Going on a backpacking camping is the perfect trip for those who would like to experience closeness to nature. However, know that backpacking is different from Car Camping. In backpacking, you choose a tropical place to stay without bringing a car with you. That’s because you might decide to go hiking on top of one of the beautiful mountains or explore forests with waterfalls and caves. Sometimes backpackers also experience the sea by enjoying a swim in the blue waters or surfing along its big waves.
Before you get mesmerized with the excitement of going camping, consider these guidelines first to keep you safe on the road.
Pack Up an Emergency Kit Just In Case
In case of emergency, pack yourself a kit containing first-aid supplies such as a bandage, antibiotics like creams to treat wounds, medications that are necessary, and lighter, lanterns, or LED flashlight with extra batteries. For longer trips, do not forget a survival blanket, hand warmers, and rain poncho as well as a whistle and mirror, which will come in handy should you need to ask for help. Also, add some tablets to purify water and make it safe for drinking. A water storage container that is collapsible is also useful. The same goes for a spare tarpaulin and cords or nylon filament for emergencies.
Make Your Plans Public
Backpacking into the wild is exciting and fun, but there is no guarantee that you will be safe for the entire duration of your trip. You can almost never foresee accidents. And take note that chances are there is no one in a tropical forest who can readily assist you with anything.
So before going out on a trip, leave behind a complete itinerary detailing where you will be. And if possible, draw a line to map out the routes you’re taking from start to end. It is also important to adhere to the itinerary and never deviate from your planned course unless necessary. That is to ensure rescuers could easily track you should you need help. Also, upon your arrival in the area, do not forget to register at a local ranger station. Inform them of your itinerary and inquire if you will require a special permit.
Mastery of the Old-School Items: Compass and A Map
Valleys and mountains have different terrains, and more often than not, there is no signal on ground for you to make a call. While there is a modern phone, they call “satellite phone” which most campers use, there is still no guarantee if it will work well the whole duration of your journey.
Because of these factors, it is best if you master the maps and compass so you can walk your way in and out of the wilderness. It will surely assist you when the going gets tough in the jungle.
Before you commence with your journey, check with the weather bureau for any possibility of blistering heat, updates on extreme weather, hurricanes, and big storms. You can also check with Forest Services for helpful tips when storms come around.
Face to Face with An Animal
The most common animal that visits campers is a bear. There are also cases of lion encounters. But what is probably the scariest are the snakes that climb trees and blend in with the environment. Characteristics of animals are diversified and sometimes hard to control. So, make sure you talk with a ranger on duty when you arrive in the area, just to be safe from animals. When a bear visits you at your camp, just make a loud noise to scare it away. If a mountain lion approaches you, throw rocks in its direction, and it will go away.
Backpacking is worth an experience, but you have to make sure that areas, where you want to explore, is safe. Familiarize first the area before you set camp. Be critical in observing everything around you. A critical eye is far from any danger. Always remember to communicate with rangers so they can assist you anytime you need help. The phone, map, and compass are also your best friends in the wilds. So remember to power up or charge your communication equipment whenever possible.
Williams A. Young is a licensed mechanical engineer and has been practicing for over a decade. He is also a car enthusiast and an avid camper and is a passionate advocate of outdoor activities. He is considered a car tech and how-to’s preacher by his camping colleagues at darwin4wdhire, a company helping them make their camping experiences better by providing them the right car, quality equipment and approachable help when they are outdoors.