Hello! I have been wanting to do backpacking for awhile now, and finally have an opportunity coming up. I would like to get some suggestions, and tips from anyone (as information never hurt when it comes to things like this.) I am planning a trip to spade, and venus lake in Washington (advertised as a 2-3 day trip) however I plan to do a full week out there. I am accruing equipment, and so far have a good list going for what I need, but I am wondering what I should absolutely need, and things I may think I need but don't? I also plan to do a few smaller hike throughs in my area to sort of condition myself in that aspect, but otherwise I'm a healthy, well capable person. I would like some input from people who have first hand experience with it. Thank you!
Very broad subject. Start with small steps. Try out your gear overnight in your back yard or a car camping environment first. You will probably make adjustments. Then do an overnight to an easy destination.
A week long trip requires careful planning to assure adequate, but not excessive, food and fuel.
The whole idea is to carry adequate gear for the conditions you encounter and keep the weight of your load within acceptable limits. This is always a challenge.
WARNING: backpacking can be addictive! (lol), good luck, I'm sure you'll have fun.
waterproof tent, map, fire-starter, sleeping bag that matches the weather, rain jacket, headlamp, small first aid kit, a trowel, plus 'the 10 essentials'
hatchet, books, multi-tool, almost all extra clothing above and beyond a 2nd dry set
bury your tp/waste, stay warm and dry to prevent hypothermia
ps - take pix and post them here, or it didn't happen 😉
Leave the multi tool behind? horrors? I never go anywhere without my multitool.....
As you can see, there are different opinions regarding what to bring.....
I, too, am just getting into backpacking after years of day hiking. Here are some things I've found to be helpful so far:
Lastly, the one thing I've found is that, although following the YouTubers has given me a lot of great advice, it's really easy to get sucked into the idea that, if you're not spending $600 on a 1.5 pound tent, $500 on a frameless ultralight pack, $600 on a down quilt that packs up to 4 cubic inches, and saving 6 pounds of weight by not carrying water but rather licking the dew off of leaves in the morning, then you're doing it all wrong.
It will take time (I am finding myself) to totally dial in the gear you want to carry. Get what works for you, don't feel bad returning an item to get something different.
Glad to see there's another twelve year old "scientifically testing"....Mutitool users, Unite!
Ummm...I am going to create a second controversy on this string. I would not bother with coffee at all, and that weight savings justifies my carrying a multitool. I know, I know...sacrilege. LOL
In another post I wrote this for a beginner backpacker. I think understanding hypothermia and keeping warm is the most important issue of safety, comfort and decision making on gear
Understand that clothes and sleeping bags are NOT WARM. A thermometer in them would record ambient temp. The key to keeping warm is regulating the source of heat=your own body. There are 5 ways a body looses heat: evaporation, conduction, convection, radiation, and respiration. Clothes will control several of those but the actual heat comes only from food and drink and conserving what heat your body can generate. I think this is the most important thing to know about beginner backpacking.
Congrats on planning your first backpacking trip! Spade and Venus lakes are on my list for this summer, too! When were you thinking about going? I've climbed Mt. Daniel a couple of times, always from the Peggy's Pond side, so I'm excited to see it from a different angle. The wilderness up there is incredible!
Since you're planning on going for an extended trip, I'd consider a few 'luxury' items that might help you spend the time soaking in your surroundings. An item like the REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair can help you level up your backpacking experience while only adding a pound to your kit. It's pretty amazing how good a chair can feel after putting in the miles on a day of backpacking.
In addition to a stocked first aid kit, having the skills and knowledge to use your kit is equally important. This is particularly important if you are planning on a solo backpacking trip. Having First Aid training is great, a Wilderness First Aid course is even better. Personally, what I learned in my NOLS Wilderness First Aid is an invaluable tool in my backcountry experience.
If you'd like some suggestions of shorter backpacking trips to do to gain some experience before a long trip like you are planning, don't hesitate to ask. There are many to choose from in Washington state!
Hopefully this helps, thanks!
Hey John. I haven't yet selected a definitive date as of yet, ill be starting school full time in August, causing me to have to quit at my current full time job, so the plan is quitting a few weeks early to to this trip. Late July early August is the plan. I am not from the area, or even really near it for that matter (wisconsin) so this trip has been a huge priority for me to ensure I enjoy, and am prepared for it. With asking numerous people many questions, constant research, reading a map, constant walks with and without weight. I've done overnights before, but this trip has been in my mind since the very first time I saw it, so naturally I don't want to ruin it. I appreciate your input, I've actually been contemplating getting a chair, and that a very reasonable thing to carry for the potential confort.