I've been thinking and daydreaming about it for years by now, and have most items ready-to-go; however, I simply don't know how to make a start and plan for a possible trip.
Therefore, I'd like to make a trip within my own country first.
If something goes wrong, I'm home within a few hours, no matter where I am.
Still, I keep finding it difficult to put a "plan" together, even with clear borders in place.
How do you guys go about this? And as a preemtive strike: Yes, I need a plan, I'm not someone who can just "wing it", I have to have a plan to have a general idea of what's coming.
304 sats \ 2 replies \ @nout 22 Apr
Find a natural park in some mountains, look at alltrails or similar app, find some cool hikes and find a trail between them, depending on how much time you want to spend. Things you want to stop by are lakes, cool vistas, waterfalls, historical buildings...
If you are in Netherlands, then just take train to another country that has mountains 😅
The country will be The Netherlands, which doesn't have mountains, but I've been thinking about "connecting" the major parks somehow, too.
I've used alltrails a few times, it's okay, but has led to a pretty big fail once.
Yeah, then just find couple of those spots you would like to visit and route your backacking through those. The goal is to get form one to the other, while finding camps on the way. And then you just need to start from the first one...
Don't plan it. I mean do not make a rigorous plan about where to go, what items to take with you, how long you gonna stay.
Do this, in stages:
  1. Stage ONE - accommodation
  • take short hiking trips, with easy routes / trails
  • put in your backpack anything you think you will use, eat, wear
  • this short stage is to see how much you can carry, resist walking with all the weight, what you really gonna use.
  • take notes about almost anything you do: how much time you walk, when did you start and when did you stop walking, how much time you can do x distance etc. Enough to see your OWN possibilities and how far you can go.
  • take notes about items that you wish you had but you didn't take them.
  • accommodate with your shoes. Shoes are VERY IMPORTANT. With your foot in a good condition, your trip will be over after 1-2 days. Always have a pair of reserve shoes, light shoes. Test your shoes in different occasions, see how are resisting.
  1. Stage TWO - strength and resistance
  • take a medium hiking trip, this time a bit more difficult, longer and a bit more harsh environment.
  • put in your backpack ONLY the items that used in the phase one, at least once per day. All the rest, throw them away, are useless.
  • put half of the food and drinks you had in the phase one - see how much you can resist with less and also start organizing better your energy
  • take the shoes that were best for you
  • less clothes too
  • walk faster and longer, only to see how your body could adapt.
  • this is the phase when you train your body and your mind - RESISTANCE
  1. Stage THREE - enjoy
  • now take the longer route and don't plan how many days you will made it. Just to enjoy it.
  • take a tent or a hammock with you and sleep outside, under a clear sky.
  • make your own schedule of walking. Some people walk better in the early morning, when the sun is not even arise. So you could have for example all afternoon available to relax in a nice place and just enjoy the rest of the daylight. Some other people are walking better under the hot sun, during the midday, some other are walking better afternoon until total darkness, but that could be more dangerous if the trails is not visible and well known.
  • take notes about all you do, timing, eating, drinking, wearing etc So you will know better for your next trip.
If after these 3 stages you are still alive and willing to make more trips, then you became a strong man that nothing can stop him in his trips. NOTHING. It's all about discovering your own strength, endurance, skills, mind. There's no common universal advice about this experience, is all about YOURSELF.
This picture was not taken in the 1st stage... was in the 6th stage after many hikings, walkings, failures, lessons etc
But you feel like a king of the world once you've done it. In that moment there's no other mountain, trip, valley that can scary you, you control everything.
How long is "extended"?
It's not too hard to pack in a week's worth of food, but more than that and you'll want to procure some of your food during the trip.
At least 2 weeks as a start. I plan to stay at camp grounds, which means that I'll be able to stock-up on food and water relatively simple.
Ok, so it's not going to be a foraging or fishing adventure.
What are you hoping to do while you're out there? That might help with thinking through how to plan for it.
Nope, it's not going to be anything "survival".
I'm looking to improve on:
  1. Being (mostly) alone for extended periods of time.
  2. Increasing my experience and capabilities in regards to backpacking / trekking.
  3. Growing more confident in being reliant on myself.
Also, I'd simply like to go on an "adventure" once.
