PREPARING FOR EPIC BACKPACKING
J MILLER, FROM JENREVIEWS.COM, EMAILED me earlier in the year suggesting that EARNED RUNS followers might find her article, which featured an extensive guide, “How to Pack for a Backpacking Trip”, useful. The piece has several sections that include general tips, packing for one week, one month, and 6-month trips, pre-packing, and commentary.
Because completing an epic adventure has been introduced as a possible good-weather-season Earned Runs Challenge for those interested in alternatives to race or obstacle course competitions, it seemed liked a great way to stimulate interest and planning.
Miller’s article does not specifically relate to fitness adventures in which distances or ground covered require physical effort and endurance. However, exercise enthusiasts might mostly focus on building the body for the task and not pay attention to other factors that could make or break a trip. It seems worthwhile to read more broadly, in advance, about backpacking as an experience.
A good deal of information is presented that likely only scratches the surface of the preparation that is needed for such an adventure. The most valuable service her huge effort provides is to raise awareness of what’s required before one step can be taken, especially by a novice like me.
The GENERAL PACKING TIPS section starts with a discussion on how to choose a backpack, which is based on the length of the trip, whether flying will be part of the travel plan, and the need for specialty hiking equipment. Other considerations include how many location stops will be made, the weather and culture at each, space to be allocated for souveniers, and availability of amenities for maintaining hygiene, health, and comfort.
Budget and trip purpose are covered in this same first section about selecting a backpack, but might deserve stand-alone discussion. These two aspects of any adventure would be at the top of my list of issues to address first, and would probably influence each other as well as the length of the adventure, which is next up in the article, packing for 1 week v 1 month v 6 months trips.
Packing advice by TRIP LENGTH and PRE-PACKING are both very detailed and will be appreciated when it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. Additional specialized insight will be required for sport-specific trips that include running, bicycling, hiking, and camping. But experts may overlook small, mundane, comfort-related details in their zeal to help with the technical aspects of an athletic challenge. It’s wise to consult several resources for a 360-degree look at what will be needed.
Consider this Jen Reviews piece as an early-step in the process of mentally organizing an epic adventure that requires transporting trip necessities in a backpack. It may be encouraging or discouraging, and more or less daunting of a challenge, depending on your preconceptions and experience!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
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Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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