My love for backpacking began when I was a teenager. Unlike day hikes, backpacking packs everything you need to spend a night or more in the woods on your back, when you spend the night under a starry sky beside a stream, in a rushing waterfall, or on a rocky cliff. Provided an adventure to. The sounds of nature that surround you.

Over the years, my love for backpacking was pushed by the backburner because life seemed to get in the way and I didn’t have enough time to escape. Since I retired, I have time and would like to try again. The problem is that I’m no longer that energetic teenager. My knees pop, snap and hurt. My back is no longer supple. But the trail is calling.

Backpacking is a great way to feel rejuvenated, take you to the scenery and nature that can only be found on hiking trails, and take on challenges. It’s as easy as spending the night on a trail in a local state park. It offers backcountry camps for really rewarding things, such as hiking the whole thing. Appalachian trail (AT) From Georgia to Maine.

One thing is for sure, what we, over 50, can enjoy all the time in the golden age is a fun, rewarding and satisfying sport.

MJ Eberhart (aka Nimblewill Nomad) became the oldest man to complete the Appalachian Trail in 2001.

(Photo provider: Joe Cuhaj)

Are you sure you’re never too old to backpack? Well, my best friend MJ Eberhart, well known for his hiking monica. Nimble Will NomadRecently, at the age of 83, he completed an AT hike from Alabama to Maine and became the oldest man to do so.

Here are eight tips to get you started on your journey.

The man stands on a rock overlooking a rolling hill.
“One of the joys of backpacking-a breathtaking view.”
(Photo provider: Joe Cuhaj)

The pleasure of backpacking over 1.50

In addition to exploring nature, there are many other benefits associated with backpacking:

  • Being physically active is good for your mind and body.
  • It improves your cardiovascular health.
  • Build strong muscles.
  • Enhances cognitive function.
  • It is therapeutic and allows you to immerse yourself naturally away from everyday grinding.
  • Build confidence in yourself and your abilities.

2. Get in shape

Before you lace those boots and put one foot on the trail, know your body and your physical condition, and don’t sugar coat it. Be honest with yourself. Do you have knee or back pain? Are you a little overweight? How about stamina?

Always start your adventure with your doctor. Tell them what you are trying to do and understand your physical condition. Be sure to ask for advice on how to prepare your body for future adventures.

3. Start from the basics

If you haven’t hiked for a day before, walk around the neighborhood first and gradually increase the distance.

When you’re ready to move to a more rewarding place, take a walk to the nearest park or state park and enjoy a day hike of varying difficulty. Again, start with the easy trails and work your way up to the more difficult ones. However, be sure to hike your interests, such as waterfalls, panoramic views, and history.

From there, start a simple overnight trek. Use the same process to build yourself to stay longer in the woods. But before you do that overnight, you need to get some basic equipment and make a little more planning.

4. Gear basics

You need to remember that you carry everything you need. Many people give up backpacking after their first trip because they have literally everything, such as a cast iron skillet, a large four-person tent, and a radio. It’s not good and is usually the end of their backpacking adventure.

The idea is to balance packing light with comfort. There is science to buy the perfect tools for your adventure, such as tents, sleeping bags and food. American Hiking Association Is one of the best sources to make the best choice of backpacking gear and learn the complexity to make your first backpacking trip fun and comfortable.

There are some essentials that you really need to focus on. The first is water, a backpacker’s best friend and worst enemy.

He is a hiker’s best friend because it is essential to drink enough water on a hike to stay hydrated and healthy. It’s their worst enemy because it’s so heavy to carry.

As a rule of thumb, drink 0.5 liters of water per hour for moderate activity at moderate temperature. The amount may be increased or decreased depending on the difficulty of hiking and the outside temperature. Be sure to add electrolytes to the water to help hydrate.

Do not drink from trail water sources without first filtering or cleaning with chemicals. Diseases caused by water-based bacteria such as Giardia are not laughable. It’s treatable and rarely fatal, but the physical sacrifice it makes to your body isn’t fun.

Talk to your local fitting company about a water purifier for packs or water bottles. A reliable magazine for backpackers, Backpacker magazineWe also do an annual review of the latest filters to help you make the right choices.

Always carry basic communications such as mobile phones and GPS units. The cell phone is okay to some extent, but I don’t know if there is a signal. Of course, the battery will run out.

Do not use your mobile phone as a GPS device. Again, the lack of traffic lights is a problem and can get stuck in the backcountry. It also drains the battery quickly. Select a GPS device instead.Base price starts from $ 100 Garmin GPS Map 64ST..

Even with a good GPS unit (and even if you’ve learned how to use it), there’s one thing to learn before your big adventure …

5. Learn orienteering

GPS is good, but it can cause signal loss and dead batteries. We encourage you to learn orienteering, that is, how to use traditional maps and compasses. Oh, and don’t forget to carry them with you on your hike.

National topographic maps of any part of the country are available online. US Geological Survey As well as local jewelry that can guide you to someone who can instruct you or teach you about the art of orienteering.

The camper stands around the campfire.
Author Joe, preparing for the night on the trail with friends around the campfire.
(Photo provider: Joe Cuhaj)

6. Make informed decisions about trekking

As you can see, planning is everything for a successful backpacking trip. But it’s not just the gear you have.

Of course, you want to make your backpacking trip memorable and experience everything nature has to offer, but you need to know your limits.

A good trail guide and map will tell you how difficult the trail is. However, it is all subjective and usually based on the author’s experience and condition and may not be the same as you.

With excellent trail guide as in All Trails or AppYou can see the map and the accompanying increase in altitude to see what you are climbing on your chosen hike.

Also consider the length of the hike. Sure, the average person can walk 2 or 2.5 miles per hour on level ground, but can also climb ridges and mountains, and run streams. Unless at best, speed will be significantly reduced and night hiking distances can be shorter. In order.

Find a water source along the trail before you go out. Are there many streams and springs that can filter the water? It helps lighten the load, but nevertheless always carry a lot with you. I don’t know when the water source will dry.

7. Make the weather smarter

Please check the weather before you go out.If Violent storm It’s predicted, so don’t miss your chance.

Hikers walk through the woods across a wooden bridge.
“Before an overnight backpacking trip, do a day hike in your gear and give it a try.”
(Photo provider: Joe Cuhaj)

8. Last tip before entering the trail

Do not hike alone. I have a lot of backpacking friends who go alone, but that’s not a good idea. Emergency situations occur on the trails, and having someone with you can be the difference between life and death.

Pack it according to the first aid kit and know how to use it.

Tell others about your plans wherever you go — when you’re at the trailhead, the route you follow the trail, where you spend the night, and they tell you to go home. Expected time.

Consider doing a gear shakedown hike before going all night. Pack everything you plan to carry around and hike your local or state parks for a day. Walk the distance. Is the pack comfortable or too heavy? Take the gear out and give it a try to make sure it works and isn’t too difficult to operate on the trail.

Now you’re ready to lace your boots, strap your pack, grab your hiking pole and go on your first backpacking trip. Happy trail!

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