Trailiac’s previous articles introduced how a timeline could be used to ease the pain of planning a section hike. The recommended timeline helps us to focus only on what a backpacker must do next. Considering all the activities of planning a backpacking trip can be overwhelming.
Here, we review the activities you should pursue when your trip is 2 weeks away.
- Identify and replace any gear needed. Shoe arches break. Tent floors rip. Rain gear leaks. Also consider near new gear needed. Do you need an umbrella for the desert? Would it help to acquire crampons for crossing snowfields?
- Plan where you will hike each day. Review the trail’s topology. What might the weather be like? Account for your skill level and physical fitness. Are there mileage guidelines for the region you are hiking? For example, one guideline is to plan to hike 2/3rds your typical daily mileage while in Maine. Maine is rough.
- Identify your menus. How many breakfasts, lunches, dinners will be packed? Are there places to eat along the way (e.g., diners) such that you don’t have to pack and carry every meal?
- Identify potential maildrops and opportunities for resupply. Where will you need a resupply? What are the options for those areas? Are there Post Offices near the trail that accept boxes for hikers? If towns are near the trail, what stores are available?
- Purchase food for your backpacking trip. Now that you understand the number and types of meals, where you need to resupply, and how you will resupply, it’s time to buy food for the trip.
- Package food to send ahead to maildrops. Call the post offices to confirm the addresses and package labeling
- Send food to maildrops.
What is missing from the list above? What other key activities do you perform two weeks prior to hitting the trail for a section hike?