by Mason Strehl March 09, 2022 3 min read

Temperatures are warming and summer is just around the corner. If you've always wanted to try backpacking now's the time to get ready for a summer outdoors. Backpacking is a lot of fun, especially with a few friends, and doesn't have to come with all the struggle and discomfort that are usually associated with it. Zenbivy was created to help people be just as comfy at camp as they are getting there, so we know a thing or two about it. Here is how to get out there in comfort:

 

Gear

The gear you bring with you can make or break a trip, but don't worry, we'll go through all of it here. You can pack a comfortable pack that is filled with all the goods to keep you comfortable at camp. For most people, there's no need to go "ultralight", as a reasonably fit person can comfortably carry about 20-25lbs relatively easily all day long.

Here's how you can dial in your gear and pack as much comfort as you can:

Where to find gear

Look for local outdoor stores that sell used gear. You can usually find good equipment with a little bit of wear for a great price. If you're not quite ready to buy, many stores offer gear rentals for cheap, so you can get out with good gear without needing storage for it at home or spending a lot. To save on a quality sleep system, sign up to Zenbivy's Friends Program for 10% off your first purchase and exclusive access to Friends-only sales.

 

Food

Your body burns through calories much faster when you're moving, especially when carrying a pack, so it's essential to keep yourself energized throughout the day while you're backpacking. It seems like an odd way to measure food, but most people need 1.5 lbs to 2lbs of food a day while active. You can pack power bars and dehydrated meals, but those can get expensive quickly. We prefer to chef it up and make our own delicious and nutritious meals in the backcountry. 

Here are some food ideas to take your trip to the next level:

 

Where to go

Oftentimes when we think of getting outside, we have grand ideas of what that looks like - hiking with Yosemite Falls spraying in the background or deep in the backcountry of the Washington wilderness. While trips like that are great, there are so many options closer to home that are easier to access. Explore the state parks in your area and look for backpacking trails that are more popular while you get started. Use apps like AllTrails to find options near you.

AllTrails – This is an app you can download for your phone that shows hikes in your area. Find your location and it will show you trails within a certain radius of where you are. It also gives you great trail stats, reviews from fellow hikers, and photos so you know what you’re getting into with each one.

 

 

Physical Preparations

If you're reading this, chances are you've dabbled in hiking and have gone on a few day trips outdoors. If you're planning an overnight, you probably already have an excellent base to start, but you may want to hike more frequently to keep your legs up to the task. A few neighborhood walks with an overloaded backpack will do wonders getting your body used to carrying the weight. 

 

Learn to Leave No Trace 

As outdoors folk, we want to take the best care of our outdoor spaces as possible. It's a responsible habit that ensures our pristine public lands are clean and beautiful for our next visit and gives other outdoors enthusiasts an opportunity for good, clean fun too. Visit LNT.org to make sure you're doing your part this summer:

Leave No Trace: The 7 Principles

 

Other Tips

  • Practice packing. Learn how to pack your pack before you go, so you know it will all fit and you know just where everything goes. 
  • Practice setting up your gear. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to camp and realizing how complicated it is to set up your tent. Take a dry run in your backyard so it all goes smoothly in the backcountry.
  • Go with a friend. Everything is easier (and more fun!) with a friend. It can also be much safer in the outdoors to have someone with you.
  • Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to be back.

 

Other resources:

6 Things I Wish I Knew About Backpacking When I Started

Get Out and Go - Removing Barriers to the Outdoors

Gearing Up for a Summer Outdoors

How to Sleep Better in the Outdoors


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