How to Prepare for Your First Wilderness Trip

For those people that love camping, the next logical step is to move on from the campsite and delve into the deep wilderness on your own. This is how you will reach the most remote, stunning locations in the world, but it is not something that you can just jump into. You need to invest in high-quality camping gear and, when you first start out, ideally go with a group or a local guide to ensure you learn all the necessary survival skills to accomplish the trek alone.

Perfect Your Camping Skills

You should know how to:

• Start a fire
• Set up camp
• Read a compass and map
• Cook
• Send a smoke signal

Acquire the Right Permit

Depending on where you intend to go for a hike or camping trip, you may need to acquire a permit or make a reservation in advance. Do this early, or else you might not be permitted to camp at your favourite destination.

Familiarise Yourself with the Hike and Area

You want to be familiar with the wildlife, with vegetation, and with landmarks or other dangers. Look for either a high-quality guide for the area or hire a local guide to give you the low-down of what to expect in the area.

Pack the Right Equipment

You will want to be well-dressed and well-packed for the climate and activities that you intend to enjoy. Depending on how often you plan to go on a wilderness trip, it could be worthwhile to invest in specialist gear that is light and functional. From lightweight camping gear to a survival knife, there are lots of different pieces of equipment that you will want with you. For those who genuinely love working with their hands, many of these items can be made yourself. You can ensure a quality build, for example, by treating yourself to a Self Reliance Outfitters DIY survival knife kit. Work out your craftsmanship and enjoy a quality knife for a fraction of the cost.

Keep your survival kit small to begin with, and your camping trip short, so that you can work out what you actually need and what isn’t necessary for your camping kit.

Choose a Pre-Designed Hike

Go with a guide or a group tour when you first start out. This way, you can get the feel of what it is like going on a wilderness, multi-day hike without worrying about getting lost or being injured without help. Even when you are ready to go without a guide (but always go with at least one other friend), it is best to go through pre-designed hikes. These hikes will likely be better marked, and you will be guaranteed to see the best sights along the way.

Check in With Base Camp

When you go on a multi-day hike, always check in with base camp so that they can send out a search party if you don’t return within the standard period of time. This time period should be enough that you can take your time. If you intend to stay a day or two and just fish, then include this in your itinerary. Don’t overdo it, and instead plan so you can take the hike slowly.

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