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Anyone camp/hike here?

  1. Jun 26, 2008 #1
    Im going to be going camping/hiking in a few weeks. Ill be going hiking with a friend for about 5 days out in the wilderness. But Im almost completly clueless as to what Im doing out in the woods :surprised

    Anyone have beginner tips or advice for a novice that is going to be hiking in the middle of no where for a few days ?!?!

    Advice being -Bring lots of Water, or nonparishable food ?

    Anything would be helpful:biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2008 #2
    I've hiked all over the place. It's very uplifting so to speak.

    Just be sure you carry as less gear as you possibly can. Every gram of unnecessary items can translate to less time of enjoyment, and more time of arduous haul.

    Take some chocolate, or nutritional power bars with you. Every so often you got to replenish those calories. And drink lots of water.

    One thing on long hikes you have to take care of your feet. Carry more socks. At least two pair for a day. And good hiking shoes will impede if not stop the formation of blisters.
  4. Jun 26, 2008 #3
    Take it from me....don't forget matches haha. If the weather turns bad in a hurry you can make a nice lean-to out of fall trees and pine boughs that will keep you out of the weather.....a nice plastic tarp and some bungee cords (or even twine) also come in handy for constructing it. Definitely bring lots of socks and take care of your feet....get some of those cushions for inside your shoes just in case....trust me walking all day with blistered up feet is hell. Only bring what you need, you don't want to have to carry a bunch of unnecessary crap with you. Depending on your location some bear spray might not me a bad idea.
  5. Jun 27, 2008 #4


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    Hopefully your friend is more experienced? Get more details from your friend about the plans. Are you completely on your own for 5 days, or are you arriving at a camp site every night that will have at least clean water supplies? 5 days worth of water is a lot to carry, so better if you're going to have places where you can refill each day. Otherwise, you're going to want some of those water purification tablet things if you're going to have to take chances refilling from rivers and streams. Same for food, will there be places you can leave the trail and pick up food, or are you carrying/catching/gathering whatever you're going to eat on the trip? Are you really hiking out for 5 days (or 2 1/2 out and 2 1/2 back), or are you doing day hikes from a fixed camp location? It's a huge difference if you have to carry all your gear for 5 days vs. just carry what you need for a day hike and leave everything else in the car or at your campsite and come back to it every night.

    Do you have a good pair of already broken in hiking shoes/boots? Don't wait until you have to walk for hours at a time in them to get them broken in! Start wearing them every chance you get before you leave so they are well broken in.
  6. Jun 27, 2008 #5

    Chi Meson

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    A water filter is the single most important piece of equipment (after the backpack). Something like the PUR Hiker. I stopped using the tablets 20 years ago. I no longer carry a stove either; you can soak ramen noodles in cold water for an hour, eat bread and cheese. Those individually wrapped cheese sticks will last for over a week; they don't have to be cold, just prevent them from getting hot. Oh, if you need flavor, pack an avocado or two. A green avocado will be perfect after three to five days on the trail. Don't forget salt. GORP with M&Ms is your friend.
  7. Jun 27, 2008 #6
    Listen to Moonbear. Hiking for such a period without experience is hazardous, if not downright dangerous. Read a survival book or two and limit the first hike to a single night.

    Also carrying a cell phone with sufficient load (spare batteries) and staying within range of phone stations may help.

    Be sure to spend ample time studying emergency signalling and medicare. Much more important than food. You can last several days without and most areas carry an abundances of edible natural veggies, but you just have to know them.
  8. Jun 27, 2008 #7
    Put together copies of map(s) showing your planned route and destination, emergency contacts, and departure/return dates. Leave this with a friend or relative, instructing them to contact authorities if you fail to return.
    Check in with the ranger station, and obtain a Wilderness Permit (if required).
  9. Jun 27, 2008 #8


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    What do you mean by "wilderness"? Do you mean a campground, or off-trial hiking through mountains?

    If you're going to be miles from the nearest road, five days can be very risky for a novice. Definately follow Andre's advice about the cell phone - it could be a lifeline.
  10. Jun 27, 2008 #9


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    I think that's why more details are needed. My mom would call "wilderness" any place you can't drive an RV and plug it in to run the A/C, refrigerator, TV...but it could still be a perfectly cozy campground with shower and toilet facilities and relatively non-lumpy ground to set up a tent. Others really mean out in the middle of nowhere away from campgrounds and off trails through all sorts of unknown terrain.
  11. Jun 27, 2008 #10
    Also think about a hat and musquito repellant. And a GPS with cards would be perfect.
  12. Jun 27, 2008 #11


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    Better yet, stick to paved trails with yellow lines down the middle of them. :biggrin:
  13. Jun 27, 2008 #12


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    In any place where there might be bears, you MUST pack a light rope or cord and use that to hoist your food into a high branch well away from your camp-site, and NEVER take food into your tent. It would be a good idea to seal your food in zip-lock bags to reduce the odors from your packs - bears have excellent noses. Out in a real wilderness setting, this isn't quite as important, but in back-country areas that others use for hiking and camping, it is critical. Bears learn to exploit food sources from careless campers and they turn into dangerous "problem bears" very quickly.
  14. Jun 27, 2008 #13
    Make sure you have a pack that fits well. Along with broken in boots. Make sure you have it planned out, and leave a guide with someone, so they know if you're late in coming home, etc.
  15. Jun 28, 2008 #14
    What you do or bring depends on the climate. In high mountains, I generally carry woolen clothes in the pack while wearing shorts and a cotton shirt. Keep in mind that jeans and cotton shirts can turn deadly in wet weather. Most people who freeze to death do so at temperatures well above freezing in wet windy weather. There are also a lot of good synthetics that remain warm in wet weather. You will also need a good rain parka (Gortex is good). Don't forget a hat. Most heat is lost through the head.

    On the other hand, if you are hiking in desert type terrain, you will want to have a good wide brim hat and LOTS of water.

    A good fire starter is a good thing to carry along with matches. However I recommend cooking over a small camp stove. This is especially true above the tree limit where wood is rare and an important part of the environment.

    Get a sleeping bag that is long enough to cover your head and get some training using a map and compass.

    Finally, keep in mind that difficulty is NOT measured in miles walks but in elevation climbed. A five mile trail with a 4,000 foot climb is MUCH MUCH more difficult than a 20 mile trail with a 1,000 foot climb.
  16. Jun 28, 2008 #15
    As far as food goes, a cheap dinner is dried mac and cheese with protein bits added in. For lunch it is peanut butter with pilot bread and dried fruit. There are also all kinds of freeze dried food at outdoor shops if you are rich. Mostly I suggest taking plenty of food, but not cans or other stuff that is heavy. Your local grocery has lots of good dried foods that you can use without breaking a tight budget.
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