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Going backpacking for the first time in April, need input
#1
As the title says, I'm going backpacking for the first time this April. I've gone camping probably a dozen times in my life, but it was never really a challenge because we would go to designated campgrounds, bring a truckload of stuff, and be no more than a few hundred yards from bathrooms with running hot water. I thought it was time for a challenge, and I've always wanted to get out into the middle of nowhere and truly get the outdoors experience. I want to bring a minimal amount of supplies, and survive using primitive technology such as hunting/trapping, starting fires, building shelters, etc.

Luckily for me, I was able to get a few friends on board with the idea. Two of them already have backpacking experience, and one does not. It will be the four of us total.

So I started by simply making a list of things that I will need, and here's what I came up with:

Backpack
Tent
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Clothing
Rain gear
Food/water
Water purification
Cooking gear
Navigation
Breakdown 22 rifle and ammo
Fishing gear
Book of edible plants
Paracord
Fire starters
Folding Saw
Knife
Shapening stone
Headlamp/flashlights
First Aid
Bug spray
Sunglasses/sunscreen
Toiletries
Communications
Solar USB charger to charge flashlights, comms gear
GPS emergency beacon
Trash bags
Gallon zip lock bags

The first thing I did was buy a backpack and tent.

Here’s the backpack I got:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001947...UTF8&psc=1

and tent:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EQC...UTF8&psc=1

I also got a camelback:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00412H...UTF8&psc=1

Most of the other stuff on the list I already have, with a few exceptions.

So does anyone have suggestions of things I should add to the list, or things I should remove? Or any advice in general regarding backpacking?

Also, what locations do you recommend for this trip, preferably within 3-4 hours drive of Bucks County?

Lastly, I'm considering bringing my dog. Any advice regarding that?
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#2
Looks like you pretty much have it covered:

water bottle
"windproof" matches
2 or 3 butane lighters
small amount of electric tape/duct tape.
whistle
small lightweight tarp 1001 uses.
don't forgwet to cut a ground cover for under your tent.

I would ditch the recharger and the rifle.
Welcome to ObamaNation part deuxUtg
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#3
God's Country;84954 Wrote:Looks like you pretty much have it covered:

water bottle
"windproof" matches
2 or 3 butane lighters
small amount of electric tape/duct tape.
whistle
small lightweight tarp 1001 uses.
don't forgwet to cut a ground cover for under your tent.

I would ditch the recharger and the rifle.

Thanks.

I did order some waterproof storm matches. I also have a flint/magnesium firestarter. As for tape, I have some 2" wide electrical tape, which could fit the role for both electrical tape and duct tape. I'll add that to the list. Is the whistle really necessary, since I have comms and a GPS beacon, and I can whistle extremely loudly using my fingers?

As for the tarp/ground cover, did you look at the tent in the link that I bought? It's supposed to be 100% waterproof. I'm thinking that a tarp might just be more unnecessary weight.
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#4
Oh yeah and as for the gun, why not? It weighs about 3 pounds, and can feed me. I'm not experienced with trapping, but I definitely know how to hunt squirrels and rabbits. I want to learn the art of trapping as well, but in a survival situation I want to have as many options as reasonably possible.
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#5
Artificially sweetened Kool-Aid packets. If you have to use those purification tablets, you're gonna want that.

You don't have food listed, have you planned that out yet? We used to take things like roasted peanuts mixed with M&M's as a snack. Dried Papaya is also a good snack for energy. If you're planning on gathering all your own food while backpacking, then you'll want to bring salt, pepper and some other small packets of spices. Bland food just do on the trail.

As for where, not sure that far east, but I've hiked the Susquehannock, Black Forrest, Loyalsock and part of the Appalachian trail.
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#6
Are you going back packing, or practice bug out survival?

I ask because if you're just going backpacking, then there is no need to carry things like a break down 22, for example.

The lighter your pack, the better off you'll be.

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#7
bac0nfat;84956 Wrote:
God's Country;84954 Wrote:Looks like you pretty much have it covered:

water bottle
"windproof" matches
2 or 3 butane lighters
small amount of electric tape/duct tape.
whistle
small lightweight tarp 1001 uses.
don't forgwet to cut a ground cover for under your tent.

I would ditch the recharger and the rifle.

Thanks.

I did order some waterproof storm matches. I also have a flint/magnesium firestarter. As for tape, I have some 2" wide electrical tape, which could fit the role for both electrical tape and duct tape. I'll add that to the list. Is the whistle really necessary, since I have comms and a GPS beacon, and I can whistle extremely loudly using my fingers?

