How to Plan Your First Backpacking Trip

Backpacking is such an adventure that will help you to have a great outdoor experience. This is a continuous process to learn how you will do better to make your trip more exciting and amazing. If you are planning for a backpacking trip for the first time and feel nervous about what to do, then I am here to guide you.

In this article, I will provide some necessary information that you have to know before going on a trip.

Steps for Planning Your First Backpack Trip

plan your first backpacking trip

1. Pick A Suitable Date

Fix a date first because the weather condition is a great matter for your trip. You have to prepare according to the weather forecasting of your selected date. 

2. Choose an Awesome Trail

While choosing a trail for your first backpacking trip, ask yourself how long you want to hike (6 to 8 miles is recommended if you are new in hiking). Ask yourself if you are looking for a large mountain, or a waterfall or something more exciting? Then select a trail that can fulfill all your requirements. 

3. Manage Permissions if It Needed 

Many trails need permission. Many of them need to be reserved in advance. So if you have selected a trail and also choose a time when you want to go, then check again and again if any permission is needed or not

4. Transportation Plan 

Check the position of your destination and plan for transportation. Check which transports will serve better and cost-effective. Also, select the route by which you want to go. 

5. Carry a Map Always


As you are planning for your first time backpacking trip, don’t forget to carry a map with you always. The map will give you a clear idea about where you are and give you the information about the location of the nearest water source.

6. Equipment You Will Need for Your First Backpacking Trip


You have to try a few packs to ensure that your one is comfortable enough. Feeling comfortable is the first thing that you have to consider while planning to go on a trip. Measure your body length. Find a backpack that is suitable according to your length. Fill the backpack with some weight and then make a trial. If you feel good about it, then select it for your trip.


While choosing the right footwear for your trip, you need to consider the following features:

1. Comfortable: Comfortable feet are the key to a happy trip. Uncomfortable and extra stylish footwear will result in a terrible trip. So choose whatever is suitable for you.

2. Versatile: Try to use one pair of shoes for the whole trip. Consider the distance you want to travel and the activity. Choose shoes according to traction and stability.

3. Lightweight and Simple: Lightweight shoes are essential for a trip.

Sleeping Bag

A clear idea about the temperature at your destination is needed. Select a sleeping bag that can handle that weather and make you feel comfortable. Synthetic fill is more cost-effective and suitable for wet weather. The recommended weight for sleeping back is around 2-3 kilograms which will be easily manageable.



A lightweight tent is recommended for a trip. The weight should be around 3 pounds or less for a person. The essential features of a tent would be:

  • Having aluminum poles
  • Having adequate rainfly. The bigger rainfly will serve better. Select one that can cover not only the top of your tent but your tent walls also.
  • Having folded seams.
  • Tent with strong stitching.
  • Having a tent floor made of waterproof material.
  • Having sufficient loops at the exact position. Normally your tent needs to have a loop at every corner of the base and the center of each side. The loops need to be sufficiently large to hold the large plastic or metal stakes.
  • Having a roof vent that allows air circulation and reduces inside tent condensation.
  • Having strong zippers that allow you to use it frequently.


A single burner and very lightweight (it will probably be less than a pound) is recommended for your backpacking trip. The gas stove is preferable because of the low cost and easy to use. 

Water Treatment Equipment

Carry some chemical water treatment equipment like a tablet or powder and mixed it with your water before drinking.

Foods and Meals

The best foods to carry with you for your backpacking trip are: 

Nuts and Seeds: Easily portable light-weight snacks that are full of protein, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber, and calories. 

Dehydrated Meals: These can be carried in lightweight foil containers and so easy to carry. Meat, vegetables, fruits, etc are included that can be cooked with boiled water. 

Oatmeal: Another healthy choice that must be included in the food list of your backpacking trip. Instant oatmeal is very easy to prepare. This is also a source of vitamins, minerals, magnesium, fiber, and so many healthy ingredients.

Coffee and Tea: For tea or coffee lovers, it will be a must to carry. A morning start with a cup of coffee can boost your mind and reduce all the tiredness.

Backpacking Clothing

The layers of your backpacking clothing should be such as it will help you to adapt to the changing environment. A perfect selection of clothing will protect you from extra heat, too much cold or Storm and rainy weather. The layers are

  • Base Layers
  • Hiking Layers: Examples are Nylon pants, T-shirts, etc.
  • Insulation: Jacket, pullover, hat, etc.
  • Rainwear: Rainproof jacket, pants, etc.


You can make your backpacking trip really amazing if you are willing to give a little effort. Step by step pre-planning will help you to arrange a nice trip without any unnecessary difficulties. Hopefully, this article has given you a clear idea about an effective backpacking trip plan.

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My name is Camila Avery. I like to write and share my experiences. HeartyLook is my lovely digital home, where I can share my professional advice, home improvement ideas, solution, beauty tips, product recommendations, and honest and open opinions on anything and everything.

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