Learn to Backpack: Outdoors for All

This is Blog Post #2 in our “Outdoors for All” series! Today, we’ll be covering the very basics of Backpacking! Peace Surplus believes everyone should have access to the outdoors! But without adequate outdoor gear, having a friend who can show you the ropes, or endless freetime, it can be hard! Our goal is to provide you with the resources you need to test out a new outdoor sport safely and within your budget. 

You can begin by watching our video that features Ben Trumpinski and Lela Beer, local Flagstaff residents who both discovered their love for backpacking and have some tips on how you can get started. 

One of the most essential components of learning to backpack is understanding the gear you’ll need! Visit the “How to Kickstart Your Backpacking Adventures” Peace Surplus blog post linked below to see our essential gear list and safety tips. 

Picking A Backpacking Trail

If you’re ready to pick a backpacking trail, here are some things to think about: 

  1. Start small! There are lots of local short trails that don’t require a long drive or a strenuous hike. Backpacking can make you feel accomplished and energized even if it’s only a short out-and-back trip. 
  2. You can search for backpacking routes using AllTrails or Trail Run Project. Both apps have maps available for download so that even if you’re out of service, you can navigate on the trail. (If this is your plan, make sure to bring a backup battery charger or print out the map in case your phone runs out of battery!)
  3. Keep in mind that some trails require permits! A backcountry permit is a way to track use of trails and conserve heavily used areas. Not all trails require a permit, but if they do, it will likely be listed on AllTrails or Trail Run Project. Here is a list of some of the most popular permitted trails with directions on how to acquire a permit. 
  4. Utilize the Arizona Trail! Details below.

As you likely know, the Arizona Trail, is a route that stretches the length of the state from North to South in over 800 miles. The AZT runs right through Flagstaff! This is a great resource to utilize as there are many access points close to town. 

  1. AZT Passage 31: Walnut Canyon
  2. AZT Section 33: Schultz Pass Road to Fisher Point This covers the two trails that runs through Flagstaff.
  3. AZT Passage 34: San Francisco Peaks: Although we don’t recommend this section to beginners, it does take you to the top of Humphreys peak, the highest point in Arizona. 
  4. AZT Passage 36: Coconino Rim