Backpacker Magazine –
The Manual: Plan an Expedition
(Illustration by Supercorn)
Prep Your Gear
>> Create a packing list
Print one from backpacker.com/checklists and start assembling your kit a few months early to identify gear that needs attention, like a DWR treatment on a tired rain shell. Also, if hiking the cusp of spring or fall, you might need different gear at the trip’s end than at the beginning.
>> Pack a bounce box
Include items like socks, underwear, lighter or heavier clothes, spare shoes, sunglasses, books, depletable items (like sunscreen, vitamins, food, batteries, and memory cards), quarters and soap for Laundromats, and mailing supplies (prepaid UPS labels, tape, addresses, pens).
>> Package meals in waterproof bags
Mark them Day One, Day Two, etc. so you don’t raid all the chocolate on day three. Allot more food for tail-end days when you’ll be ravenous. To keep food weight and bulk low, pack calorie-dense foods like nuts, peanut butter, and cheese. Although vacuum-packed cheeses may separate into oil and curd, they’ll keep for weeks in cool mountain weather.
>> Assemble a first-aid kit
Include beaucoup dressings, blister-repair items, and any medications.
>> Locate gear shops near resupply points
Ask the proprietors in advance to hold some fuel for you.
>> For remote trips, carry an emergency signaling device
Buy or rent a PLB, SPOT, or sat phone. And consider rescue insurance. Two options: American Alpine Club membership or Global Rescue.
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