacking or even just a day hike is a very enjoyable activity. However, you need to dress appropiately or that pleasant outing can turn into a nightmare. Hiking all day carrying excess clothing is not fun, whether you are wearing it or carrying it. Remember that physical exercise tends to warm the body up, so lets talk about appropiate clothing.
Late spring until early fall requires clothing that will keep you warm when needed and dry when necessary. In most remote areas the nights and even some days can become cool so we need to be prepared. Remember again that backpacking is a “self sufficiency” endeavor. That is, we need to pack and go with all we will need to survive alone. The Boy Scouts had it right with “Be Prepared”.
Lets talk about an outer layer first. I like to consider light weight since anything lighter in weight is an automatic plus when it comes to carrying it around all day. Water proof is a very good feature to look for when shopping for backpacking clothing. I don’t know about you but it seems to rain whenever I am the least prepared. Also need to remember that staying dry is one of the key elements in backpacking. Since, once you are wet any slight cool breeze will bring on the chills. And, once you are wet and chilled you can’t ever get warm until you change everything.
The next consideration I look for in outerwear on the trail is “breathability”. You need to consider this feature so as when you do work up a sweat this material will allow the sweat to evaporate rather than being sealed in. The sealed in persperation will only lead to wet clothing and the chill “stuff” returning.
For warm weather hiking you also need to consider these factors when choosing your gloves and a hat.
Backpacking is an enjoyable sport. Preparing and making adjustments for the weather keep the enjoyment in the sport. An unprepared backpacker can be a miserable backpacker. So, “Be Prepared”.
Hoping this helps,
Just a few personal thoughts to try and communicate my love of solo backpacking. I believe one of the life skills I have learned from backpacking is the the ability to identify and isolate a situation. For instance. If I am hiking along and the trail becomes more difficult thn I had planned causing me to be late for the nights campsite…what happens.
Well, first of all I can get frustrated and begin to hurry up. Take a few shorcuts , not a good idea. When I stop and identify the problem, it will be dark when I arrive at the campsite, so what are my alternatives. I can wish and hope it will stay light until 11PM forever. I can wish, hope or get mad the map reading was incorrrect. But, none of these things I can change. It is what it is.
So, lets identify the problem. I won’t make the campsite by nightfall. Hiking solo in the dark in the wilderness is dangerous. Isolate the problem. I need to find a place to overnight – now!. This way of thinking removes all of the “could-a”, “should – a” that can cause indecison and might result in injury.
When faced with any problem these problem handling skills will help. You are wasting your time and could be endangering yourself if you muddle around trying to make something happen – that can’t. I just think that backpacking solo hones these decision making skills.
Identify the problem….Isolate it…..And then resolve the problem.
I want to talk a bit more about kayak camping. It’s pretty hard to beat the beauty of a solo paddle in a kayak and when day is done to pull up on a deserted beach to enjoy a beautiful evening. The waves lapping and the sun going down are a perfect blend for pulling back and enjoying life.
So, who owns these beaches that you will be camping on? In our area Eastern Maryland USA the State of Maryland owns the beach up to what is called the high water line or mark. And, what is the high water mark? It is the highest level the water reaches at flood tide. Not just high tide. Most of the time you will be able to discern this high water mark by the line of debris that forms a line parelell to the water.
I try to avoid waterfront housing developments. Mostly because they are inhabited with people. I don’t need to be relaxing with a stereo loudly going on or a deck party lasting all night. Once you have avoided this type of an area you have eliminated 90% of your private property problems.
There are just too many deserted beaches and islands to be looking for trouble parked on someones back lawn. Farms and woods are the two places I look to camp out on a kayak camping trip. And, it really isn’t too hard to find beaches that are totally desolate. Except for mosquitos and other flying pests. Henry David Thoreau writes a good book titled “The Maine Woods” dealing with canoe camping problems on the Maine lakes. He makes constant mention of the “no seeums”. You will learn of these also.
Common courtesy is the key in dealing with other peoples property. I have never been asked to leave a beach by a property owner. Come to think of it I have had only one encounter with a beach property owner and that was a couple who were just curious who was that fool with a campfire down by the river. If you do run into an irate person and it is still light, pack up and leave. It just might not be the safest place you want to spend the night anyway.
