31 Aug Preparing for a Multi-Day Hike
Preparing for a multi-day hike in the Newfoundland Backcountry
Planning on undertaking a backcountry hike in Western Newfoundland? Here we’ll cover the 3 main elements in making your trip a success including;
- Weather & Terrain
- Navigation & Safety
The more fit you are from the outset, the more you will enjoy your hike. The best way to ensure this is to keep up a routine of cardio exercise 3-4 times a week for 3 months leading up to your trip – take the opportunity to get out a few times with weight in your backpack with your hiking boots on; if you live in a city, find a nearby park, or simply climb some stairs repeatedly.
Try and get out on a few weekends prior to your trip to walk on some uneven terrain on a local trail, get used to using your backpack, break in your hiking boots, and practice packing your belongings.
Hiking in the Newfoundland backcountry can be strenuous and challenging, its best you come physically prepared!
If your are unfamiliar, or ill-experienced hiking and navigating in the backcountry, it might be best to hire a guide!
Weather & Terrain
The elevation of the alpine regions of Newfoundland are from 600-800 meters (2000- 2500 feet), and despite their stunted nature it is still an alpine environment and must be respected as such – the weather, terrain, and the environment can make for interesting circumstances even when you’re best prepared!
Highs: 20°C- 30°C+, and on the alpine plateau the sun can be extra difficult because of the lack of shade.
Lows: Below 5°C, and with wind chill close to 0°C.
Typically temperatures range from 20°-25°C and may drop below 15°C overnight. However, I have guided trips with thick fog, multiple days of cold wet windy weather, and beaming hot sun.
Your equipment requirements will depend on your personal preference, for instance, if you’re prone to getting cold easily you might have to bring some extra thermal layers or a thicker fleece. Here we will outline some core pieces of clothing, and equipment you should bring;
- Backpack – For our Long Range Traverse trips we recommend 65L + Capacity
- Sleeping Bag – 0c (32F)
- Insulated Sleeping Pad
- Sturdy Hiking Boots
- Stuff / Dry Sacks to pack sleeping bag & clothing.
- First Aid Kit
- Quality Rain Gear – Gore-Tex or similar product
Clothing: The general rule is no cotton;
- Long underwear
- T-shirt’s, sweater, long sleeve shirt
- Wind pants/ hiking pants
- Hat & Gloves
Navigation & Safety
The Newfoundland backcountry is intended for those who are comfortable navigating in any/ all conditions with a map and compass, have knowledge of using GPS devices, and have experience with route planning; there are no marked trails, no signs, no infrastructure in the Newfoundland backcountry. It is one of the reasons it is so well known, its immersive, wild, and pristine. But, you have to have the experience, knowledge, and understanding to be able to undertake an expedition safely.
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