Trekking and Wildcamping tips – Overpreparation

Before embarking on your overnight adventure, do you think you have prepared and packed enough?

Many times, I see many inexperienced trekkers (and even a few experienced trekkers) who have not packed sufficient essential gear they need, and have not prepared enough, to complete their adventure both comfortably and with proper safety (having brushed onto the side of getting into a real survival situation).

If you’re unsure of how much to pack, some good rules to follow, is to pack what you essentially need AND pack extras of those just in case – for eg; if you think you need that jacket and that sleeping bag to keep you warm at night would be enough, maybe its a good idea to bring additional layers stored dry and safely in your backpack just in case. Sure it will be added weight and bulk to carry, but by overpreparing, you’ll be sure that you have additional layers of safety and support when you really need it, and after your trip’s experience, you know what you can do without in the future. It’s better to carry that additional weight and feel a little bit more uncomfortable from physical exertion, trekking, then learn from the experience and cut back later, THAN to regret not bringing that gear and brush yourself against a possible real survival situation, or worse, put yourself at risk of death.

So that’s the whole idea for overpreparing with gear. Basically, look into what you need to get you by safely with the essentials – food, water, protection (shelter), navigation, first aid, and add additional “layers” of support to those just in case.

The same idea could be applied to overpreparing on your navigation plans as well – for eg; it can be a great idea to bring additional maps. Plan ahead and plan extra for bad weather.. even if it doesn’t seem likely that the weather will turn bad.. and so on.. you get the idea. You can always hack away the unessentials later on in your future trips once you gain valuable experience and wisdom from what you learnt in your past trips.

So the “take-home-message” here is; take more with you, plan more, have plenty of backups and you have another time for upcoming new outdoor adventures as you learn as you go. If you take less, you may run the risk of never having the chance to learn from your experience and go on new adventures again… aka – death – if you die, that’s it. You only have 1 life. It’s not a bad idea to take more with you and prepare more, and sensibly hack away the unessentials as you learn and grow, subsequently with future adventures.

– Coach Glen Poh.

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