How Many Miles Should My First Backpacking Trip Be?

By Robert Palmer

Backpacking is one of the best ways to experience the great outdoors and get away from everyday stresses. Although it can be a daunting task to plan your first backpacking trip, there are some guidelines you can follow to make sure you have a great experience.

Choose a Route
It’s important to select a route that matches your skill level and physical fitness. If you’re new to backpacking, it’s best to choose a short, easy route with minimal elevation gain, such as an out-and-back trail or loop trail. Don’t forget to factor in potential hazards like wildlife and weather conditions when selecting your route.

Plan for Distance
Most backpackers tend to walk about two miles per hour in moderate terrain, although this can vary depending on factors like elevation change and physical fitness. Beginner backpackers should aim for no more than ten miles per day. This will give you enough time to stop and enjoy the scenery while still allowing you time to set up camp before dark.

Include Rest Days
It’s important not only to plan for distance but also schedule rest days into your trip. This will give you a chance to recuperate from strenuous days of hiking and explore your surroundings without having the pressure of making progress on the trail.

Bring Enough Supplies
Make sure you bring enough food, water, and other supplies for your entire trip, including any unexpected delays due to bad weather or injuries. It’s best to err on the side of caution when packing as carrying too much weight is better than not having enough supplies in an emergency situation.

Conclusion: How many miles should my first backpacking trip be? The answer depends on your skill level and physical fitness but ideally no more than ten miles per day with some rest days included in the plan. Make sure you bring enough supplies for any unexpected delays or emergencies as well as take into account potential hazards like wildlife or bad weather conditions when planning your route.