Thinking of traveling again? I thought so, but this time, do it in a non-traditional and a little non-conformists way!
Welcome to the world I love : BACKPACKING
What is backpacking?
It is a low budget international traveling form where one experiences the very essence of culture, cuisine and the traveler is more interested in interaction with local people. In backpacking, the idea is to visit the lesser known places along with the major tourist attractions. It is more of a secretive form of journey into a specific country in order to get a real insight of that place. During the journey, one is completely independent and the sense of adventure creeps in as you go around meeting various people and travelers. Mostly, backpackers prefer to roam around on foot or on public transport and usually stay in pocket friendly hotels or public hostels. Rucksacks or backpacks, as they are generally referred to are used instead of suitcases and henceforth the name backpacker is derived.
Must haves for a backpacker-
“Decide on the minimum of luggage you want to bring on your travels, and the amount of money you think you’ll need. Now, when you’ve got everything together, pack only half of your stuff, and double your money!”- Anonymous
The things in your backpacking gear vary in accordance to the type of place that you are visiting. The geographical and the climatic conditions, time of the year, duration of traveling and the amount of money for the place are all taken into consideration. Taking your friend along as one of the fellow traveler can reduce your expenditures drastically but can compromise on your freedom and it often leads differences between fellow travelers.
Traveling light is the most important factor when it comes to backpacking. Each traveler should consider their own personal priorities.
Here are some universal considerations as far as packing is concerned:
- Backpack- A backpack should be comfortable and light that complements your body. Choose carefully according to the duration and the amount of stuff you need to put in. Also, take your budget into account.
- Clothes- No matter which place you are visiting, four shirts, a pair of trousers, good light pair of shoes, a heavy woolen sweater, a raincoat , sunglasses and undergarments depending upon your own personal hygiene (hehe!). Considering the terrain, an extra pair of sandals will be of great help.
- First aid kit- It surely is more of an underrated utility, but the most important factor especially when the travel includes hiking, trekking and camping. From minor scratches to major bruises, it’s a must thing on your packing list. An excellent thing to do is to carry necessary medication and pills in case of certain illness.
- Extra food and water- Dehydration is the most common thing that will happen to an amateur traveler. Carrying extra water bottle or an energy drink helps to regulate the body metabolism. Also certain light food stuff, such as an energy bar, chocolate or nuts can prove to be an excellent source of energy in dire need.
- Map and a compass- A map is very beneficiary when it comes to finding alternative shorter routes and trails. It’s an ancient technique but still very effective. A compass is of no use if you don’t know how to use it. So learn to use it well and then effectively use it along with the map.
- Flashlight and tent (shelter) – Traveling and more importantly backpacking, throw a few surprises during the journey and one should be ready for the challenge. Flashlight, usually, proves to be an indispensable thing especially when camping or trekking in woods. Again, one must know how to make shelter and importantly an effective one.
- A knife and fire lighter- A knife is a multipurpose tool which can be used for various purposes. A fire lighter or waterproof matches can be carried along so that you can light a fire either to keep you warm or for cooking needs. If you like to cook for yourself, it’s better to buy some light utensils as well!
- A guidebook- It certainly proves to be the best friend of a lonely traveler in particular and otherwise in general. A good guidebook, for example, Lonely Planet, provides a very detailed description of the place as well as things like Do’s and Dont’s. One can also refer to the previous record blogs, journals or websites (Like ours) to gather more deep and detailed information.
- Vaccination- You would not like to risk your health on an enjoyable journey, that’s why vaccination is recommended whenever traveling abroad especially to a third world country. It is advisable to get a health insurance prior to the travel. Also ensure you carry a pack of condoms.
- Money and Travel Insurance- A preplanned budget is not a bad idea when confused how much money would you require on the trip. Take into account the country you are visiting and the duration. It is advisable to carry credit cards instead of cash but if your credit card doesn’t work in a certain country, it’s good to carry strong currency like the US dollar. At the same time ensure that you get a travel insurance, God forbid in any circumstance your goods are lost, you have a backup for it.
These were a few essential things to take into account when preparing for a backpack. I will advise everyone, before buying some of the stuff mentioned, take a good knowledge about them. Ultimately, basic knowledge will help to make your backpacking experience much easier. I sincerely hope that this information helps to make your backpacking experience really enjoyable. If you want to gain any further insight into backpacking, I will recommend you the following links as they provide excellent source of information on backpacking. Any sort of feedback or suggestions will be highly appreciated.