Twenty Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Backpacking

Twenty Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Backpacking

  1. What is the weather going to be like?
  2. What is my route going to be?
  3. Is the daily mileage and elevation gain realistically doable?
  4. Do I need to make arrangements for a shuttle or ride to and from the trailheads?
  5. Do I have all the gear needed to be safe?
  6. What types of food do I want to take?
  7. Who is going with me?
  8. How much food do I need?
  9. Do I need to resupply?
  10. Are there any river crossings?
  11. Will I be hiking over snow?
  12. Will I have cell service?
  13. Are fires allowed?
  14. How heavily trafficked is my route?
  15. Easy escape routes?
  16. What is the highest altitude I will be sleeping at?
  17. Are dogs allowed?
  18. How far apart are reliable water sources?
  19. Will there be insects?
  20. What types of wildlife will I encounter?


A major part of backpacking is the planning process and making sure you will be prepared to survive on your own out in the elements.  These 20 questions are a good start to ensuring your safety in the backcountry!


What questions would you add to the list?  I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below!


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2 thoughts on “Twenty Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Backpacking”

  • Hey there,

    You know what questions I would add? Here they are:
    1) Are you backpacking alone?
    2) Are you taking the necessary tools for survival in case of an accident?
    3) Do you know anyone recommending the place?
    4) Will you miss home?
    5) Have you tried (name of food, drink here)?

    • Great additions!  I especially like the tools for survival one since you really need to be self sufficient out in the wilderness.  Many people have an artificial sense of safety with phones, spot devices, and gps but there are times when search and rescue cannot get to you.  

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