You’ve finally convinced yourself to sideline your day-to-day tasks and head out on a breathtaking backpacking expedition, perhaps after getting a small window off work. Whether traveling alone or with your peers, backpacking is a fun, low-budget kind of adventure travel that may require using air travel, taking the train or other forms of public transportation. You can even combine it with a road trip and camping. It’s one of the most exciting experiences of life. After picking a nice destination and you’re sure that you’re going to have a great time, there are a few things that are critical for you to know, especially if you’re a newbie in backpacking.
While most people would consider backpackers as monolithic, digital nomads, or hippies, backpackers are the most organized adventure seekers you’ll ever come across. So if you’re aspiring to become one, good for you! There is more than our world has to offer and what better way to be in unison with nature than being out there in the wild. But for this to happen, it’s imperative to arm yourself with the basic knowledge and tips they usually don’t tell you about backpacking. Without further delay, here’s what every backpacker should know before going out there.
1. Only Pack the Essentials
While traveling the world, you want to look your best, have the best, and be at your best. The temptation of bringing your best pair of jeans, that blazer your girlfriend recently bought you, or your comfy duvet will be persistent. For the best experience though, it’s important to resist this temptation by all means necessary. Thing is, you don’t want to carry anything that may sell you out or something that could cost you dearly in the event that you lost it. You also don’t want to carry too much weight that will end up slowing you down. According to Jim, site owner and author at https://gearsignal.com/, the first rule of thumb is to only pack things that you’ll essentially need on your backpacking adventure. In addition to a few clothing items, other essentials may include a tent, a sleeping bag, some sleeping pads, a water bottle, food items, and a few accessories. Hey, they didn’t call it backpacking for lack of a better word! It’s as the name suggests. Most of your essentials will be hoisted on your back for the better part of your adventure, so you don’t want it to feel like some sort of punishment.
2. Travel with Your Most Trusted Companions
Backpacking presents a spontaneous way of enjoying an adventure. Spine-tingling sights, picturesque destinations, and the idea of experiencing a different way of life are some of the reasons why people want to go on a backpacking expedition. While there’s no denying that backpacking is one of the most exciting adventures, and it may also seem like a lot of fun just imagining it, there are various challenges that aren’t easy on the shoulders of the fainthearted. These include:
- Sticking to a budget
- Language barrier
- Living out of a lone backpack
- Not knowing what to expect
Now, traveling solo is always an option on the table, but then again, where is the fun in that? Depending on your reasons for backpacking, whether spiritual or just for the fun of it, nothing beats the feeling of good company while backpacking. However, as you build an inventory of lasting memories with your acquaintances, you want to ensure that they are well known to you, preferably those you have a deeper connection with.
3. Get to Know The Locals
Most people may consider themselves as reserved or shy. But as you tour the world living out of your backpack, you’ll come across friendly people from all walks of life. Some are reserved and shy as they can get while others are god sent, down to earth individuals eagerly waiting for that “hello”. There are cultures to learn, ways of life to encounter, and smiles that need to be shared or responded to! As earlier mentioned, you have no idea what to expect, so be open-minded and as friendly as you can because you never know, the police officer on the other side of the conversation could help with directions. While at it, however, be sure to do research about your destination and it’s security situation since not everyone may be what they seem to be. You could easily be mugged or robbed on foreign land while trying hard to make new friends.
4. Pack A Few Entertainment Gadgets
The fact that you’re heading to the world’s most amazing backpacking destinations doesn’t mean that it’s going to be hippy hooray all the way through. Odds are that you’ll be traveling in economy class internet-free carriages and most likely, you’ll spend a considerable amount of time in long airport or train terminal lines that are usually eerie and filled with lonely episodes. To be prepared for this, pack a few things that will entertain you such as books, a deck of cards, music playlists, or stream movies from your phone on Netflix. Additionally, you can also engage other travelers in a conversation. You never know, lasting friendships are made through awkward situations.
5. Early Booking Is the Way to Go
After arriving at your backpacking destination, you’ll need a place to crush to kick off the jet lag feeling and to just familiarize yourself with the environment. During the busy months of the year, most accommodations are usually booked out. To avoid this, ensure to book early for your accommodation, plane tickets, and anything else that may need booking. The early bird gets the worm. This statement couldn’t be any truer because there is a wide range of benefits to be gained from early booking. Some of these include:
- Early booking discounts
- You have a choice of accommodation options
- Saves time and money
- You get the best seats
6. Bring a Lightweight Camera
When it comes to picture taking, you have endless possibilities of equipment to choose from. We are living in an era where the smartphone has become an all-purpose gadget to own. If you’ve paid close attention, we at some point advised against carrying valuable objects. Well, this may include your high-end smartphone device. But this shouldn’t limit you from capturing your most memorable moments. You have the option of carrying a pocket-sized camera or alternatively, an attachable lens that goes behind your camera for those hi-definition photos. While at it, remember to familiarize yourself with laws on photographing, or else you find yourself in trouble after taking selfies from prohibited government locations.
While it’s easy to find tips on minor issues such as how to carry your backpack gear or how to read a map, hard advice is actually not easy to come by. A lot of thought has been put into this article to ensure that your backpacking experience will be the most memorable one and that you have all that it takes to be out there in the wild. With the few pro tips above in mind, you can comfortably head to your adventure confident and well-informed.
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