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Thread: Pre-Trip Chores

  1. #1

    Default Pre-Trip Chores

    What things do you do to prepare for a backpacking trip?

    Here's my list---

    ** Pull out laces/insoles and wash off boots---dry---and coat with boot grease.
    ** Wash all backpacking clothing from last trip---even gloves etc.
    ** Remove tent from indoor laundry line and put into tent sack---inspect tent poles and shock cord.

    ** Get all necessary maps and do online research of area if needed.
    ** Clean MSR white gas stove by removing throttle cable and clean---clean jet and fill up fuel bottles.
    ** Spend a couple nights before the trip sleeping on your inflatable pad to make sure it works.

    ** Dehydrate all food if needed. (Go grocery shopping of course).
    ** Hefty-bag up all your food and manage number of cooked meals.
    ** Make Snackables food bag---granola bars, nut, nut butters, bread, chips, etc etc.

    ** Gather stuff you want to read (and later burn during course of trip).
    ** Charge up cellphone batteries and all camera batteries.
    ** Clean cook pot thoroughly with brillo pad to remove soot etc.

    ** Soak water bottles/bladders in hot water with mild bleach and clean.
    ** Inspect water filter.
    ** Type up a detailed trip itinerary if possible and copy for you and whoever is at home.

    ** Make a list of all important phone numbers---Ranger District, friends etc. Get everyone's most current cell phone numbers.
    ** Inspect Bics and make sure all have enough fuel.

    Just some thoughts.

  2. #2
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    I always forget something I'll miss. Two trips back, I somehow neglected to bring my reading glasses (making it tough to read the map). Last trip, I left my main hiking shirt on the bed (thus had to press on in the shirt I was wearing, which didn't shed water and feels slick and slimy when wet). At the end of the last trip, I lost the book I was reading and my AT map on the shuttle drive back to my car, never to be relocated despite calls to the driver, etc.

    You're more thorough than I am, Tipi. I don't believe I've ever cleaned the MSR stove bought 20 years ago.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    I always forget something I'll miss. Two trips back, I somehow neglected to bring my reading glasses (making it tough to read the map). Last trip, I left my main hiking shirt on the bed (thus had to press on in the shirt I was wearing, which didn't shed water and feels slick and slimy when wet). At the end of the last trip, I lost the book I was reading and my AT map on the shuttle drive back to my car, never to be relocated despite calls to the driver, etc.

    You're more thorough than I am, Tipi. I don't believe I've ever cleaned the MSR stove bought 20 years ago.
    I sometimes forget stuff too. Several years ago I had 18 fresh eggs all ready to go and left them in the fridge. One time I forgot my pack cover. Never forgot anything major like tent poles or sleeping pad.

    A year ago I was on a winter trip and my beloved Simmerlite stove took forever to boil up a pot of water. My fault cuz the throttle cable was clogged and doing a field repair on such a cable can turn bad real quick. Ended up cutting the cable in half with my pruners and the stove worked.

  4. #4

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    Being a relative newbie, I doubt I will miss one item on the checklist.

    OTOH, being very experienced bicycle bikepacking and touring, I used to forget stuff. I think because you become so confident in your skills and ability to overcome a challenge or maybe relish the challenge, you don't get as worked up before you go.

  5. #5
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    I forgot to pack my mind one time,,,
    But that won't be the last,,,

  6. #6

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    My last minute chores include:

    • Place money, credit & insurance cards in chest belt
    • Charge Cell Phone, NU25 & InReach Mini
    • Re-water proof Helium II jacket

  7. #7

    Default

    a few others:
    - research bugs/ticks/snakes/bears etc for the region and time of year. Possibly treat some clothes with permethrin, may be bear canister logistics.
    - review/modify first aid kit and extra supplies (eg: extra buckle for backpack, safety pin, etc)
    - I usually use phone gps/maps, but printing or ordering paper backups is part of the pre-trip
    - thorough review of weather extremes and tweaking what I need to take

  8. #8

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    Not sure if you're still working or not, but THAT is one thorough list, a job in itself! I DO still work and while for the most part I'm also tackling most of the things on your list, I'm trying to schedule my various jobs/customers with six weeks to go to Springer. Panicking? Not yet, but a bit antsy. Appreciate the list and your notes as I don't have any friends in a similar position to talk things out with.

