What To Do If I Get Bored On A Backpacking Trip?

Backpacking is great for the body and soul, but there’s no denying that it can sometimes get a bit tedious. If you travel for a few days in the same scenery, you might find yourself getting a bit tired of the whole thing. Luckily there are a few ways to add some entertainment to your next backpacking trip!

If you get bored during hikes and backpacking trips, you can add some entertainment by listening to music/podcasts, playing games on the trail, setting personal challenges, and collecting trailside items. Traveling by yourself can be boring, so find a friend or a group to go with you.

Backpacking trips take a few days, so consider how you’ll stay entertained on your next outing. Of course, the setting and natural beauty of the area might be enough to keep you occupied already. Just make sure you have a few options!

Bring a Friend Along

One of the best ways to stave off boredom is to bring company! It’s not a good idea to backpack by yourself anyway, and a friend can really help you pass the time. If you have enough friends for a group, that’s even better! It can be fulfilling (and entertaining) to share your experiences, tell stories, and generally chat.

A good old-fashioned debate is also a guaranteed way to keep the conversation flowing. Pick your friend’s brain about their favorite superhero, what food is the best/worst, and who would survive the longest on a desert island.

You’re forming new memories on the backpacking trail, and it’s always better when you can share them with someone.

Listen to Something

I absolutely love hiking, backpacking, road trips, or any other setting where I can just put on some headphones and zone out. It makes the time fly by, plus you can keep your mind occupied.

Music is a great option because it can pump you up and help you keep a good pace. But if you’re looking for something a bit more mentally stimulating, you could always listen to a podcast or an audiobook. You’ll be able to burn through a lot of material if you listen while you walk.

Just make sure you download everything before you head out! Nature trails and backpacking routes are notorious for having poor wi-fi and cell phone reception. You won’t want your podcast to cut out halfway through because you lost connection.

Play Games

Playing games is a fantastic way to stay occupied as well. If you have a friend or a traveling group with you, try playing games like I-spy or 20 questions. This will help keep your mind active, plus it will help you pay better attention to your surroundings if the game calls for it.

Backpacking and hiking with children can be difficult because of their limited attention spans and lower stamina. Games are an awesome way to keep them motivated and involved in the experience. Check out the video below for some ideas you can incorporate into your next hike.

Create Challenges for Yourself

Even if your travel friends don’t want to join in, you can create some personal goals and challenges during your next backpacking trip. Learn the plants and animals you might see on the trail, and create a checklist/bingo sheet for them. If you fill it out, you can treat yourself to a reward once the trip is over.

You almost might want to make fitness milestones such as a certain distance achieved in one day, or the amount of weight you carry. Don’t set any crazy goals that would be dangerous or unhealthy, but see if you can improve over time!

Collect as You Go

Lots of hikers (myself included) like to pick up little treasures/souvenirs along the trail. I personally like to pick up cool rocks, but you almost might want to collect plants, antlers, flowers, feathers, etc.

Make sure it’s legal to collect things in your area though because some national and state parks have restrictions on what guests can and cannot take.

If you’re worried about running afoul of park rules, you could always collect photos instead. Snapping a few pictures doesn’t hurt anything (as long as you’re not using your flash in a cave) and you’ll have a visual memory of your trip. You don’t need to be a professional photographer or bring any fancy equipment. All you need is your phone or a cheap disposable camera.

Bring Campsite Entertainment

It’s all well and good to bring entertainment on the trail, but backpacking trips can involve some long evenings as well. Once you’ve set up camp and enjoyed a meal, it might be hard to find ways to occupy yourself. That’s why you should always bring some entertainment for the campsite.

Card games and board games are great group options, but you can also bring things that are just for you. Journals, sketchbooks, crossword puzzles, books, and musical instruments are good options too.

You can also take some time to explore around the campsite and enjoy the fire. I always love whittling sticks for roasting marshmallows. It’s low energy, but fun to do!

Take a Break

If you’ve tried the options listed above but are still feeling bored of backpacking, maybe you should try taking a break from it. You’ll want every trip to be an enjoyable experience, so don’t do things just for the sake of doing them. Sometimes all you need is a break. It gives you time to relax, rest, and get used to life without frequent backpacking trips.

Chances are, you’ll eventually get excited to head out again. All you need to do is wait it out and build up the anticipation for next time.

Final Thoughts

Backpacking is a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s possible to get bored of it after a while. This might happen on the trail, at the campsite, or even once you return home. Make sure you plan to bring entertainment on your next trip, travel with a group, and give yourself time to fully enjoy the experience.

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