As for the tarp/ground cover, did you look at the tent in the link that I bought? It's supposed to be 100% waterproof. I'm thinking that a tarp might just be more unnecessary weight.

When you load up that pack and put a couple miles on, you;ll be wishing you left half of everything home...trust me.

You will discover for yourself what's necessary and what's not over time. IMO unless your hunting, a rifle is too much extra weight.
The tape you can roll onto a pencil to save room and weight. They use to sell duck tape on small flat cardboard, for packing.

I'm old school, but a good whistle if freaking loud, and requires minimal effort to use.

Trust me no tent is waterproof. I don't care what it's made of. Use the clear plastic for your tarp/ground cover. The ground cover will protect the tent floor, and when your stuck in a tent for days in wet stormy weather you'r etent floor will be dry as a bone. Just be sure it's trimmed a couple inches in from the edges of the floor so no water will run off the rain fly and pool. Trust me.

I would say a magnesium fire starter is overkill too, but you'll work it out.
Welcome to ObamaNation part deuxUtg
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#8
streaker69;84969 Wrote:Artificially sweetened Kool-Aid packets. If you have to use those purification tablets, you're gonna want that.

You don't have food listed, have you planned that out yet? We used to take things like roasted peanuts mixed with M&M's as a snack. Dried Papaya is also a good snack for energy. If you're planning on gathering all your own food while backpacking, then you'll want to bring salt, pepper and some other small packets of spices. Bland food just do on the trail.

As for where, not sure that far east, but I've hiked the Susquehannock, Black Forrest, Loyalsock and part of the Appalachian trail.

Good idea on the kool-aid packets. I was unaware of a change in taste with those tablets, as I've never used them before. I'm also going to bring a Life Straw with me.

As for food, I haven't figured out what I'm bringing yet. It will probably be high fat and carb foods for the most energy density. Energy bars are a must. I still need to figure out what to pack for full meals. I'd like to get most of my food from hunting/trapping, but I will need a backup in case that doesn't work out.

JustinHEMI;84972 Wrote:Are you going back packing, or practice bug out survival?

I ask because if you're just going backpacking, then there is no need to carry things like a break down 22, for example.

The lighter your pack, the better off you'll be.

Justin

A little bit of both. Right now my main motivation is just getting out there, and away from the stress of my life. Learning survival is just going to be a bonus.

I read an article about the difference between "backpacking" and "thru-hiking," here is the link:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/...iking.html

That article really opened my eyes about bringing the minimum supplies possible. But it also made me realize that a beginner is better off going shorter distances and bringing more gear. And as you gain experience, you can lighten your load and travel further. I'm not going from point A to point B; I will have no set schedule and can go at any pace I want. Heck, I could hike out five miles and just make camp there if it was really a problem. More hardcore trips will come later.


God's Country;84974 Wrote:
bac0nfat;84956 Wrote:Thanks.

I did order some waterproof storm matches. I also have a flint/magnesium firestarter. As for tape, I have some 2" wide electrical tape, which could fit the role for both electrical tape and duct tape. I'll add that to the list. Is the whistle really necessary, since I have comms and a GPS beacon, and I can whistle extremely loudly using my fingers?

As for the tarp/ground cover, did you look at the tent in the link that I bought? It's supposed to be 100% waterproof. I'm thinking that a tarp might just be more unnecessary weight.

When you load up that pack and put a couple miles on, you;ll be wishing you left half of everything home...trust me.

You will discover for yourself what's necessary and what's not over time. IMO unless your hunting, a rifle is too much extra weight.
The tape you can roll onto a pencil to save room and weight. They use to sell duck tape on small flat cardboard, for packing.

I'm old school, but a good whistle if freaking loud, and requires minimal effort to use.

Trust me no tent is waterproof. I don't care what it's made of. Use the clear plastic for your tarp/ground cover. The ground cover will protect the tent floor, and when your stuck in a tent for days in wet stormy weather you'r etent floor will be dry as a bone. Just be sure it's trimmed a couple inches in from the edges of the floor so no water will run off the rain fly and pool. Trust me.

I would say a magnesium fire starter is overkill too, but you'll work it out.

Makes sense. See my response to Justin about the packing light thing.
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#9
One more general tip, but it might not apply to this trip because you're going in April. If you're hiking and it starts to rain, do not put on a rain poncho. Just cover your pack to keep it dry, but don't worry about keeping yourself dry. Hiking in the woods in the rain is about 3000% humidity. Wearing a plastic rain poncho is like sitting in your own little sauna.
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#10
Well have fun! Backpacking is my all time favorite recreational activity.

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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