In my 60+ years of backpacking I have seen many changes. Today I believe you just need to be a bit more aware of what’s going on around you. I never travel in fear, but I am sub consciensely moving my antennae around. I have spent too many enjoyable nights alone on a deserted beach to become to afraid not to go.
And, I look forward to many more.
Hope to see you out there,
Backpacking with a kayak camping if you want to call it that, adds another dimension to my backpacking experiences. So, as warmer weather comes along you might want to consider trying kayak camping.
One of the main reason I like kayak backpacking is I can go in the summer time when the “wilderness” trails are being overrun with two legged animals. As I mentioned earlier I mostly go solo backpacking in the late fall to late spring. For the same reasons, two legged animals are home keeping warm.
I don’t own the most up to date kayak. I have a 14.5′ percception that suits all of my needs. I think for this one 3 years ago I paid $1000.00, but it will last for a whole lot of years. Probably might even out last me. My Kayak has the foot rudder pedals so I can do some hands off steering if I choose. Comes in handy for taking a picture or two. Or grabbing that drink of water and a snack.
My Kayak has two storage compartments which have proven adequate for a two night stay. It also has provisions for loading topside. I don’t like to have anything on the top of my kayak. The center of gravity is greatly affected by any top loading. Kayaks can be a bit squeemish until you get used to them and any self induced tipsy can be avoided by placeing any storage in the compartments provided.
So, what do I do? I plan my trip out and back at home. Up until the last minute I check the weather , mostly for strong gusty thunderstorms. Obvious. I give my wife a copy of my “flight plan” and I stick to it. Kayak backpacking allows you to carry less of some equipment and requires that you carry more of others.
For Instance, I need to carry fresh water in my area – East Coast Waterways. When I pull up to a beach for the night I can’t be assured I will find fresh water. I try to be on shore way before it gets dark. It’s not fun dealing with the perception changes on strange waters at dusk. Kayak camping is one of the most rewarding experiences I know of. It comes close to a snowy day on the backpacking trail.
Safety equipment for this adventure are of course a life vest, if you might be attempting a deep water crossing I advise a cock-pit cover in case things get rough. I also carry an emerency strobe light. Pretty much everything else is SOP.
I ususally stay in water close to shore. Our area is tidal so each trip is different. I want to enjoy the beach and coast animals and plant life. Before sundown I pick my night camping spot. After beaching and securing my kayak I make camp. Get my firewood which is not hard to find along any beach, prepare dinner and watch the sun go down gloriously. There are so many available sand bars and beaches. Remember the bug spray.
Now this form of camping will not suit all of you. However, remember it is very cost effective entertainment. Once you finally get your capital outlay over with you are good for 10 years or more depending on how you take care of stuff.
Nest time let me talk about getting along with landowners of waterfront propery and some other neighbor courtesies that can never hurt.
Taking the time to do the proper preparation Before you go out backpacking can make all of the difference in the world to a enjoyable and safe hike. As some of us who have flown airplanes will tell you “It is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground”. Same thing applies to solo backpacking.
Backpacking preparation evolves over time into a very personal choice. Here are a few highlights of where you can begin to sort an prepare for your next backpacking hike.
Camping is a pretty unique experience. You get to spend time away from the hustle of city life. Do you want to see a spectacular sight? Then sit or lie down under a night sky full of brilliant stars, they seem close enough to reach out and touch them.
Whether you are planning a long or short getaway, you never know what you are going to run into or what you may need. Let me give you some tricks and tips to planning and packing for a trip into the wilderness.
A. First you need to pick an area in your house and put all of your equipment in that area prior to packing. Try to start this process a few days in advance. This way you won’t forget something of major importance.
B. Take a good look at your equipment pile and when you think you have everything laid out, spend some time going over your camping list of things you want to bring and double check it.
C. When you are done packing your equipment, the next step should be getting your clothing together. Your clothes should be layered to compensate for changing temperatures and rain. Always bring spare clothing; you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Try to stay away from cotton as it dries slowly and offers little to no insulation when it gets wet.
