I receive a lot of questions from people who hike and are considering backpacking or primitive camping, but are scared. Those fears are unfounded!
Here’s the quick Hiking Lady guide to help everyone quell those fears. No more excuses!
Common Fears About Backpacking:
|There are wild animals in the wilderness!
|| In many areas, the likelihood of running into a bear or mountain lion is extremely slim. In fact, many people who regularly camp never see any! If you are in bear country, use a bear canister and keep your food away from your tent. And you can take along bear spray.
|I’ll be cold!
||Get a sleeping bag that matches the weather conditions when you’ll be backpacking. Each bag has a temperature rating (ie, 40 degrees for summer camping, 0 degrees if you’re camping in the snow!) Women tend to be colder than men, so if you get cold at night, get a women’s goose down sleeping bag (they generally have more fill in the toe box for women’s cold feet!) and are shorter in length, so we don’t have to haul along a huge pack that would fit a 6 foot man.
|There’s no bathroom in the woods…
||There’s no need to worry! Find a secluded spot for privacy (an area with some trees and dense bushes always works well), bring along toilet paper, and enjoy the view! It will be a far nicer view than your bathroom at home. Remember to follow Leave No Trace principles, which means digging a small hole and packing out your TP. And for more fun, read the book How to Shit in the Woods!
And most importantly, bring along a big smile, an enthusiastic spirit, and you are sure to have a great time!