Welcome, fellow survivalists! When it comes to backpacking, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of selecting gear and packing lists. But before you even start thinking about tents and other equipment, there’s something even more crucial to consider: your physical fitness.
Being in good shape is essential for backpacking, as you’ll need to be able to endure long hikes and carry a heavy load. And remember, when you’re out in the wilderness, there won’t be anyone to call for help if you have a medical emergency. So, before you even start planning your trip, make sure you have a clean bill of health from your doctor, and start working on your physical fitness. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, make sure to include stretching in your routine to prevent injuries. If you’re not in great shape, start slowly with activities like walking, swimming, cardio, and weight training.
Once you’re feeling fit and ready to hit the trails, it’s time to think about your backpack. Make sure to choose a pack that fits you well and is comfortable to wear. As a test, try loading your backpack with five pounds more weight than you expect to carry on your hike, and take a few walks around your neighborhood to see how it feels. If it’s comfortable, try taking a day hike on a trail to see how it holds up. And when you’re lifting your pack, be sure to use proper form to avoid injury. Instead of slinging it onto your back, try having a companion hold it while you slide your arms into the shoulder straps, or set it down on a stable surface before putting it on.
Remember that your physical preparation is just as important as any gear you might bring along. So make sure to get in shape and choose a comfortable pack before you hit the trails.