D.Test all of your equipment before you head out. Be sure you know how your camp stove works and bring plenty of fuel. Do you lanterns work, is your tent complete?
E. Bring along several nylon bags to store your gear, and don’t forget the water purification tablets and a water bladder in case you are not near a reliable source of drinking source.
F. Plan your meals ahead of time. You want to be sure you have enough food.
All of the above mentioned items are useful; some are luxuries while others are necessities.
As I go along I will sort out the needs and the wants.
A good source of gear and equipment I recommend is ….
We can all find reasons not to do anything , even backpacking. Solo backpacking for me has been a lifelong hobby and I guess like most anything I also don’t want to do, I could find an reason not to do it
Some of you have read a bit of my history and the love I try to share about independence and the lonely trail. I started out at 16 flying airplanes and camping and it looks like I will end my life flying airplanes and backpacking.
As much as I love the loneliness and the solitude of the trail I kinda wish some of our younger people would get encouraged to give it a try. Of course that takes a bit of supervised mentoring to get them off on the right foot. I just read an article on http://prek-4homeschooling.com that talks about ADHD children and how physical activity and sports is good for the child suffering from ADHD. I just wondered if maybe why the reason we a such an increase (it seems to me) of ADHD in our younger children is the lack of some physical exertion. Just look at what children and teenagers do today, compared to 50 years ago.
Let’s get back on trail here.
1. Financial. Most of the reasons I hear from people when I bring up backpacking is “I’m not goin out in the woods and sleep in a tent”. Well, yes it’s not as comfortable as a Holiday Inn bed and I believe this has also been caused by a cultural shift. Particularly over the lastt 30 years. Over the last 30 years we have seen incomes grow and credit expand to point where pretty much anyone who wanted anything went and got it. For 30 years money has not been the limiting factor in making a purchase. So, naturally a Holiday Inn with a nice clean, warm bed and shower and TV and Internet connections appeals to more people that a drippy old tent would.
2. Physical Fitness: Again a cultural shift over the pas 40 years has been away from any form of hard work. Machines and computers are our laborers and we ride the elevator (which we rode up in the morning) down to the lobby walk over to the car and drive home. If you have children count your blessings. They will manage to get you up and out doing something – do it! But for most people after dinner it’s the same old regimen. TV – Bed -Work. So, no wonder when I talk to people about going off for 15 – 20 miles they look at me like I , well you know. The common excuse is “Man, I can’t even walk one mile”. Physical fitness programs and equipment are at an all time high but for the most part they are clothes hangers or stored away in a closet. As a result we have become a people who prefer to remain a body at rest over anything else!
3. Loneliness. Maybe loneliness should have been number one on this list. Just look at the last 10 years of technology breakthroughs. Where men would go to the factory and work all day and it is when they got home they got the house news. Now the back hoe operator needs to stop digging to find out when his wife is going to hang out the clothes. Cars and machines flying up and down highways at 60mph with one hand and eye on a texting machine mostly trying to find out where someone is or tell them they are driving down the highway at 60mph. I have taken men with me on some trails where cell phones could not access a transmitting tower and you might have thought they were going through alcohol withdraw
This one could take the rest of the day. And, I don’t believe it is ever going back. People have developed this hungry need to be in contact all of the time with somebody.
These are the 3 major problems I run into when trying to get someone interested in backpacking. It’s not the backpacking it’s the stuff they feel they need to give up (temporarially) or to beging slow until they do get into a better physical condition. The financial situation is fixing itself. Soon, maybe more people will look at backpacking due to it’s excitement and low cost to practice.
However, I feel it will take a wide end around to beat the “techie” black hole.
Thanks for stopping by,
I as an older person can not help but wonder why and where all of the ADHD has cropped up in our recent generations. As you can see I do a blog post on homeschooling…. http://prek-4homeschooling.com …. And in my research I ran across some material that I put together for that blog.
But, I got to wondering what if I posted this ADHD item on my http://backpackingsurvivalkit.com. How many kids out there could use a Father or a Mentor to get off for a weekend of backpacking?
Anyway here it is. Take if for whatever you think it is worth. I still think todays kids need to get away from the thumb machines and get some physical activity.
