Planning for a backpacking trip is not complete without these activities. Previous online articles here explored how section hike planning activities could be ordered and scheduled. This article is the last in a series of four on the topic of section hike planning. Here, we review the activities you should pursue when your trip is one week away.
- Review trail maps and literature. You’ll want to identify points of interest. During this week, with gear replacement and food shipping behind you and off your mind, you’ll have time to read some of the details you skipped in previous weeks of planning. You could review the history of the region you’ll be hiking. You could investigate the geology of your trip. This is a time to read about plants and animals you may encounter.
- Review first aid procedures. Injuries sometimes occur in the backcountry. Wet rocks can be slippery. Spiders live in the wilderness, and they can bite. When traveling alone, you’ll want to be able to perform self-rescue. Self-rescue is a term usually associated with climbing and scuba diving, but it also applies to backpacking. If you are traveling with others, you’ll want to be helpful to others. Take some time to study how to respond to a backpacker’s, perhaps your own, injury. Take one last look at your first aid kit.
- Review proper responses to wildlife encounters. You could have done this in the previous few weeks, but reviewing the content will be more meaningful at this time. If you encounter a bear, are we instructed to run away, climb a tree, or back away? While backpacking in New Jersey? How about in Alaska? If a backpacker suffers a snakebite, are we still supposed to suck the venom out of the wound? (Answer: no way).
- Record a backpacking trip plan. This plan identifies where you plan to be each day and night. It is just an estimation. The plan includes information regarding how to request help if a backpacker, or backpacking group, goes missing. The backpacking trip plan is described and shown in the online article, Reduce Risk of Solo Backpacking, and Other hikes. Share your backpacking trip plan with a trusted friend.
- Pack your backpack
- Review weather forecast for time of trip. It helps to know how wet the first few days will be, and how low the nighttime temperatures are to be. Such information will help you make decisions about what to wear, when to travel, and where to camp. The forecast will be less accurate with each passing day, but the forecast for the first few days should be helpful.
What critical, one-week out, activities appear on your schedule, but not here?