Going Green

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:34

Backpacking is a great way to see nature There are so many people who are interested in protecting the planet from severe climate change and other environmental threats. However, many people spend little to no time actually enjoying the great outdoors. Backpacking trips are a surefire way to immerse yourself in nature and get different perspectives on the great planet where we live. The deeper you get into the wilderness, the more you can feel isolated and unaffected by the hustle and bustle of civilization and the daily grind. Hiking and backpacking trips can be as relaxing or intense as you desire. They can also be daytrips or overnight excursions. They offer plenty of time for personal reflection, the opportunity to push your physical limits and, of course, give you the chance to explore locations on foot that generally remain untouched by other modes of transportation. Ready for your own backpacking trip? Here’s what you need to get started: Figure out where you are going and the type of weather, terrain and other conditions you might experience. It is a good idea to talk to someone who has hiked the particular area you’ll be visiting. He or she can offer advice on how to pack. Remember, when backpacking you will have to carry everything you need. So it pays to minimize what you’re packing to ensure that it is light. Water could be your heaviest item, including any gear, such as tents, if you’re planning an overnight trip. Dried food and prepackaged nonperishable items are generally lightweight and can provide you with the nourishment you need for a day. Be kind to the environment and always carry out what you carry in. It also is a wise idea to pack a first-aid kit and other safety equipment, such as moleskin or bandages to prevent blisters, sun protection, sunglasses, and a change of clothes. If you need inspiration for a trip, contact the visitors’ bureau for your state or another area and ask about trip ideas. Some sporting goods stores have brochures and many state parks can set you up with a hiking group.