What about after school activities for the ADHD child? Even for the public educated child who is suffering with ADHD after school activities are necessary for them. Still even as or more important after school activities for the home schooled ADHD child needs to be looked at.
ADHD refers to attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder. Most children who
suffer from this disorder suffer from attention problems as well as hyperactivity. Parents of such children are well aware that inattention and hyperactivity continue throughout the day. Keeping such children busy after school hours can be as difficult as keeping them safe during the school day.
The first step while choosing the right after school activity for your child is to understand how ADHD affects him. Is your child interested in sports? Is he put off by the fierce competitiveness, or does he find it hard to get along with teammates? Does your child vocalize his feelings, or is communication a problem?
For a child suffering from ADHD, physical exercise is always beneficial. Exercise takes up the extra energy and helps to stimulate the brain. Team activities teach social skills and discipline. But, if your child shies away from team sports, you may want to look at activities like dancing, cycling, swimming or gymnastics. Martial arts not only teach techniques of self-defense but also teach self-control and patience.
If your child shows aversion to sport and shows inclination towards the fine arts, you may need to look at some other options. Acting classes are a wonderful form of creative exercise. It also provides the child with ample opportunity to develop his social skills. Music, art or dance can help the child to keep himself busy and entertained.
In case the child is not interested in any of the above, you may want him to join a Boy Scouts club or other community oriented clubs that take up social work. Cleaning a park, putting on a show, helping out in an old age home are various activities that may pique your child’s interest.
Whatever form of activity you choose, make sure that you monitor your child’s progress periodically. If you feel that there is no progress, you may need to change the activity. Anything that increases your child’s self-esteem is good. You may enlist the help of the coach or teacher to assess your child’s development.
There are certain activities that are detrimental to a child suffering from ADHD. Computer and video games are a definite NO. Since these games need no interaction, children will feel all the more isolated. These children also find it difficult to distinguish between the good and the bad messages. They may therefore show an inclination to stick to messages that are not needed. Games that need the child to sit and wait for his turn patiently tax his patience and will not be a success.
Although you would want these children to be as near to normal as possible, understanding their needs and limits will help you select the right after school activity – one that is fulfilling, tiring as well as challenging.
ADHD can make homeschooling your child complex but not impossible. You as a parent already have and will be facing difficult times in coping with this problem. As a personal note I recommend none to minimum drugs to deal with ADHD. Should you Doctor proscribe drugs to treat your child for ADHD keep a close watch on the childs behavior and keep the Doctor informed of any major changes.
Now we can see how the Boy Scouts helped our generation to seek and enjoy the outdoors and it’s challenges.
Thanks for stopping by,
Backpacking at some levels does require a degree of physical fitness. Climbing a 800′ switchback with a pack on your back can get pretty exhaustive. Before you walk out on your first solo backpack make sure you are somewhat physically fit and that you have consulted your doctor. Please.
There are many aspects to health and fitness, including diet, exercise, lifestyle and attitude of mind. In this article I cover one of the most important facets – the cardio-vascular workout. I include tips and advice on safely building up a useful regime of the most popular exercises.
To accomplish a good cardio-vascular workout all you really need is a good pair of running shoes. Most cardio-vascular exercise needs little or no third party apparatus to help you accomplish your routine. Running, dancing, walking can all be done with no equipment (well, if dancing, then maybe some music would help). Other forms of cardio are step, circuit training, bike riding, swimming, aerobics and more…
With most exercise you should always remember to warm up first and cool down afterwards. This means gently stretching and moving your muscles to start off with. Suddenly moving into full exercise without building up first will cause problems such as stiffness and cramps. Ease yourself into it. Then after exercise, the cool down is basically gently moving the muscles and joints to stretch and relax, as your body returns to its normal pace.
Running: Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. The technology put into these shoes nowadays is highly researched and designed to reduce shock to the feet, ankles, legs and back. So don’t skimp on these – you get what you pay for.
Before you start your run, be sure to warm up first. Start with a brisk walk ensuring you move your arms vigorously gradually breaking into a slow jog. It is better to run at a speed to which you can still converse. If you find yourself losing breath, slow your pace down until you’ve recovered. If you are a novice runner try running and walking, until you can hold your run for 15 minutes.
