There was once a time when backpacking was a male-dominated sport. However, this is no longer the case. In the past decade, women have been active participants in hiking, camping and backpacking. As such, they are discovering that they have some specific health, safety and fitness needs.
Develop a Backpacking Fitness Program
Some women tend to be weaker in their upper-back muscles. About 2 months before your backpacking trip, develop a fitness program that focuses on your lats and rhomboids. Additionally, you will need to improve your aerobic endurance. Walk or run up long hills, or use running or elliptical machines on an incline. Balance is also crucial. Performing squats on a balance board will enhance strength and balance.
Choose a Correctly Sized Pack
A good backpack can literally make or break a backpacking excursion. In general, women have shorter legs and longer torsos. Choose packs that have a shorter distance between the shoulder straps. The straps should also be narrower and curvier so they don't dig into your shoulders. Waist belts should be narrower to accommodate smaller waists.
Change Your Tampon Before Hiking
Menstrual blood can attract bears. Start your hike with a clean tampon.
Hike With a Friend
If you are new to hiking, bring along a friend who is experienced at the sport.
Carry a Whistle
This is an important safety precaution that can save your life in an emergency.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.