Wellbeing Wizard

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Backpacking
Written by Catherine Davis   

BackpackingBackpacking offers freedom and adventure for those who love the outdoors and the feel of connecting with nature. It involves hiking and camping in the wilderness or on long distance trails taking only the bare essentials.

As such, backpacking enables you to get away from civilisation and back to basics, exploring remote places and testing yourself in new and possibly challenging environments. Trips can last from one night to several weeks, many backpackers follow the 'leave no trace' principle.

Making the most of a backpacking trip requires some forward planning and preparation. In physical terms, this means getting as fit as you can. Exercise to strengthen your leg, back and abdominal muscles, and practice carrying your backpack over distance. Plan your inventory according to climate and terrain, seek out the lightest gear and equipment and familiarise yourself with it before you go.

When you do start out, set a realistic pace and keep up your energy levels with regular meals and snacks.

Whilst you don't need to be a backpacking expert, it helps to have a grounding in survival and navigation skills. Always carry sufficient food and water, a lighter or matches, a first aid kit, a compass and map. Above all, use your common sense and give family and friends full details of your route and itinerary.

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