The Backpacking Experience
You’ve decided to travel in a completely different way - backpacking. Backpacking can be a great experience, considering it’s considerably less costly than the normal way of travel, which includes hotel fees and extra spending for stuff you probably don’t need anyway. Here are some tips to prepare for your big excursion.
1. Picking a Destination
Depending on how much time you have before you depart, choose a setting you’re used to. That’s not to say always pick a place you’re already familiar with, but attempt to choose a similar setting. If you’re used to more urban environments, maybe choose another city that might make it easier to navigate around. Or if you’re used to hiking in the woods, try another forest or woodsy area where you haven’t been.
This also determines what you pack - you might not need a sleeping bag in a big city. However, if you have time before your trip and you’re visiting someplace unfamiliar, such as the woods when you’re used to a city, use the time to prepare your body for such a different setting. For example, practice walking long distances for wherever you go as you might be spending most of your time walking.
2. Packing for Your Trip
- When packing, remember that everything you’re going to need will be on your back, so pack only what you know you’ll need.
- Plan one outfit for each day and, if you can reuse some of your clothes (i.e. pajamas), then pack lightly with those as well.
- If you’re traveling to a colder destination, also remember that heavier pieces of clothing take up more space. The larger pieces, such as sleeping bags, should go at the bottom or on the outside of the backpack. Then, any personal supplies and cooking supplies, if necessary.
- Your clothes go in the center, and on the top, anything that you might need in an instant - maps, camera, water, emergency supplies, etc.
3. Before You Go
Make sure all your emergency and non-emergency supplies work and are completely up to date. Since you aren’t relying on a lot of services, have an emergency plan just in case something bad happens. Plan and organize well enough so that your whole trip will be smooth sailing. Keep any and all emergency numbers saved somewhere that’s easy to access as well and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.
Being at one with nature and finding new horizons is what backpacking is all about, but you should do everything possible to remain safe. You can check out this article on Essential Travel Safety Apps.