4 Fall Backpacking Trip Safety Do’s & Don’ts
If you’re an outdoor buff, going backpacking will give you the best of both worlds. You get to broaden your horizons that extend far beyond your local campground, and you also get to immerse yourself in nature.
But when it comes to your prepping your backpack, there are certain do’s and don’ts every avid hiker needs to know. Here are four backpacking do’s and don’ts:
The Four Do’s of Backpacking
When it comes to backpacking, there are many things to do. However, there are some things that are more important than others.
Here are four do’s of backpacking:
- Make copies of important papers—You never know what could happen on a trip. For all you know, you could get seriously injured. Remember to make copies of your passport, visas, credit card numbers and your insurance policies. Email a copy of each to yourself, leave some at home and with a person you can trust.
- Purchase a registered vehicle—whenever you rent a car for a trip or overseas, make sure that it’s registered. Also, ensure that your know local laws so you can drive safe. Verify your US license will be able to be used abroad to get you to your backpacking destination. Compare prices between renting a car and ridesharing services, bus schedules that can leave you from your hotel to the start of your backpacking trail. Keep change and local transportation schedules in your backpack.
- Buy proper equipment. The right shoes and backpack can make a difference between a fun trip and injuring yourself. However, don’t go crazy at the store. Have emergency vacation funds—You can’t have a proper trip without budgeting. So, before rushing off into the sunset, make sure you save some money for emergencies. It’s highly recommended that you leave about 20 percent of your savings.
- Practice breathing. If you are going to be going somewhere with a higher elevation you may have difficulty breathing. See the difference between your altitude and the altitude of wherever you are going backpacking. What may seem like an easy hike at home may be twice the effort somewhere else because of the difference breathing.
Now that you know the essential do’s of backpacking, let’s get into the don’ts.
The Four Don’ts of Backpacking
Just as there is a lot of backpacking do’s, there are a lot of don’ts. Ranging from encountering shady people to giving your passport to the wrong person, here are four don’ts of backpacking:
- Do not give money—If someone asks you money to travel, do not give it to them. If the person doesn’t have enough money, then they shouldn’t be traveling, to begin with.
- Don’t go alone—If you’re late night explorer, make sure to stick with your group. If you’re by yourself on this trip, stay in lit and populated areas. Avoid any dimly lit or dark areas as they are very unsafe. Always make sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you.
- Don’t go further than you are able. Don’t pack more than you need. One thing is to want to push yourself, and there is a difference when you overexert yourself. Listen to your body and your limits. You can end up with a bad back injury that can leave you disabled and without work. If so contact a social-security attorney to help.
- Don’t leave the door cracked—the most common reason why people have their things stolen is that they leave the door to their room open. While a lot of other backpackers are honest people, there is a fair share of thieves. Always close the door behind you and make sure it’s locked. Don’t leave your things lying around—If you’re residing in a hostel, the last thing you want is to leave your things out in the open. This is because hostels are notorious for constant theft. Put your stuff in a locker or safe, if they’re available
When it comes to backpacking, you must be prepared, on your guard and diligent. Know who to trust, where to go and what to do. But most importantly, don’t forget to take pictures along the way.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.