View Full Version : Im a Newbie

2006-01-05, 19:29
My Friends and I want to do some off trail hiking and camping, since I have never done anything like this I thought I would ask people who have done this kinda thing and see what I need to do to be able to do this. Id appricate any help on this topic and you can email me at ghsman04@hotmail.com to talk to me directly, thank you

2006-01-05, 19:39
There is a lot of experience around this board. Give us some info:
Where are you going? How many nights out? Will you be hiking or just camping? What kind of gear (sleeping bag, tent, clothing, cooking gear, etc.) do you currently own?

SGT Rock
2006-01-05, 20:47
Yes post here. That is the beauty of a forum - those sorts of discussions get preserved in a public place so later others with the same issues or questions can benifit from the conversation.

Good luck!

2006-01-05, 21:58
I am by no means an expert.. but I would be happy to share some
experiences in off trail hiking. Have aprox 60-ish nights spent off trail, in
northern Ontario. Longest consecutive; 12 nights. Longest distance
travelled off trail aprox 105 km (60someish miles). Not much ...compared
to SAR training and such, but I wouldn't say novice either.
There are some pretty major survivalists here too that I would highly
recommend listening to any input they have for you. Lastly, this forum
is stocked full of military guys, so if your land navigation could use a
few tips, these guys are invaluable. Welcome to the forum.

Let us know where you are, where you intend to hike off trail.
What the terrain is like, your basic gear loadout, any specific
questions you have, and we will try and make the best suggestions
we can for you.

2006-01-06, 13:59
hi, and welcome.

like rock said, post your questions here, and they'll be preserved for others... that's good and bad, but don't worry about sounding 'stupid'... there's always a troll out there who will jump on you and have something rude to say, but the vast majority of us are pretty decent. (except when we get in a really bad mood, but the others will set us straight again...) i love it here.

again, welcome, and ask away. i guess a good place to start would be where are you going, for how long, when, and how are you getting there (foot/pack animal/canoe/moped/unicycle)

(ok, and some of us have a really strange sense of humor... )

2006-01-06, 16:57
Appalachian Mountain somewhere, or somwhere close to where I live, (ohio) .
I have all the Basic camping stuff. I also have a lot of hunting stuff that might be useful, Like heating pouches, water tablets and marker tape.. I do wanna stay there in the wood for 3 nights and 5 other people will be with me.

2006-01-06, 20:00
Since you're asking for specific advice you need to give us some specific infomation:
1. Do you have hiking boots that fit?
2. Do you have a sleeping bag? What is the temperature rating? Is it enough to keep you warm in the weather you'll be camping?
3. Do you have a tent? Can you seal it up against the cold (is it 3-season or 4-season?) Do you have enough tent to cover all campers?
4. Do you have cooking gear?
5. Will y'all cook your own food individually or as a group? Do you have the right cooking gear for this?
6. What kind of clothing do you have? (Undershirt, shirt, insulating layer, jacket, parka, hat, gloves, long underwear, pants, socks, sock liners)
7. What are you going to eat? How much food per person?
8. Do you have access to water sources or will you carry all of your water in?
9. Can you build fires in your camping area or do you have a camp stove?

That's a start...

P.S. What is the marking tape for? Is that to outline the body after somebody is attacked by wild animals? :)

2006-01-07, 09:17
Welcome to a great site.... Feel free to ask questions...there is no shortage of answers, good and less than good, someone will always point out the points they disagree with, in the spirit of friendly debate or alternative comment or experiance.... asking is the easy part... we were all newbi once...


2006-01-09, 00:27
GregH, thanks for pointing out something... our new poster may not even know what to ask... 'you don't know what you don't know'... sort of a correllary (sp?) to 'the wise know best how little they know'... but i digress...

other questions:

have your 5 companions ever done any backpacking before?
what time of year are you going?
are you experienced with map and compass? first aid skills?
are you an experienced hunter?
have you thought about raingear?

and to guess at the answer to a previous question, marker tape is probably that 1'' plastic fluorescent tape hunters sometimes use to mark a trial in and out of a hunting stand site, or to mark a blood trail, so they can pay attention to tracking and not worry about finding their way back to their stand, and then home. probably not needed on a marked trail.

2006-01-09, 01:26
I'm a more-or-less noob myself, at least around these parts. I won't duplicate some of the excellent advice already given in this thread; these folks are really worth listening to.

Q: Have you (and your friends) thought about testing your gear, camp skills and so forth right in your own yard, or a local park before you hit the woods?

Why? One thing I learned from several of the folk here is test things close to home when it won't matter if things go sour. Then you can always fall back inside! Then you can plan your trips with a much better <em>personal</em> knowledge of your equipment, skills, and your self. Basically, take some shakedown cruises before heading for the boonies.

That's something I never did as a canoe-camper---I just didn't know better. I learned. This past year, converting to foot & hammock, yard testing first has been one of the smarter things I've done! Setting up your gear in the backyard and firing up the old camp stove is also a good way to trip out the neighbors :)

Root around here, try stuff, have fun, and be safe.

Mal the Elder

2006-01-09, 17:49
slightly different perspective here....

Rather than looking over what you HAVE, try and think about what you bare minimum NEED.

As a general rule you NEED Shelter, Water, and Food.

Shelter - Tent, tarp, bivi sack, whatever. Shelter also includes what you need to stay warm, like clothes and something to sleep in (sleeping bag, quilt, etc).
While its not strictly correct, you backpack falls into this catagory as it shelters your equipment while movingl. So now weve got "the big 3" here. Pack, sleeping insulation, and overhead cover. Dont carry a pack any bigger (or more complex) than you need. Dont carry more sleeping insulation than you absolutly need, and talk with your friends about the best overhead cover for your needs (do you all really NEED individual tents, or can you break up into 2 groups of 3 and each group share a tarp strung up between trees?)

Youll want to stay warm and dry... so have you thought about something to keep the wet off you? All you NEED is a poncho, so this doesnt need to be a complex gore-tex dohicky. Staying warm means staying dry (see above) and properly insulated. Down is warmest for the weight, but even some cheap fleece from WalMart will get the job done if you need it to. Along the lines of staying dry, pick quick drying clothes. NO COTTON. For emphasis - NO COTTON

Water - Bottles, purification, etc. You dont need fancy Nalgene bottles, canteens, or camelbaks. Buy some purified water before you head out, drink the water, and use those bottles for the rest of your trip. You mentioned water tablets... thats all you need. Itll make the water taste funny, but the point is, you dont need a big water pump.

Food - self explanatory. You dont need freezedried stuff from REI or MREs or anything else involveing acronyms... Hit the suermarket and pick up some ramen, some peanut butter, some tortillas, some oatmeal, some dried fruits, etc. Some fresh fruits and veggies are nice too. Heavy, but nice. Youll probably want to cook some of that food. Try looking over this, or many other sites, for homemade alcohol stoves. Another option is Esbit stoves.

Once you know what you NEED, look over your collection of stuff and see what will fit the bill. Pick the lightest option that fits the NEED. If your tossed up between 2 choices, weigh them and pick the lighter one. Leave anything that you dont NEED.

As for the trail marking tape. You probably do NOT need that. You would be mush better served with a map and compass and the know how to use them.