A Guide for Backpackers – Hikers

Do you like to camp or just take a hike with a backpack? Or want to ? Perhaps go into a nature reserve ? Climb a mountain taking a tent along ? Want to get away ? Then you might find some useful information here. This page was written by an experienced backpacker and mountaineer.

The most important thing to most backpackers is to have as light a load as possible and as small as possible. If you are going to go into the mountains, you will probably be able to find lots of water. Therefore, you can take less water. If water is going to be abundant on your hiking trail you can also consider taking dehydrated (dried) foods. Dehydrated food weigh much less than hydrated food. You can re-hydrate it when you need it if you have lots of water available. If you want to prolong your trip it is also best to know what food sources you might have on your trail.

Locusts are quite common and a good source of food. Most people simply shriek at the idea of eating them, but once you get use to it you find them quite tasty. Yes, yummie yuppie food ! Locusts taste very rich and is highly comparable to shrimp in taste. A locust can be eaten whole without removing anything, but I prefer to remove wings and spiny hind legs. They can be eaten raw. However, they are much more crunchy and less strong in taste when lightly baked in an oven.

Do you have an oven in your backpack ? You really should. Its easy to construct an oven with your tiny backpackers cooking pot in a fire or on a woodgas or whatever other stove you might have fit into your backpack. Woodgas stoves can be made very small and lightweight from tin cans, they also need very little wood to operate ( see Article ). It is really the ideal cooking and baking method for the backpacker since you don’t have to carry fuel along. Crickets are another commonly found source of food and are usually prefered by most yuppie food professionals. 🙂 Crickets taste a little less rich than locusts, and can be eaten raw or lightly baked. Have you ever eaten a frog ? mmm tastes like fish ! Cooked on your woodgas stove with a little salt. Yummie ! Tadpoles are potentially toxic because of the algae they eat. ( even though some algae are edible, you don’t know which the tadpole ate ). If you do want to give a tadpole a try make sure you remove it’s stomach and intestines ( tastes like frog !) Game reserves will not allow you to hunt game. Best to stick to insects and plants. Plants are a little more difficult, because many plants are poisonous. Don’t eat what you don’t know. You might want to study the plant life on your hike or before-hand if possible.

Walking sticks will make your walking about 40% less tiring, especially when walking on slopes in mountains. I use wooden sticks, but you can buy aluminium walking aids. They are very light, comfortable and adjustable. Test your backpack fully loaded before you go on the hike. Adjust and fix your load before you start your trip. Its very frustrating to find your backpack biting you somewhere on your trip and you cant fix it. Pad it where it needs padding. Your backpack must have a waist-belt. Make sure the load is not on your back, but is resting on your hips. A backpack constantly pressing down your spine can cause great pain and discomfort. Shoes might also need padding. New shoes will ‘kill’ you. Make sure you wear worn in shoes. Wear well tested shoes and put in extra inner soles if needed. It all depends on the intensity of your trip. Aim to never return to society again. haha. 🙂

Make sure you have polaroid sunglasses. This is helpful in snowy conditions and many other conditions. Pollariod sunglasses will cut out reflections which could lead to headaches. If you are going to constantly be in sunny conditions consider a good hat also.

If you are going to hike in territories without paths, you may need a good binocular and possibly a compass. Consider buying a good sports-watch with as many features as possible. Perhaps a watch with biometric measuring capabilities also. Its not a bad idea to keep track of your heart rate for those who are good at ignoring their bodie’s signals saying “fatigue fatigue!” . Its best to watch your watch and stop when your heart-rate is going wild !

A good camping all-in-one knife tool is a very handy thing to have on a hike. Did your walking stick break ? Well just use your saw to make a new one with your camp gear all-in-one tool’s saw blade. Need a knife or can opener ? Its right there all-in-one.

Well, your gear is really going to depend on the conditions you are going to hike under. Good preparations before hand can make your trip a pleasure. The ideal trip is the one you constantly ask yourself why you should ever return to society – and fail to find the answer…

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