  9. #9
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    There's no pre trip chores. I simply "throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in sack and jump over the back fence" .

    But seriously I'll typically make a list and lay everything out on the floor and double, triple check everything. One of my concerns is mixing up my tent poles I have two tents with very similar pole stuff sacks.

    I was on a section hike years ago somewhere in the triple crown area and was hiking in the rain all got to a campsite set everything up and proceeded to make fire and dinner. And I heard and seen this young fellow walking around cussing and cutting down little live trees well he forgot his tent poles oooops!!
    It was still misty sprinkling a bit , I gave him a couple spare guy lines and stakes and tried to help but he wouldn't let me help just young cocky , macho type in front of his girlfriend. I was done at that point and went back to what I was doing knowing I did a good deed!!

  10. #10

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    Similar to what you do. I started from the very beginning making a list of everything I actually have in my pack for every trip and that way I can decide if something gets left behind because it's never used and isn't an emergency item (I hope to never use my emergency supplies but will always carry them). It also helps me when I am backpacking if I figure out I really could have used something to be able to write that down for the next trip. Then yeah, I make sure all my gear is in order. Make sure I replace any items in my FAK that I either used or meds that expired (although I don't really worry about expiration dates on ibuprofen or immodium, etc).

    I don't sleep on my inflatable pad but I will blow it up, lay down on it, and make sure it doesn't deflate over the course of the day.

    I try to inspect and clean all gear after every trip and then check it before the next trip. Sometimes I have to clean stuff pre-trip.

    If going for more than a week I will plan and pack my resupply boxes. Address them and maybe even mail one or 2 out.

    Usually a couple of days before everything will be packed up except those things I use daily, like cell phone. So I will also leave myself a list of things to make sure I pack/carry at the last minute or things I need to do last minute. I also layout the clothes I want to wear on the day of trip. I will also pack "return clothes" and leave them in my car (if doing a loop or out and back) or make sure the person picking me up has them when they pick me up. This is awesome when you come in stinking and wet - being able to put on dry, clean clothes, shoes and socks.

    And there is also the last minute "weather check."
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  11. #11
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    I don't have an extensive range of gear to select from, so pre-trip preparation mostly boils down to select either winter stuff, or summer stuff.

    Most important preparation for me is, to find kind of a "philosophy" behind the upcoming trip, like: "a loop through this range" or "crossing over this and the next range"
    As we don't have those dedicated long distance hiking routes, I have to select and concatenated pieces from an extensive net of local hikes, to get a decent multi-day hike.
    Most of those local hikes are pretty much "up the summit" and "down to the valley", and as we dont have any legal spots for camping (so its all stealth), planning the daily mileage is quite difficult and takes a lot of consideration.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I forgot to pack my mind one time,,,
    But that won't be the last,,,
    For some reason your post reminds me of this song---What Condition My Condition Is In---(Kenny Rogers!)

    I woke up this mornin' with the sundown shinin' in
    I found my mind in a brown paper bag within
    I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
    I tore my mind on a jagged sky
    I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Recalc View Post
    My last minute chores include:

    • Place money, credit & insurance cards in chest belt
    • Charge Cell Phone, NU25 & InReach Mini
    • Re-water proof Helium II jacket
    Yes, you remind me about making my "wallet" for a trip---folding money wrapped around my license/medicare card with rubber band and placed in hefty bag (with zip closure cut off).