I'm a very light packer, so I'll give you a short list of what I'd make sure to bring:
  • A good knife
  • A good small hatchet
  • Waterproof matches
  • Sleeping bag
  • Bivy sack
  • Several pounds of trail mix
  • Water filter
  • First aid kit
I'll make a separate post about what I'd intend on bringing, but an axe will most likely not be a part of my kit.
A bivy bag, however, will be: I've managed to get the Carinthia Observers Plus on sale, and am itching to use it. :D
I'll warn you, bivy bags really suck.
Source: I've spent in total something like three weeks camping in them, including many days in horrible rain.
Moisture always collects on the inside of them to a degree, because your body perspires, and the bivy bag interior is colder than you are. I have a really fancy and expensive gore-tex like one, and even it still gets a bit wet in the inside.
They're also really claustrophobic during wet weather when you have no choice but to lie down and wait.
These days you can get ultralite tents that weigh about as much as a bivy bag, and pack down almost as small. I strongly recommend getting one of those instead for places like the Netherlands where extreme winds aren't a concern.
The only reason I personally have used bivy bags is 1) desperate trips where I really needed to cut down on weight and bulk, or 2) because I couldn't bring a tent, and wanted to buy something cheap and lite that I would throw away later, or 3) intentional camping in places like caves where you are already protected from most weather and just need to keep drips off.
Now, all that said, the Observer bag you got it kinda tent like... and it weighs even more than my lightest tent!
40 sats \ 1 reply \ @Fabs OP 23 Apr
"Now, all that said, the Observer bag you got it kinda tent like... and it weighs even more than my lightest tent!"
... And that is... Good? 🤨
I've been eyeing the Hilleberg "Enan", as well as the Durston Gear X-Mid 1/2-Pro for a while now... Might just be one of those that I'll settle for.
That's really good information. My only experience with them was in the desert, so rain was more of a hypothetical problem.
You do you, but a small hatchet takes up almost no space and can really come in handy.
I really like foraging and exploring, so my activity planning would probably be along those lines. When you're present and observant, you'll notice things to investigate.
start walking with loads around your neighborhood.
Honestly this and "do a weekend trip" are the best things you can do. I would almost recommend to do this before reading any books....otherwise most of the lessons will be lost on you.
In my youth I did fair amount of hiking / backpacking (longest was 11 day trip). The number 1 mistake I think newbies make is underestimating pack weight.
They load up a 39lb pack, put it on their shoulders and say "yeah I can carry this no problem". They underestimate how difficult this becomes to carry after 10 hours...much less 10 hours a day for 10 days....
A heavy pack forces you to walk in a weird way that then causes other problems as the hours drag on (blisters, knee / ankle pain, etc).
So load up a pack and practice for 5 or 6 hours to get a feel of what it will be like on a trip.
Yeah, I'll definitely do a weekend trip before, simply to be sure that I don't carry unnecessary stuff / forget something.
I'll keep my pack around the ~10 kilo mark, which I've got experience with.
You should really do a number of weekend trips before attempting to go out for a whole week. Two weeks is much harder still.
You will learn many things about your gear, what you need, how heavy it is, and change a lot. You also need to learn about dealing with food, stoves, hygiene (cleaning your dishes and stuff, washing, etc.), first aid for yourself and dealing with hiking issues with your feet (moleskin, bandages, how to handle ankle sprains (bandana), how to handle rashes, cuts, burns, etc.).
And you also need to learn how to handle RAIN. Having the gear, keeping dry, how to pack to keep stuff dry, how to set up camp for rain, and how to cook in the rain.
Most of these things you can learn with only a bit of research, but you need to experience them to really learn. I wouldn’t set off for 1-2 weeks until you have these things down pat.
Oh, also compass and map use.
Hm, I've heard that quite a few times by now, I'll do that first then, sounds rational too.
Also, it would be great if you could go together and learn from someone experienced. Some things are hard to learn except from another person.
For example, you don’t want to keep your pack in your tent. Many beginners think they should, but it’s much better not to. You should leave it outside with a rain cover. Don’t keep food in your tent. Etc.
Yeah, I'm hoping to find like-minded people on the way, but am equally happy to learn myself.
In bear country keep your food nowhere near, and downwind, from your tent.
