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Tips for backpacking beginners

Kidsday reporter Maceo Blumberg, right, with his brothers,

Kidsday reporter Maceo Blumberg, right, with his brothers, Ryder and Noah, and parents Josh Blumberg and Celina Cabello. Credit: Blumberg family

I like to go backpacking. Backpacking is when you hike and carry a backpack with all your supplies. Everything you carry in, you have to carry out.

Preparing to go backpacking requires work. You have to plan out where you are going, how long you will be there and what the weather will be so that you can bring the right amount of food and clothes. It’s important to know where your source of water is and to bring something to treat the water. You need the proper equipment without having a heavy backpack.

While backpacking, look for trail markers. They guide you on the path and lead you to your campground. You can only camp certain places. You can also use GPS or a map and that helps you know your mileage.

At your campground you have to figure out where you are going to settle in. At some sites there are lean-tos, or you can set up a tent. Fire safety is important. You should only make a fire in a fire pit, an area surrounded by rocks to keep the fire in. The pit should be in the open, not near your tent or any trees. This is where you cook. It’s best to bring dried, dehydrated foods that only need hot water. At night you have to take all your food, anything that has food on it and anything that smells and put it in a bag or bear-proof container. If it is a bag, you have to hang it high in the trees so that the bears don’t get it.

I’ve backpacked in a lot of different parks in New York. The two regions that are best for backpacking are the Catskills and Adirondacks. The best time of year is the spring or fall because it is nice out — not too hot and not too cold.

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