With a great choice of hikes and trails, from National Parks to renowned trails and adventures to be had worldwide, you need to be prepared before you step into the great outdoors. When are you going on your trip and how long are you going for? Event if you're hiking for a day, planning and preparing are important for safety and the experience. Understand the climate before you head out, and make sure you are fully prepared for changing conditions, whatever you intend to do and wherever you do it. Understanding what’s involved in a camping or hiking trip before you set out will prepare you for the unpredictable. If you feel safe and comfortable on your trip, and cover your possessions so that they are protected, you will have fun wherever you decide to hike to.
What to Pack
What to pack all depends on your destination. Will you be hill walking or sleeping out in the woods? The longer your trip, the more your pack weight will increase. Consider the litres you will need in your pack, to accommodate your gear. Plan ahead. There are a wide variety of sizes to choose from and these should be weighed up carefully. Are you taking just the bare essentials for an overnight hike or will you be gone for longer? The essentials you need are a sleeping bag, a tent, mat, food and cooking instruments.
A 35-litre daypack will suffice for a one day camping trip, as it can hold spare clothes, food, drink and a few other necessary items. If you need to sleep out, however, consider a rucksack with a capacity of 50 litres or more, as this will accommodate your sleeping gear too. A camping check list helps especially if it’s the first of the camping season.
You should consider whether you are going to be walking uphill on your trip, or whether the terrain will be mostly flat. Because your heart rate increases when walking uphill, the clothing you need should be breathable. You need a base layer of clothing that is comfortable and removes moisture from your skin, such as wool, like Merino. Your mid layer will trap your body heat as you walk or climb, confining it and keeping you comfortable and insulated. Fleece fabrics are generally good mid layers, as they are quick to dry, easy to maintain, lightweight and can be worn under your jacket. The jacket you wear should protect you from the wind, depending on the season. If you are walking on inclines, you will be more susceptible to wind shear. Try to invest in a jacket that is breathable and waterproof and features pockets for storing maps and snacks.
There is a wide variety of sleeping bags available for your trip and what you buy depends on the level of comfort you want to achieve as well as the season for your outing. Essentially, a camping mat will keep you off the ground and away from moisture and damp and these come in many styles and sizes, from basic sponge mats to inflatable ones. Your sleeping bag should be suited to the climate, so it will need to be for 2, 3 or 4 seasons, meaning that it will withstand temperatures in the minuses, should you need it to. Mummy bags are popular because they are tapered to suit your shape (male and female sizes and shapes) and feature a hood so that you are comfortable and warm at night. You might opt for a light bag for ease of transportation, or natural down bag. A sleeping bag is well worth investing in because it should give you comfort and warmth when you need it most.
You can literally buy any tent that suits your needs; the options are endless. If you are out and about on a solitary trip, a one or two man tent will suffice. If you find yourself camping in a group, a 9-man tent will afford you a degree of luxury and space in the wilderness with many features to make you feel that this is a home from home. Tents come in all shapes and sizes, from dome to family to pop up and tunnel tents. Consider what you want to carry, if your adventure is on foot, and match the tent to your needs.
Protect your Camping Trip Possessions
Investing in possessions for your camping or hiking trip can be a costly but rewarding exercise. Ideally you will want to use them time and time again, and if you choose wisely, your camping gear will last you for many years and you will get the most out of them for many seasons of each year. There are a great variety of brands and styles on offer, with something to suit every camper, from the beginner wanting a day trip to the more adventurous explorer who opts to stay out for a week or so. With many people choosing camping trips over other holidays lately, it makes sense to protect your gear from theft or accidental damage. Camping equipment can be expensive, when added up. Home insurance policies can be extended in a simple, straightforward way, to cover camping possessions and accessories, thus giving you peace of mind and allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors at your leisure, whatever the weather. With your gear protected, all you need to worry about is what exactly to pack to ensure your adventure is one to remember.
submitted by: OutdoorsFIRST Media