Outdoor activities have numerous benefits; some improve physical fitness and overall health while others work to revitalize the mind and soul. But what if we told you that there’s one activity that combines the best of both worlds! It’s true. Backpacking is, without a doubt, the ultimate outdoor adventure for every explorer out there. Hitting the road with nothing more than the necessities on your back evokes an unmatched sense of freedom that can satisfy your thirst for an adventure like no other activity could. Whether it’s across the country or around the world, backpacking is a hobby that you need to take up. Here’s why.
It Doesn’t Require any Experience.
One of the best things about backpacking is that unlike many other outdoor activities, such as surfing, for example, it doesn’t require any prior training or experience. This means that you can go backpacking tomorrow if you feel like it! Going on a backpacking trip does require some preparation, though. Depending on where you’re going and how long you plan to stay on the road, there are some essentials you need to pack.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start by covering the 11 survival basics: food, water, clothing, shelter, tools, fire, lighting, navigation, hygiene, first aid, and sun protection. Pretty much all the backpacking essentials you’ll need, including your sleeping bag, headlamp, pocketknife, bug repellant, portable charger, and tent, will fall under these categories.
You need to keep in mind the changing weather conditions. This means that you should bring only waterproof clothes and gear. Backpacking gear can include a variety of things, some of which are basics, and others depend on what kind of a backpacking trip you’re planning to take. For example, something you certainly need to have on you is a backpacking chair. When it comes to choosing the right chair, you must look at reviews to understand what kind would suit you best. It’s just as important to ensure that the chair you pick is easy to carry and can withstand any type of weather. This applies to all of the gear that you take with you- make sure that you invest in quality gear and do your homework so that you understand the difference between one item and the other, as there will be a variety of options, and this can get confusing at times.
Backpacking Will Improve Your Mood
Backpacking through natural terrains helps keep your senses alive and active. Your eyes will be busy taking in the surrounding beauty, your ears will be keeping track of any strange sounds, your skin will be feeling the breeze, and your nose will be breathing in the fresh air. Not only will all this will make you feel more connected to Mother Nature but, when your body is this engaged and stimulated, you’ll start to feel your worries and anxiety fade away, which, by default, will make you feel instantly calm and relaxed.
Think of backpacking as an alternative form of therapy that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and energized. Furthermore, spending time in nature is proven to have a positive impact on our self-image and self-esteem, thereby improving our mood.
It Can Enhance Your Creativity
There’s a reason why the greatest artists in history drew inspiration from nature. The beauty, fresh air, peace, and quiet are both soothing and reinvigorating. This combination brings about a sense of total tranquility that gets your creative juices flowing.
In addition to that, backpacking involves exploring different areas, with different cities, terrains, and conditions, which means that you are likely to encounter challenges that require you to stay sharp, apply your problem-solving skills, and come up with creative solutions to overcome them. You will probably feel your creativity flowing long after you come back home, as research shows that creativity levels increase by up to 50% after a hike.
Backpacking Improves Fitness Levels and Overall Health
One of the more obvious reasons to take up backpacking is for exercise and health benefits. Backpacking involves long durations of walking and climbing, which helps stretch and exercise virtually every muscle in the body. After several hikes, you’ll start to notice an exponential improvement in your balance, fitness levels, and physical strength.
Generally speaking, staying active is good for your overall well being. Not only does backpacking help relieve stress and manage depression, but it also improves cardiovascular health, lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke, slows down the bone loss process, regulates blood pressure, and increases stamina.
You Can Personalize Your Backpacking Trip
Long or short, steep or flat, slow or fast, across the city or around the world, easy or difficult, through a forest or a city, camping or hiking; there are so many different places and ways to backpack. This means that you can tailor the perfect trip based on your preferences. You can also choose to go alone or with a friend. Whichever way you go about it, backpacking is guaranteed to be a life-changing hobby for you.
The bottom line is, if you enjoy the great outdoors and are looking for an exciting hobby that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, then backpacking is the perfect choice for you. Apart from the interaction with nature and the numerous health benefits it provides, backpacking will give you the chance to visit new places, meet new people, and see the world from an entirely new perspective. So go ahead, embrace your sense of adventure, and get ready to hit that trail!