Tips for Conserving Energy Backpacking

Tips for Conserving Energy Backpacking
Backpacking is a glorious form of exercise.  You can strengthen muscles and improve coordination in a raw and rugged setting far superior to the neighborhood gym. Conserving your energy is as crucial as planning your route, packing emergency supplies, deciphering trail maps and working a compass. The difficult part is exercising personal discipline during your conservation efforts. Remember that taking care of yourself is the most important step in backpacking. Here are a few tips on conserving energy while indulging in this strenuous pastime follow.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Properly fitted and weighted backpack
  • Trekking poles
  • Clean water
  • Appropriate clothing
 
Step 1
Check the pack. Ensure your backpack is weighted and strapped properly. Lugging a pack that tugs disproportionately in one place or another is a quick path to premature exhaustion and pain. When purchasing a backpack, have it fitted to verify it's the best configuration for you. Don't skimp on packing essentials because you want a light backpack; you should always carry more than you need in case of emergencies.
Step 2
Hit the trail. Stick to established trails where possible. These generally have been routed along the most efficient track, and loyalty to maintained paths reduces erosion.
Step 3
Take smart steps. Relinquish yourself to the lay of the land if you're trekking cross-country. Switchback broadly up a slope rather than charging headlong in a straight vertical line. Follow stream courses to avoid a drastic elevation change. Seek game trails, as ungulates---like moving water---typically follow gentle gradients.
Step 4
Mind your pace. Especially on the first day, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of exploration and forget the physical toll that multiple days of walking exact. Don't over-pace yourself. Rather than burden your itinerary with too many miles to cover and too many sights to see, focus on enjoying the experience and leave plenty of buffer time for side excursions, relaxing and other pursuits.
Step 5
Consider the conditions. Pattern your activity after the weather. Lay up during the hottest part of the day. Especially if you aren't simply counting the miles, such energy management allows for leisure time, contemplation, wildlife-watching and landscape study. Avoid hiking in the snow or rain, when possible. Wet and muddy trails are harder to navigate and will take more time to hike than in dry conditions, which means you can conserve your energy and hike father on a dry day.
Step 6
Use trekking poles. Even when you're not scaling peaks, these devices come in handy for setting a walking rhythm and taking some of the strain off of your muscles.
Step 7
Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is one of the most important components of a successful backpacking venture. Even if you don't think you're thirsty, make sure you're swigging regularly from the canteen. Be watchful for signs of dehydration, which may include dizziness and fatigue.
Step 8
Be friendly to your feet. Always break in new hiking boots or shoes before a backpacking trip. Tending to your feet is of utmost importance on the trail, as a footsore hiker is expending a lot of extra energy in simply trying to walk comfortably. Drying your footwear and cleaning your feet on a regular basis during a trip are good routines to adopt.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
As with any activity, eating nutritious foods is a good way to maintain your energy on the trail. Keep healthy snacks at hand for an added boost while you're slogging along.
 
Keep your hikes a reasonable length and avoid dehydration and exhaustion. Remember that even if you're not tired, your feet need frequent breaks from walking the trails.

Join 3 million outdoor enthusiasts like you


Find trails by activity, accessibility and more


Save your favorite trails and create a wishlist


Share tips and review your favorite trails


Add your best trail photos