Backpacking is a great way to explore and enjoy the outdoors. As a backpacking guide, I have the privilege of seeing many people get hooked after their first outing.

But it can be intimidating to start. 

With so much information out there, and so many trails, how do you get started?

Try an easy trip with lower miles (say 6 miles at the most) and lots of stopping points at scenic spots. You’ll have fun, enjoy the scenery, and be able to assess what you can do.

As you grow stronger and build up your stamina, increase your distance or head for more challenging terrain.

One of the best things about the outdoors is that there are so many options available for every level of fitness!

Backpacking and Base Camping

Generally, backpacking means carrying your gear and hiking to a location, then setting up camp. In the morning, you break down camp, pack everything up and carry it to the next location.

There’s also base camping. In this scenario, you carry your items and hike to the first location. Here you set up a camp that will serve as your base. In the morning, you leave your tent and gear set up and take a day pack to explore the area, returning to the same camp every night.

One isn’t better than the other. The location you’re exploring tends to determine which option is the most suitable.

Where to Go

Ready to get out?  Here are some great ideas for base camping in the Southeast!

  • A WEEKEND CAMPING AT FALSE CAPE STATE PARK, VIRGINIA

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Check out our favorite places for quick weekend backpacking trips!

Finding your Gear

Finding the right gear for your needs can be an overwhelming process. Not to mention – gear can be quite expensive!

The good news is that I love doing research. With the right information, you can make a choice that will best fit your needs and budget alike.

Looking for new gear or ready to upgrade?  Check out our posts to help find some of our favorites.

Sleeping bags are one of the most difficult pieces of gear to choose and maintain. I’ve got you covered with everything you need to know.

Looking for discounted gear?  Here are some great options for good gear at great prices.

Finding the Right Advice

Now you’ve got ideas on how to start, where to go, and understand the basics on gear. But it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all of the conflicting advice. And when you are planning your first backpacking trip, it can be hard to know what you should and shouldn’t do.

Instead of telling you what to do, I’ll give you the background and the “why” so you can decide for yours. And I’ll bring in an expert, like my OB/GYN friend when we need one.

Find some great advice you can take with you on your next trip!

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