    Quote Originally Posted by Hikingjim View Post
    a few others:
    - research bugs/ticks/snakes/bears etc for the region and time of year. Possibly treat some clothes with permethrin, may be bear canister logistics.
    - review/modify first aid kit and extra supplies (eg: extra buckle for backpack, safety pin, etc)
    - I usually use phone gps/maps, but printing or ordering paper backups is part of the pre-trip
    - thorough review of weather extremes and tweaking what I need to take
    I also take an extra hipbelt buckle and tent pole repair sleeve and other things. I never know when I'll step on my hipbelt buckle and oops---

    P1000350-XL.jpg

    I also keep a couple pre-threaded needles ready in my emergency spare Bic container---

    Trip 201 (45)-XL.jpg

    These needles are ready for action when a small limb hits my tent and causes a rip during a high wind rainstorm---

    Trip 198 (69)-XL.jpg
    Also helps to carry some McNett's Silnet sealer too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    I don't have an extensive range of gear to select from, so pre-trip preparation mostly boils down to select either winter stuff, or summer stuff.

    Most important preparation for me is, to find kind of a "philosophy" behind the upcoming trip, like: "a loop through this range" or "crossing over this and the next range"
    As we don't have those dedicated long distance hiking routes, I have to select and concatenated pieces from an extensive net of local hikes, to get a decent multi-day hike.
    Most of those local hikes are pretty much "up the summit" and "down to the valley", and as we dont have any legal spots for camping (so its all stealth), planning the daily mileage is quite difficult and takes a lot of consideration.
    You remind me about setting up a trip goal before a trek. It's something I always do---pre-trip get pen and paper and draw up a route schedule and my overall goal---Quest for Wildcat Creek!!, Quest for Scorch Mt!! ETC.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Most important preparation for me is, to find kind of a "philosophy" behind the upcoming trip, like: "a loop through this range" or "crossing over this and the next range"
    As we don't have those dedicated long distance hiking routes, I have to select and concatenated pieces from an extensive net of local hikes, to get a decent multi-day hike.
    Most of those local hikes are pretty much "up the summit" and "down to the valley", and as we dont have any legal spots for camping (so its all stealth), planning the daily mileage is quite difficult and takes a lot of consideration.
    For me, one of the most fun chores is writing down a trip theme. Goals can be all over the place, ranging from:

    • See if it is possible to get a good moonlight camp photo
    • Evaluating the Blake Hitch for tarp tieouts (a wonderful idea)
    • Trying out hiking life without camp shoes
    • Spending one of the nights under a tarp instead of tent or hammock
    • Changing the placement of specific gear inside the pack to see if it makes a difference

    And the list goes on.

  15. #15
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    bring spoon ,bring spoon ,bring spoon

    I have a collection of donations spoons !

    thommy

  16. #16
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    Default

    A shakedown hike before the big hike helps to ensure I have everything. So far the shakedowns caught the following items: earplugs, lip ice, loose handle on hiking pole, extra face mask, phone charging cord. Little things, but they make a big difference.
    Simple is good.

  17. #17

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    pre threaded needles, great tip,, havent sewn in awhile but used to do alot. but the odds of me threading a needle now are slim and none.

    Another tip to add,,, pack everything, ruck up and go on a short jog and do some jumping jacks,,, make sure everything stays where it is supposed to be and nothing is rubbing you.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyou View Post
    bring spoon ,bring spoon ,bring spoon

    I have a collection of donations spoons !

    thommy
    When I find lost spoons and tent stakes on a trip I cache them under a known rock in case I break a spoon or a peg and will know where to go for spares.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    pre threaded needles, great tip,, havent sewn in awhile but used to do alot. but the odds of me threading a needle now are slim and none.

    Another tip to add,,, pack everything, ruck up and go on a short jog and do some jumping jacks,,, make sure everything stays where it is supposed to be and nothing is rubbing you.
    My pack has been loaded so many times that there are spots for every gear item---and if that spot is not filled I know something is missing.

  19. #19
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Trim toenails a few days before departing.
    Lonehiker

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    Trim toenails a few days before departing.
    Toenails and finger nails---esp for a 3 week trip.

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