Now increase the length and time of your run by a couple of minutes every other time you hit the road or treadmill, until you can run for 30 minutes without stopping. Try to increase your run time by 10% each week, remember not to over do it and don’t forget to warm down at the end of each by slowing down gradually. When your run is complete stretch your legs for 30 seconds per muscle, hamstring, calf and thigh.
Cycling: Cycling is one of the best ways to get a good cardio-vascular workout.
First of all, if you are riding on the roads safety is paramount, always use the appropriate safety equipment when road riding. You can stay fit by riding a bike to work, most people work within a five mile radius of there place of work, which is a perfect distance for a bike ride.
Exercise bikes can be used in a variety of ways, general riding for specified length of time, this is like going for a bike ride with out the dangers of road riding and the weather. Warm up riding you can use an exercise bike for warming up the legs before a leg workout. Also exercise bike classes, these classes are taken by an instructor, who will put you through various levels of pace, quite like a circuit training exercise with a bike.
You may find it surprising to find that riding a bike five miles 3 times per week will improve your heart rate, your posture, skin and weight control. Some even say that riding and running are great ways of relieving stress.
Swimming: One of the best ways to firm up and trim your body down. Due to the resistance the water has on the body swimming involves all the major muscle groups this allows the body to burn up to 20% more calories than swimming through air. Swimming a few lengths per day will keep you fit and give you an excellent workout. Swimming also has less impact on the joints than say, running.
If you wish to take your swim a little further try picking up the pace of your swim, you can work up to a great aerobic exercise and give your body an excellent workout.
Start off by swimming 1-2 lengths at a time resting between sets if necessary, after you have swam ten lengths call it a day. The next day repeat the process until you can swim five lengths without a break. Progress to ten lengths in by adding an extra length each time you return.
You can put together your own cardio raining routing in the gym, if you have a problem with this then the staff on hand will write one for you and show you how to achieve your goal. Try to make your cardio last between an hour and an hour and a half. A good start point for cardio is always a run.
This cardio workout will work for a person of medium fitness, however adjust the times and pace according to your fitness levels.
1. Run at a light pace for 20 minutes, start off at a walking pace and gradually move to a run, this helps you get warmed up and the blood pumping.
2. Rowing machine- set the rowing machine for a countdown time of 15 minutes or keep a check on your watch or the clock. Start off with a slow rowing motion to get the pace up, maintain this steady pace throughout the full 13 minutes and use the 2 minutes to slow the pace down.
3. Move immediately on to exercise bike take a stead paced ride for 12 minutes with a sprint finish for the remaining 3 minutes.
4. After the exercise bike move directly on to the step climber for a period of 15 minutes climbing on a light level to get the legs going. Try to move at a swift pace for the full 15 minutes as this is the last of the leg work you will be doing.
5. When you have completed the step climber, move onto the abs bench for some crunches. 4 sets of crunches to failure is your target for this exercise. Try twisting your body and touching your left knee with your right elbow and vice versa.
6. The last exercise in this quick cardio workout is the leg raise apparatus. Bring your knees up to your chest for 3-4 sets for as many reps as possible (failure)
After the completion of this cardio workout, remember to do a full warm down by stretching the muscles. The full workout should take you around 1 hour 20 minutes.
Remember please, backpacking can be a strenuous exercise. Please get a Dr. exam before strapping on a backpack and heading off to the wilderness. We don’t need any bad press due to a misplaced accident.
Bringing along the right camping supplies and gear is a vital part of any successful camping trip. The following camping checklist is a general guide for the average family camping weekend.
Your camping supply list may differ, depending on the climate, location, and type of camping facilities you are visiting. If you are backpacking, kayak or canoe camping, or enjoying another type of camping where gear weight is crucial, check our lightweight backpacking tips.
Shelter and bedding are two of the most important items on your camping supply list. Primitive camping trips may require nothing more than a tarp to protect you from the ground’s moisture and a good sleeping bag, but your family camping checklist should include 1 or 2 adequately sized tents, tent stakes and extra stakes, and a hammer and stake puller. Ground covers, or tarps slightly larger than the bottom of your tent, are great for protecting your camping tent from moisture and dirt. You may also want to bring along a small broom to keep your tent clean and an outdoor mat for your entrance.
