@REI-JohnJ had some great advice and I also suggest checking out the backpacking board!

If you have time before your first trip, I also highly recommend doing a day hike with your backpacking backpack (that includes the items you will take backpacking), to help you adjust to the weight and feel of the pack over a longer distance (try to go as far as, if not farther than, the longest day distance you will have while backpacking). 

This will also help you identify any adjustments/changes you might need to make before you find yourself backpacking!


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