Backpacking in Zion for Beginners

What is backpacking?

Backpacking is an activity where you travel in different places while carrying all of your supplies that you’ll need inside your backpack. Your sleeping materials, your utensils, extra clothes, your food, all of it is loaded in your backpack.

When and Where to go?

It is ideal to start your backpacking trip on the same time that it is best to go for camping in Zion, summertime. But luckily Zion has wonderful Fall’s and Springs as well. The temperature may be a little lower, but the heat isn’t as bad either.

There are a lot of places that you can visit while backpacking in Zion. One of the most popular is the West Rim trail that ends up in Emerald Pools. But for beginners, it is advisable that you start in places that you are familiar with, so it will not be difficult for you to find your way back in case you get lost or if something bad happens to you, you will know exactly where to go.

Things you Must Always Remember When Backpacking in Zion

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Have a schedule before going into Zions backcountry

It is always best to plan ahead so that you can maximize your time and the opportunities while backpacking. Make a schedule so that everything is organized. In this way, you will always know what to do next. Also, to save time, choose the shortest routes with the easiest trails.

Keep yourself healthy

Backpacking requires a lot of walking and hiking so be prepared physically. You will be pleased with your performance if you are in a healthy condition. Always find time to exercise. A long walk, cycling, or jogging is good to keep your heart healthy and your thighs strong.

Choose the proper backpack

This is the most important thing that you should make sure to be in good condition. Make sure that your backpack can be adjusted to a desired height depending on your body. There should be a soft padding on the shoulder and the waist straps. Your bag should be big enough to fit all your things. Avoid putting things loosely on the outside pockets as it might get lost or stolen. It is important to keep your bag dry so use a plastic bag to keep your things from getting wet. As a precaution, put your sleeping bag and your clothes on a separate plastic bag.

Pack light

For most people, it is better to pack light. Many people, whether beginners or professionals, still commit the mistake of packing too much. Always find a way to make your bagpack lighter. But your things should not only be light, it also needs to be durable. Before going out of your house, weigh your bag. It should not exceed 16 kilograms. Your bag should not be heavier than 30% of your body weight so leave unnecessary things that will only be a burden to you.

Food and cooking

In choosing the proper foods to bring choose those that are light, easy to cook and do not spoil quickly. To save weight, avoid foods that contain a lot of water like fruits and vegetable. Go for dry foods that can be easily cooked like instant noodles and instant oatmeal. Not only are instant foods light on the bag but it also takes less time to prepare. Avoid also bringing canned foods and bottles since other parks do not allow them to be brought inside.

As for cooking tools, you can do away with knives and forks; you will only need a spoon. You may also leave your plate and mug since a cup may already be enough for eating and drinking. Bring only one cooking pot that is light and durable.

If you will be allowed to cook and there will be available woods for cooking, then you can leave your gas. However, if you do not know how to cook using wood, then you bring your gas. Keep in mind cooking with gas is faster and safer.

Water

Always bring plenty of water. Strain or sterilize your water to make sure that it is safe for drinking. Bring at least three (3) liters of water everyday. If the weather is hot then you might want to bring as much as six (6) liters. If ever you will find a stream or river and you want to drink from it, don't forget to strain it first. If there will be no source of water in your destination, then bring plenty of water.

Clothes to bring

For your attire it will be better to wear something dry and comfortable that will keep you warm. Avoid bringing too much clothes. Don't bring too many socks since you can always use them again. Do not bring thick clothes like denims or wool, not only are they heavy but they also took a long time to get dry. Go for light and thin clothes. Put additional layers of clothing to keep you warm. Inside, wear a type of cloth that will absorb your sweat like cotton. Above it, wear something that will protect you from winds and rain. For your feet, wear boots or shoes that will give you support to help you carry the weight of your backpack. Comfortable socks are also important; choose socks that are thin that also absorbs sweat.

Tent

For your tent, use a light one that has a good ventilation, waterproof and roomy so you will always have a comfortable sleep. If you can afford extra expense, you can buy an automatic tent that sets up in seconds.

Pack in an organized manner

As for the order of putting all these things in your backpack put all those things that you will not use often first so they will be in the bottom since you will not always reach for them. These are usually your blanket, trash bag, and sleeping bag. These things in the bottom should be packed neatly and tightly so as to maximize the space in your bag. Next, put your clothes, cooking tools, and foods in the middle. You can put things inside the pot to save space. On top of your bag or in the easy reach pockets, you should place your flashlight, finger foods, umbrella, first-aid kit, camera, and most importantly, water. Lastly, for those small and light things like keys, cell phone, matches, you can put them in your pocket.