Basic Beginnings for Backpacking

Give me the basics. What do I need to begin?  Where do I start for my backpacking adventure?

Where do you start?  How about planning.  It is essential to plan.  People need to know where you’re heading, when  you’ll be returning, and in many cases you need maps.

A Trail Map

Here in Ontario there are provincial parks with “back country” trails and campsites available. But we also have non-operational parks that have trails and sites, but no front gate or any facilities at all. Plus the whole country has accessible Crown Land if you know where to find it.

Letting someone know the intended route and return time allows for emergency rescue if you are a no show in your allotted time frame.

Planning can be exciting. Planning can be boring or tedious.  Finding maps online is possible.  Creating maps from satellite images is possible.  Although, I suggest not solely relying on GPS or cell phone mapping apps.  Having a paper copy, either laminated or tucked in a zipper baggie allows for visual guidance if the batteries die, or if you’re out of signal range.

There are emergency locator beacons available.  SPOT devices that signal home or emergency service to your location.

The location is chosen, the date and duration. The maps are programmed and printed.  Next you will need to plan your gear.

Safety, Bedding, and Cooking Gear.

Gear Planning

How many days or nights are you going? That will determine how much food and clothing you will need. While camping from the trunk of the car, or an RV may have given you some experience,  switching to backpacking requires a little different thinking.  YOU are carrying everything.  You will need some basics.  I have gone over several options on another post. Beginners Pack List should have some answers for you.

Here are the basic categories to begin thinking about

  • Water and Hydration
  • Food and Cooking
  • Shelter and Bedding
  • Fire and Light
  • Safety and Orientation




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