Prepare for Backpacking Season

There’s no official backpacking season. Some backpackers choose to keep churning trail through the peak of summer and the dead of winter, but many opt for the better conditions of spring and fall to go backpacking. If you take a break from hiking or backpacking, make sure you’re adequately prepared when the weather hits the sweet spot for hiking.

Here are a few things that you can do to prepare for backpacking season.

Get your fitness up

It only takes one steep and sustained incline with a 30-pound pack on your back to realize that endurance, strength, and cardio are all important to backpacking.

Depending on how long it’s been since you were backpacking – and how active you were during that time off – you might need to ease back into things. It’s always beneficial to do some conditioning for backpacking regardless of where your fitness level is. Go for long walks, do a few day hikes with some light weight in a daypack, or start jogging.

One of the best ways to train for hiking – or backpacking – is to hike, but any type of exercise or conditioning for your respiratory system, your legs, and your core is going to translate well for backpacking.

How’s your backpacking gear?

You’re in good shape, but what shape is your backpacking gear in? Ideally, you thoroughly cleaned, dried, examined, and repaired all of your backpacking equipment before you put it clearly labeled bins for storage. But there’s a good chance that you simply shoved everything in a closet after your last  backpacking trip, and you still see dried sauce of some kind clinging to your spork.

Make sure that your camping and backpacking equipment is in good condition before you actually want to use it.

  • Check the tread on your hiking boots
  • Examine the straps, zippers, and fabric on your backpack
  • Air out your tent and set it up to look for missing pieces, tears, or damage
  • See if your sleeping bag needs to be washed
  • Check backpacking stove fuel canisters
  • Do you have dehydrated meals or bars that could expire soon?
  • Clean your water filter
  • Clean your CamelBak
  • Rewaterproof any rain gear that needs waterproofing
  • Do gear maintenance and replace what needs replacing

Practice packing

You’re fit as a fiddle, and your gear is in pristine condition. Now it’s time to practice packing your gear.

Practicing packing accomplishes a few different things:

  • See if you’re missing anything
  • Get familiar with your pack and all of your equipment
  • Find the most efficient way of packing

Now, you’re good to go! Visit Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for any outdoor gear, backpacking supplies, and camping equipment you need before backpacking season is in full swing!

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