21 sats \ 1 reply \ @Fabs OP 23 Apr
I wouldn't go camping in bear country anyway. 😜
great advice
If I personally was planning on doing what I think you're doing – hiking around in fairly civilized areas where supplies are plentiful and other options for transport exist – I'd probably just throw what looked like two or three days of food in my backpack based on calories and just wing it without a plan.
Getting some experience doing that first is IMO a good idea. You get a feel for what it actually feels like to hike long distances, and what you actually eat, and how to problem solve.
This is not how you should approach a long distance trip in serious terrain, where failure has consequences and help is a long way away. But where you are planning to go, if you run out of supplies you can just walk to the nearest road and catch a bus pretty easily.
If I'd go serious distances through difficult terrain and possible adverse weather, I'd take a whole other approach, but since I'm not even a beginner, that's not what I should be focusing on right now.
Therefore, I'm doing the above, or "easy-mode" first, partly for the reasons you mentioned as well.
I need a plan though. That just a personal quirk.
Professional guides will often do day-by-day plans outlining what you expect to accomplish on each day and where you expect to be. Each day is the associated with a given amount of supplies (mainly food).
Just go through it, add it all up, and pack it!
Last time I did a reasonable serious trip I was in the Drakensburg mountains in South Africa. I just figured out where I was hopefully going to stay each night, and then laid out my food on the floor of the hotel to figure out what I needed each day. I also planned for a shorter route I could take to leave early.
In the end I wasn't feeling so great and ate a lot less food than I brought... Fortunately I'm fat, so I've got plenty extra. 😂 (Seriously, pretty much everyone who isn't a cancer patient has at least a week or two worth of calories stored as fat!)
I also ended up using my backup plan, as I lost a day due to being unable to find enough water in one spot. So I spent a night somewhere I wasn't intending to that did have water, and made up for it by hiking out a shorter route with one less night spent somewhere else.
Yeah, that's why I'd like to roll with a set plan from the start... It'll spare me unnecessary headaches, maybe not all, but most.
100 sats \ 5 replies \ @kr 22 Apr
when you say backpacking trip do you mean entirely by foot? or are you going to be driving to destinations and backpacking for specific stretches along the route?
Yes, by foot. Maybe I'd take a bus or train here-and-there, as I'm eyeing my home country (Netherlands), which, since it's densely populated, can be a pain to walk through, depending on whether you like walking through crowded cities or not.
Therefore, I'd like to put it together in such a way that I can keep out of the cities as much as possible, while incorporating a village here-and-there to stock-up on food or water. 😃
haven’t done any long backpacking trips entirely by foot, sounds fun though!
Hm, but how did you plan them?
0 sats \ 1 reply \ @kr 22 Apr
i typically take a car and go for day trip hikes along my journey, so each night i can scope out the area and plan the next day from a hotel or something
Hm, that's different indeed.
If you are thinking of backpacking... Try this idea.
Lol, I prefer a lighter pack instead of a giant helium balloon 🤣
I typically pull up alltrails or hiking project (or just Google) and find a location to get excited about first. If you're like me you way over prepare/plan in the beginning but realize how little you actually end up needing. I think self-reliance/confidence requires recognizing that when unexpected things happens your intuition will carry you through. I think the best way to achieve that is to not stress about the plan and just hit the road.


What would happen if you went anyway?
It'd be a short trip filled with planning while on the move, constant changes of mind and unnecessary stress, leading to me not being able to actually enjoy it.
Maybe I'm talking from experience, I don't know... 🥲
Maybe, maybe not. All it takes is one good experience to change your perspective. I find plans = expectations, and if you go in with lower expectations you'll be pleasantly surprised more often.
Take a look at this blog, maybe it will open your mind to this incredible opportunity. blog
ohh whoa, you backpack? get those pictures in. That is a privilege most do not have even in a so-called free country.
Oh, I will! 😋
Not even within the country?
I wouldn't, Im too tired from backpacking through life. I have found that to carry with you basic essentials, and whatever you need will show up.
Forget about it, you will never do it, you just like posting about it....
Hm, and you're basing that off of a former post in which I'm looking for advice on finding people to do INTERNATIONAL trips with, in a post where I'm asking for advice on making a start in my home country, SOLO.
Can you spot the difference? I don't read you that often, let's keep it that way, shall we.
Edit: Don't worry, I'll write your nym down, and @ you on the post about the trip, however long it's going to be, this spring / summer.
