Backpacking can get expensive, but it is definitely worth the cost. How else can one sit on the edge of a cliff and overlook the Grand Canyon, or put their feet in the cold water of a mountain stream that they hiked to in three hours? Unless you plan on a day hike and getting back home before bed, you will need a lot of gear to get you where you want to be so you can enjoy it the right way.
Of course, a good backpack is a must. There are many out there and the prices are below $100 to over $200. A good tent, sleeping bag, boots, food (I learned a long time ago to NEVER count on fishing for a meal), and don’t forget the other things, like good socks, pans to cook in and eat out of, potable water, and the means to MAKE water potable if you should have to. There are capsules out there, and, of course, the old fashion way with a little bleach, or, if you’re lucky enough, rain water or morning dew that can be captured if you know what you’re doing and how to get it. Remember to always take out what you take in. Sun screen, baseball hat or something similar, a compass, a walking stick, too.
Now all of this may seem ridiculous and costly, but just remember that once you get your gear collected, you will have it to use again and again. Some people like the city and what it has to offer, but I can tell you from experience, relaxing out in the middle of nowhere, especially if you had to hike a bit to get there, is a great feeling. Sure you may be tired, but it’s a GOOD tired. No matter what’s going on in your life, getting out on the trail can replenish your soul. The rush of hearing something big move through some trees, or the way the birds sound all around you; no traffic, no people talking, just you and nature and maybe a friend or two. Also, meal under the stars is delicious.
If you are like me, and you have to have your four-legged child with you, there are backpacks made for dogs, too. They love to get out there as much, if not more, than people do, so for them to be able to help you like that can only make their experience even better. Dogs love to please, so if you do put yours to work, maybe you can have a little tent for him or her? Yeah, they got ’em.
You can’t go wrong with backpacking. It’s a great way to see what’s left of this country of ours, and it also makes you appreciate it more. A great magazine to read if you are thinking of taking up backpacking is Backpacking magazine (imagine that!).
Now get out there and do some good for your self!
Here are some amazing infographics from Visual.ly, with lots of backpacking info.