Backpacking is a fun and refreshing activity that can be fun for the whole family! You may be near the Mountains or in your back yard! No matter where you are it can be a great experience. You may be a photographer, a nature love, or just trying to get away from busy hectic city life for a while! Backpacking is a hobby (sport) that can be awesome for anyone!
There is no greater place to get connected to earth more than taking an inspiring hike in the hills! My favorite place to hike is the Smoky Mountains! There are places to hike in every state and it is pretty easy to find info on-line these days! I have a directory full of Alabama Hiking Trails on my Alabama Rock Company site (down below)!
Not only is hiking fun and refreshing it is also very good for you! I admit hiking can be very tough on your legs and back and I have almost not made a few of my hikes. So always be prepared and try to get into shape before you take on to big of a trail! Be sure to stretch before you go and take break often!
There are two types of backpacks, external and internal framed! Each pack has its own advantages and disadvantages! The internal frame is great for hiking through heavy vegetation because it is protected from being snagged!
A lot of people think that the external frame sits more comfortable on the back! It honestly really depends on how you built though! One thing that an external frame will do is trap more heat and sweat when your hiking!
The external frames are wider and allow for more space to hold things! They also sit further off the back giving more room for breathing, that’ll keep you cool! I always carry just a regular tech pack and I love the way it sits and feels!
It will soon be the perfect time to get into woods and watch nature bloom once again! Just watch those hungry waking beers! So grab you a new pack and reserve a cabin before they get sold out and head to the woods!
Here are some are some great Hiking tips for you!
1. Try not to carry very much weight! Not only will it Hurt you and wear you out, it is dangerous. Try to find clothes that are light and will dry fast also! Try to stay away from cottons and try to wear Poly-prop or something like it! It is super light and dries out very quick. The best thing to do is go buy the lightest gear that you can get! When you are hiking always put the heavier weight up toward the top so that it balances out more! Be sure to carry enough to stay warm! I always carry a cotton top that doubles as a my pillow!
2. Carry a little med kit with you and be sure to carry a lightweight knife also! A multi-tool knife is the ticket! Also carry some fishing string and a hook if you are on a deep mountain hike! Nothing like fresh mountain fish over the fire!
3. Carry your water in the lightest thing you can! I prefer bottled water and there are a few companies making very light bottles for conserving the environment. You need to also carry a good amount of dried food! I like to go to Wally World and get the dried Fruit packs! They are full of Energy and don’t weigh very much.
4. Keeping you gear dry can be tough to do if you are on a long hike! I have heard of a few things that can be done to help keep the wet out! I have heard of lining the pack with plastic! It works OK but not the best solution. I knew this one guy that used Wax! He melted it all over his pack and said it worked great! I guess if you have an old pack or you think the purpose is more important than looks. They also sell some different kind of sealants that work great!
5. For cooking there are some great products out now that get the job done fast and easy! It is always safer not to build a fire if you don’t have to! But if you do here are a few tips. Bring Matches as well a lighter! You should not have a problem finding dry wood and leaves if you look in the right places. Try to find a cave or overhang if thing are wet! It really is hard to get wet wood going. What I always do is build a little pyramid around the fire with the wet wood; the heat dries it out over time. Remember to put out your fire completely before you leave you site! If you can’t find water rake a lot of dirt and cover it as well as you can.
6. Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather. When it is very cold out it is essential to wear headgear! It will save you life! Most body heat is lost through the head, so keep it warm.
7. Be sure to wear some ankle supporting boots! Finding the right boot can be tricky! You want to make sure your foot fits nice and snug and not have too much room to play. I bought some waterproof boots awhile back and discovered that they were waterproof both ways. They didn’t breath at all, but they do keep the water out! So there is a fine balance in finding the right boot.
8. Always carry a map and compass they can save you life! A GPS device is great to carry and a cell phone as well! They make some great waterproof cases at Wally world very cheap! Be sure to study the area that you are going so you know what you are expecting! I have been hiking in the Smoky Mountains and was overwhelmed by how many miles of trees there were and how they all looked the same!
9. Always hike with someone else! Never hike alone and if you do let someone know where you’re hiking and when you’re coming back!
10. Carry some Parachute Cord! It can used for a few different things! Use it to dry your clothes or make a shelter with it!
11. Change you batteries in your flashlight! Go with the Lithium AA batteries! They weigh half as much than an alkaline and last about three times longer!
12. Instead of carrying any kind of Soda or sugar drinks switch over to some kind of pack that you mix with water! There are all kinds of great natural alternatives out there!
13. Get lost in the woods? Know where you are going before you get there! If dark fall on you it is best to find a cave or natural shelter build a fire and plan to camp! Wondering in the woods at night isn’t suggested! You may fall in a cave or off a cliff! Just wait to daybreak unless you got a full moon with plenty of light! Pretend to be an Indian! You are not lost it is the teepee that is lost! The next day if you can’t figure where you are at, try to find higher ground and see if you can a visual of the area! If you are very lost and have no idea where you went wrong? Find a creek and hike beside the creek going downhill! The odds of seeing people will greatly be increased! Plus you are near a food and water source! Keep that fire burning and stay dry! You may also try the a SOS signal with your fire! Smoke has save many lives! Good luck to you and I hope that some info here might save you life one day!
Well thanks for reading my Mountain Hiking tips! My next Article will be focused more on “How to survive Lost in the Mountains?”