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How to Plan Backpacking Trips – PDF Guide

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Written by Lisa D. Holmes / I Heart Pacific Northwest

Get the most out of trips by tailoring plans to meet your needs and interests with this 42-page PDF guide.

I’ve used this method to plan over 70 backpacking trips throughout Oregon and Washington, and now I'm sharing my full process in this guide, including the following steps:

Set Trip Parameters: Learn how to plan the type of trip that fits your backpacking style – whether that's a trip based on spending more time at camp, hiking to cover more miles, or a mix of both.

Determine Trip Location: Learn more about when areas in the Pacific Northwest are accessible for backpacking.

Permits, Regulations & Trail Conditions: When you are considering a backpacking destination, you’ll need to know whether passes and permits are required as well as any restrictions or regulations in place for specific areas.

Weather Forecasts & Current Conditions: Weather conditions, wildfires, and even insects can have a big impact on trip plans – sometimes necessitating the need for a backup plan to a different destination. The resources in this section will show you how to check conditions before heading out.

Planning Routes Using Maps: Maps are critical to have once you are on the trail, but they are also an essential part of trip planning. Learn more about map resources specifically for backpacking.

Documenting Trip Plans: Learn how to document a trip plan to communicate effectively with other trip members and provide a detailed trip itinerary to leave with someone in case of an emergency.

Prep Gear & Food: Tailor your food/gear approach to multiple variables, including weather conditions, terrain, length of trip, and personal preferences. A downloadable gear checklist is included.

Also included are links to useful resources in Oregon and Washington, a downloadable backpacking gear checklist, and a trip itinerary form with fillable fields.

What People Are Saying

“In this easy to read, yet comprehensive guide, Lisa’s love for backpacking shines through as she helps us plan our next (or first ever!) backpacking experience. She provides lists and links that think of everything for us so we can confidently head out to adventure!” ~ Julie A.

“This guide is a go-to resource for new and experienced backpackers and hikers. Lisa is spot on with her advice on planning and preparation. Plus don’t miss her gear recommendations for lightening your pack and for creature comforts.” ~ Robyn P.

Usage: The "How to Plan Backpacking Trips" PDF Guide may not be distributed, shared, or duplicated without the express permission of the author / I Heart Pacific Northwest.

You will get a PDF (11MB) file
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