For Noobs

For those that are new to backpacking, camping, the outdoors, etc., I have written a set of informative articles to help and encourage anyone interested in this wonderful world but is perhaps not as experienced.  Many of these articles were originally written as part of an information package of documents sent to new members of an outdoors club I started several years ago at a university I attended.  I hope they can provide a good set of knowledge to aid in any outdoors type experience for newcomers.  I welcome any questions or feedback.

You may want to start by reading this post, where I give general advice and tips to what I consider to be the three types of novice backpackers.  

I also highly recommend that you check out this excellent video on planning a backpacking trip by Dave Collins, AKA The Clever Hiker.  He also has a lot of other very helpful videos on his Youtube channel. 

Helpful info for newbies:

Gear 101: Basic Needs and Options

Different Styles of Camping

Sleeping in the Wild

A Reflection on Camping "Needs" 

A Reflection on Camping "Luxuries" or "Wants"

The Importance of Location

Regarding the Path Towards Lightweight Backpacking

Stuck at Home: General Preparation Tips

Backpacking on a Budget

Winter Backpacking

Build a cheap, easy, lightweight, and effective tarp shelter.  DIY!

More DIY: Make your own Ultralight summer sleeping bag and/or extra warm winter bag liner for about 40 bucks.

A discussion of physical fitness for long distance backpacking, including my work out routine for 2014. 

Ultralight backpacking does not have to be that expensive.  Check out my full UL gear list for summer/warm weather use with a total cost of 650.  And I didn't leave out fancy or durable gear either! 

How I deal with hard times during backpacking trips. 

Here's what's in my EDC (Every Day Carry), which is also my day hike pack, as of 2017.

Yet another "build a good UL gear list that is not too expensive" post but from 2017. Check it out here.

Here's what my typical day to day routines look like.


  1. Hi Cesar,
    my husband and I will spend two weeks in August in Sweden for the first time. Between sightseeing we are planning to spent some time in the nature (once 3 day kayaking and few one-day hiking tours) . I worry a little bit when it comes to food because we do not know the Swedish products and I am afraid that, while shopping in the supermarket we could make bad food choices. Do you have any advice regarding Swedish food products you like to use?

    1. Sweden is a very modernized nation with access to many different types of food. This includes local food, but also lots of international food. I don't see why you should be worried about bad food choices. I am sure you will be able to find food that you like here in supermarkets, and that the supermarkets here will probably resemble the supermarkets you have back home (assuming you live in a modernized western nation).

      It's hard to give advice on food products in general, especially considering your wide range of activities on your trip. I also have a very specialized diet due to a stomach condition that makes this question a bit complicated as well. So I guess what I could suggest is that if you have any food allergies and concerns, make sure to have a pocket dictionary of Swedish to English (or whatever your best language is) so that you can identify anything you may be trying to avoid in the ingredients of food. But otherwise nearly all Swedes speak at least some English, so you could just ask the people working at the supermarket for help finding any particular food you are looking for.

      Hope this helps, and sorry if this is not the answer you are looking for, but I hope you can understand the nuanced nature of your request! :)


  2. Thank you very much for your quick answer. I fully understand the generality of your response. After all, the question was rather imprecise. Your texts that I arrived to read are very detailed and with a lot of useful information. As for food, I always prefer to rely on the advice of local people rather than on the labels on the products.
    Best regards and a lot of enjoyment in the following adventures