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    I've Backpacked My Whole Life And Would Recommend It To Anyone; Here Are Some Tips For Total Beginners

    I've backpacked my whole life — and I'd recommend it to anyone who is craving adventure.

    If you're over campsite crowds — and campsite fees — all you have to do is strap a pack on your back and head into the backcountry.

    Person with backpack on at a lake in the mountains

    It sounds easy, but in all honesty, backpacking is totally different from standard tent camping — for starters, you have to carry everything you want to bring.

    Person with backpack on on a trail

    Here's how to do it, what to pack, and what to avoid:

    1. It all starts with a good backpack.

    Woman on a hiking trail in the mountains

    2. Your sleeping bag, camping mattress, and tent will take up a lot of space — so make sure you go with lightweight, backpacking versions of all three.

    Backpacks and gear in a pile

    3. Cooking on a backpacking trip requires some serious planning — thankfully, good dehydrated camping meals exist.

    Person cooking dinner

    4. And if you go the dehydrated meal route, the only cooking gear you'll need to bring is a Jetboil stove, a cup, and a spoon.

    Jetboil and meal packet

    5. Bring a Steripen purifier for filtering water.

    Woman cleaning water with a Steripen

    6. Little extras can make your backpacking trip more enjoyable.

    Dog in a hammock

    7. When it comes to clothes, less is more and layers are key.

    Woman lying on her backpack in the mountains

    8. Bring a pair of slip-on, lightweight shoes for hanging at camp.

    Woman wearing white Birkenstocks

    9. Then there are all the extras — most importantly, a headlamp, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and a camping towel.

    REI camping towel

    10. If you're worried about your phone battery, bring a power bank and keep it warm.

    Phone connected to a power bank

    11. I always bring along a little backpacking emergency kit with everything from trail marker tape and blister supplies to Tylenol and Pedialyte.

    Emergency kit items

    12. I have fire starter in my kit, but first, make sure you're allowed to have a fire and collect wood where you're camping.

    People around a campfire under a starry sky

    13. You'll also want to review regulations around going to the bathroom in the woods.

    Wild space in the mountains

    14. And, of course, follow the "Leave no trace" principles.

    Two women hiking with backpacks on