Hitting the wilderness for some serious walking is a great way to tone the body and sooth the soul. Yes, life can be simpler out in the wild, but with simple pleasures come simple dangers – and, to be less dramatic for a moment, simple discomforts. For example, there’s a right and a wrong way to pack that backpack, and getting it wrong can leave you in pain whilst walking, trying to sleep on the hard ground, and for weeks afterwards.
There’s a lot of stuff you might need on such a trip, so although it’s frustrating to be weighed down it’s worth making a list and getting everything ready in advance. Don’t be a hero: make sure you have a first aid kit with you and waterproof clothing, as your body is all you have to rely on out there. Of course, you can take your trusted GPS device with you, but it’s worth making a little extra room for an old-school map and compass too – just in case the electronics give up in the heat, or run out of battery following an unplanned delay or diversion.
A roll of big plastic trash bags will also come in handy. Not only will you be grateful for the shelter in the case of emergency, but you’ll want to clear up all your trash as you go without it getting mixed up with your clothes. Matches are also good to have on standby – just in case that flint-and-steel method that looks so simple on TV doesn’t work out for you.
There’s a lot more you’ll want to think about taking – and arranging – before you go, and you can check out fifty of the top tips on this great new infographic. Then you just need to pack it all in – tent at the bottom, provisions in the middle, clothing at the top and sides – and off you go.