Pre-Trip Planning for Outdoor Adventures
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So, you have decided to go on an adventure. No matter where you are going, and what you have decided to do, it’s time to get organized. It’s all about planning. The following should help you start to organize for your big adventure.
First things first. Buy your PLANE TICKETS, get your PERMITS, and make sure that you have a PASSPORT and the appropriate VISAS if you are traveling overseas. Some of these documents can take months to process, so make sure you give yourself ample time to prepare.
Check with your embassy and make sure that you are up to date with your vaccines. Some countries need to see proof of your health and also have suggested vaccines and boosters. Gather ample supplies of any medication you are on and get extra prescriptions filled if needed.
If you are traveling in a remote wilderness area or a developing nation, it is always essential to carry your own first aid kit (link to first aid kit page: /firstaidcontent.htm). What you choose to put in it may change based on where you are traveling, but having your own supplies in case of an emergency is essential.
Ok, you don’t need to start packing weeks before your trip, but it is a good idea to start thinking about what you will need. This can be an ongoing process up until the day you leave. The first thing to do is figure out what type of luggage you are going to take. Backpack, roller, duffel etc. Start making a list and include ALL items. It is easy to forget essential items such as toiletries or a bathing suit because you are too concerned about what type of pants to bring. Make a list and check it twice.
Meet Your Gear:
If you have new gear or gear that you haven’t used in a while, use it. Make sure you know THAT and HOW all your stuff works. Check your stove and your shelter; refill your batteries and buff up your navigation. Making sure you have all your tent poles may seem silly, but a tent without a pole will not hold its shape during a rainstorm in the backcountry. It is also important to start wearing your shoes (for the first time, or again…)
Research Your Destination:
You have probably already done this, which is why you are heading there. It is now time to do some in-depth research. Read reviews and blogs of your destination. Buy a guidebook or trail guide. Look at the proposed weather and weather from previous years. Get informed and try and plan out your trip and itinerary as accurately as possible. Once you have done this, send it along to a few family or friends that are staying home.
This is the last step. It is here that you find out of all your packing preparation has worked. This can take longer than you think, especially if your packing space and weight is limited. This is when you have to re-examine what you really need. It’s ok to go with the bare minimum, but DO NOT, DO NOT sacrifice the essentials. The forecast may say sun, but that doesn’t mean it won’t rain. Bring your rain jacket, leave your pillow.