Top tips for hiking, backpacking and lightweight camping



For a trouble-free hiking and lightweight camping trip make sure you plan ahead. Here's some things you should do before setting off:

  • Make a list of essentials to always carry with you
  • Book your campsite in advance
  • Use websites to gain the latest information about where and when you can go – for example, your intended route might be compromised in a forested area due to tree felling
  • If you are in a new town, visit the Tourist Information Centre and ask their opinion of your intended route
  • Read up on the signs and symbols used in the countryside
  • Check the weather before you leave, and keep an eye on it during the day
  • If you are uncertain about the conditions, do not be afraid to turn back
  • Carry up-to-date maps or guidebooks
  • Follow advice and local signs
  • Never deviate off your intended route
  • Be prepared for the unexpected
  • Always advise friends of your intended route



If you're planning a backpacking/camping trip don't leave home without these essential pieces of kit:

  • Lightweight tent
  • Sleeping bag/mat
  • Waterproofs
  • Hat and gloves
  • Food and drink
  • Map and compass
  • Head torch (plus spare batteries)
  • First aid kit (including blister pack)
  • Spare laces
  • Suncream
  • Trekking poles

We've got more ideas on the gear you should take on a wild backpack camping adventure here


You don't need to be ultra-fit to go backpacking but you will need to get into shape. Here's some tips:

  • Take daily walks of 30 minutes
  • Walk at around the same time each day
  • Cover a set distance each day and monitor how long it takes
  • Start each walk at a gentle pace to allow muscles to warm up, and pick up the speed gradually
  • Find a walking partner, to make the time more interesting
  • Do not push yourself so hard that you become breathless
  • Increase your speed gradually by including periods of quick walking
  • Walk within your target heart rate (your doctor should help you with this)
  • Vary your route and take the odd incline
  • Increase the intensity as the weeks progress and as you find your fitness level improves
  • Wear a hat and sun cream
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and after exercise
  • Gently stretch leg muscles after each walk



Finished reading?

Want more excellent information and advice about lightweight camping and backpacking?

Our complete guide to wild backpack camping adventures is full of great advice.

  Lightweight camping: The ultimate guide

Expert Camping advice to your door!

Camping Magazine

Camping magazine has been the voice of campers for over 60 years!

Camping is the UK's only magazine devoted to the wonderful world of life under canvas and the freedom it brings. Every issue is packed with inspirational travel, the top camping sites to stay on, reviews of the latest tents, camping gear reviews, practical help and much more to help you get the most out of your camping adventures.

Want to know more about Camping Magazine?

About Camping Magazine