There are many different options for bedding and sleeping gear, but your camping checklist may include air mattresses or camp pads, like the Coleman Rest Easy pad, sleeping bags, and even pillows and blankets. Remember to bring extra blankets and comforters for cool nights, picnics, and play areas. You may also want to include a Coleman shelter to protect your food or just for an escape from the heat.
Clothing is another essential on your camping supply list. The types of clothes you pack will depend, of course, on the weather, as well as the activities you are planning. For a simple weekend trip, pack 3 sets of clothing along with something to sleep in, a jacket or sweatshirt, and rain gear. If you are planning on hiking, you may want long pants and hiking shoes, as well as extra socks. Don’t forget swimsuits, sandals for the pool, beach, or bathhouse, and some sort of hat for head protection. For longer camping trips, make use of the laundry facilities most campgrounds offer and only add 1 or 2 extra sets of clothing to your packing list.
Good hygiene is just as important on your camping trips as it is at home. Review your camping checklist carefully and remember all the toiletries and personal items you will need. If you’re visiting a campground with shower facilities, store your toiletries in easy to carry, waterproof containers. Otherwise, there are a variety of Coleman camp showers available. Remember soap, deodorant, dental care products, hair care, as well as medications and other personal items you may need.
Rubber totes or rugged duffel bags are great for storing and packing your camping gear. Consider packing an individual clothing bag and shower tote for each person to make things simple. For easy locating, store less used items together in separate bags or containers, like rain equipment, swimsuits and towels, camping games, and beach toys. Laundry bags are very useful for keeping dirty clothes separated, as well as for the bathhouse. Don’t forget a bath towel, washcloth or sponge, and a change container with quarters for some showers and laundry facilities.
Hoping this helps,
You probably have already discovered that trying to balance Backpacking clothing for comfort and effectiveness can be a challenge. To get the ideal comfort we find we have to sacrifice some effectiveness. And visa versa. Lets try and take this apart and see where the middle ground is in finding comfort without sacrificing effectiveness.
Even now as we begin to approach warmer weather here in the mid-atlantic region the turn to lighter clothing will be the norm. The parkas and heavy stuff will be put away for next year and the 3 season clothing will appear. Consider that layering is still the best way to not only stay warm but also stay dry – here we go.
The outer layer although lighter that the parka is still needed. You will need protection from the wind and rain. So the hooded outer layer needs to be wind and waterproof.
The under layers need to be of the synthetic material that are breathable. Being breathable allows the body perspiration to “wick ” away from the body keeping you dry. Very important because once you become wet and chilled it is very hard to get warm again.
Keep the gloves handy in your backpack pocket there will still be days when you want to keep your hands warm. Waterproof gloves are best since again wet cold hands are very uncomfortable.
The hood on your outerwear will serve well if you are wearing the outer jacket. When it is being stowed you might still want to wear a hat. I like the synthetic “beanie” caps. You might want a baseball cap to help with the sun in your eyes. Whichever try to make sure it will shed at least a brief shower. Hats are very important because you can lose as much as 1/3 of your body heat via you head. Couple this with wet and chilly and it can be easy to begin approaching hypothermia.
Footwear for me remains the same as far as my hiking boots go. Never, ever sacrifice for price if you can help it in purchasing the best hiking boots you can afford. There is nothing worse than to be away from your base with a two day kike back suffering from a blister on your foot due to bad fitting boots. You notice I say boots. Hiking shoes are a bad investment.
Socks fit in with backpacking footwear. I don’t continue to wear the heavy winter socks but I do wear a rather mid weight sock as an outer sock. While under that I wear a pair of the natural fiber socks to allow for the evaporation of perspiration.
I hope this helps. Remember you can buy all of the books on backpacking. You can go and buy the best equipment on backpacking. But, you need to gather your stuff and head out on what I believe to be “The Last Frontier” in solo personal experiences.