They are not identical, but essentially the same, you know that. You like to think about it but will never do it. In three months you will do another post on how to find partners for a hiking trip in you home country, or whatever. Just give up, accept that you will never go and have a boring, regular life.
Hm, would you take someone with you on an international trip who has no experience whatsoever?
Would you even recommend someone like me doing so in the first place?
Ah. Maybe now you'll see that the above might be part of a bigger picture.
Go fuck off with your depressing words and remember to tell me that you were wrong and sorry for how you're acting now.
As I see it, you're not truly interested in the topics you start and it seems you're stuck in endless mental exercises. From experience (believe me) I know that's not a fun way to live life and it's hard to get out of that from within that framework. So yes I said something that was a little challenging.
Reading your responses, my take could be right on the money, but who knows. In the end only you.
Be well.
And as I see it, you think that you're able to create a profile about people based on some posts, of which some are serious, and some are simply to get people involved.
Stop forcing your view onto people, you're neither helpful, nor wanted.
So a post like this is not serious but 'just to get people involved'. It reads pretty serious, I wonder if people realize it's not.
Anyway, turns out I was right then: you're not truly interested. The internet doesn't need people to post things to 'get them involved', you're wasting peoples time and trying to earn sats with your bs stories.
Says who? You? Sure, enables you to make some kind of point, ain't it?
Posts like the one in question are of serious nature, but posts like "What technological innovation will usher in a new golden age" are the kind which aim to get people involved.
The fact that I even have to be this clear shows that you're pursuing something other than "keeping order on SN"...
You're desperately trying to create a case against me, but I don't know why.
Did I hurt your feelings sometime in the past?
Start with a small trips, and each time go for a bit longer. You need experience and you only get that by doing.
My plan... This and a quick trip to the market..
Ohh! You've converted a van? Awesome!
Yeah, I really dig those things, but I don't drive, and generally like the flexibility and autonomy of my feet; to each their own.
Have any pics?
I did convert a couple.. That pic i just grabbed from the interwebs.. I used to have one just like that.. Off road capable..
Nowadays i own a converted Hyundai H1.. Since i got my kids, life is different now.. Less time for me, less time to adventure..
Is it difficult to do? What about costs and what did you include?
0 sats \ 1 reply \ @fm 22 Apr
The Vw brick is super expensive..
The rest is just expensive..
My actual was not bad, because with the new emission laws, people are dumping old cars and vans.. I cant entrer major cities with it.. For living, with arround a 1000 euro cuck bucks you can get your furniture for sleeping.. plus the van
Hm. I'll keep at the backpack.
It's still cool though, I dig those conversions in general, not only vans.
you read and carry real maps (topo) and compass?
Nope, I intend to use my phone, since it's more comfortable, easy and I've got it with me anyways.
I've ordered a powerbank (20.000amph) which will keep the lights on.
You should always have a paper map and a compass if you don't know the area confidently. Phones do break, and power banks often fail in bad weather.
Though from the sounds of it, you're not doing anything serious where you'll actually be far away from civilization and roads. In your case, since the consequences of failure aren't a big deal, you don't need backups.
My thinking exactly.
I'm never far away from "civilization" and most likely won't encounter any truly "desolate" places anyway, especially in the spring and summer.
If I'd go on a crossing through Sweden or Norway, you bet that I'd have the necessary redundancies on hand.
big balls
Why? Remember, it's no crossing through Alaska.
sounds like you are comfy, so good luck
Listen, I'd take those with me on a serious trip, not to get my feet wet in a country like the Netherlands, we're I'll have to try my damn hardest to get into real danger. I'm not venturing out into the grand canyons.
Who are you trying to convince?
31 sats \ 1 reply \ @Fabs OP 22 Apr
You guys make me feel like I need to. 😶‍🌫️
0 sats \ 1 reply \ @gd 22 Apr
If you're going in to the outdoors for prolonged adventure, be prepared for survival. Even if a survival-esque trip is not your intention.
It's the Netherlands, you won't be "survivalling" for long here. 😜
A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Backpacking Trip https://www.meredithfontana.com/post/how-to-plan-a-backpacking-trip
I've had a quick skim of the article, and it looks very promising! Thanks, will have a read in the evening.
Yo wtf, did someone have a typo while zapping?