The Backpack is a great outdoors tool. You can throw your backpack on your back filled with the needs of your trip and literally disappear over a mountain or out into some wilderness. Your backpack is your home away from home and it needs to be of the best quality and efficiency you can afford
There are so many types of backpacks on the market it is hare to write about a backpackers backpack. Let me just say your backpack can make your trip enjoyable or one that you wish you had stayed home. A cheap pack is just that. There are certain parameters you should be looking for when you are ready to buy that backpack for backpacking.
Everyone of us is a unique shape and size. Backpacks are sized for capacity in cubic inches (ci) and also for your body length to secure a firm grip on your hips.
The body length is not your total height. I is the distance from the prominent vertabrae at the top of your spine to the area just below the waist. Most good backpacks come with some sort of adjustment to lengthen or shorten to get an accurate fit. This fit is important because the weight distribution needs to be balanced just right between the shoulders and the hips so the hips are carrying more of the weight than the shoulders. The shoulders are more for support and balancing the backpack.
All backpacker backpacks will have the body length printed on the pack usually on the inside back or a specification brochure. They will be listed as Small, Medium or Large.
Again a good backpack will have straps for fitting this adjustment to your own body.
You also need to buy a backpack that has an adjustable hip belt. Since we like to see 80% of the backpacks weight carried by the hips
In summary don’t waste you money on a cheap backpack. A good backpackers backpack sized and fitted right will be a pleasure to tote around over mountains or open fields. Extra weight brings on fatigue but extra weight and a backpack that doesn’t fit right will bring on fatigue and strong desire not to backpack any more.
See you on the trail,
Solo Backpacking requires a focused mental attitude. The weather and other personal risks are involved in tromping out single handed into a wilderness situation.
Let’s talk about mental attitude. Several personal traits are needed or need to be learned before you will be able to fully enjoy solo backpacking. To me any form of backpacking is enjoyable , but particularly solo backpacking. As I have mentioned before it gets down to you and “it”. One by one surviving the challenges of the trail. So, lets get started discussing what you can expect when you enter the world of solo backpacking.
A few of the reasons I chose solo backpacking are.
1. I really do enjoy being alone at times and making through the obstacles by my own wits. I enjoy the solitude and soul searching solo backpacking bring. You don’t even have to bother about looking for someone to fetch firewood or water there just simply is no one but you.
2. Some folks are just born chatterboxes. Constantly talking. Where I would rather watch and be aware of what’s going on around me letting it ebb and flow in and out of my inner person. The other fault I find with “chatterers” is they seem offended if you don’t communicate with them too. So, for me I figured out a long time ago God only made one of me and I can live with that.
3. Weather. I have been on some surreal hikes. Blue skies, warm breezy days and mild nights. But, that is not the rule. You can expect from out of nowhere at times a shower, long term downpour, snow, cold and windy weather all of which do bother some people. And, the last thing I care to hear is “I’m wet and want to go home”. I would rather deal with it and move on.
4. Time. “If not now when”? We all have the same amout of time. You get all that there is, not a second more or less than anyone else. I know there are times in your life when you are working hard and raising a family that you priorities need to be reevaluated. I am a strong supporter of famly values. But, backpacking can be an enjoyable adventure if you only do it 2 – 3 time a year for an overnighter. If you wait for the time and money to do something, you will probably be waiting forever. Get up and go once.
5. The “black holes”. I call some folks black holes because they will suck the life right out of you. There first answers to almost every problem goes something like this. “I Can’t, It won’t, What if, It don’t. That’s OK, for you but don’t ask me to do nothing so I can live your lifestyle. I love to kayak and I fly powered paragliders. Friends there is a certain amount of risk taking to fully enjoy life. Whatever sport I do I check my equipment thoroughly. I check my supplies with a check list. I check the weather carefully – long term and short term and last but not least I check my self. Careful preparedness reduces risk. If you wait for perfect weather, every piece of perfect equipment and you don’t even have a headache bothering you - you will probably better enjoy some tv.
In conclusion there will never be a perfect time or condition to do anything let alone solo backpacking. If solo backpacking is a hobby you want to pursue then go do it. If you are a fairweather camper then go do it also and enjoy.
Tlhanks friends for listening to me spout. At 74+ if I had waited for someone else to do something I wanted to do – I would have missed half my life.
Hope this helps,