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8 Clever Tips for Backpacking

By Halal Trip | 10, Aug, 2017
8 Clever Tips for Backpacking
 
Backpacking is a type of individual travel where the traveller carries his/her things in a backpack on their back. Backpacking can be both local or international travel, and usually an extended journey. The other type of backpacking involves adventures in the wilderness that include camping, hiking, etc.
 
Backpacking has become a very popular form of travel today. For one, it is one of the most inexpensive forms of travel, which is why it’s a common choice among the “young and broke”. It’s a way of taking in the world for a fraction of the price of a traditional vacation. Another reason for the rise in popularity for backpacking is perhaps that people are getting tired of their high-functioning, the highly-polluted city lives, from which backpacking in the wilderness gives them a break from.
 
Backpacking requires a bit more travel planning than normal because once you leave, all you have is your plan and the things you carry on your back. If you’re looking for backpacking tips for beginners, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 8 essential tips for backpacking.

 

Credits - giphy.com

 

1) Pick the Right Destination

 
The awesome thing about backpacking is that anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. It’s inexpensive, and you have the choice of the whole world! But it’s important that you pick the right destination for you when travel planning. Just because your old college buddy went backpacking through the forest and was bragging about how much of a refreshing experience it was, doesn’t mean you have to either. Maybe you’re not really an outdoor person, and that’s OK.
 
Some of the essential tips for picking a backpacking destination are:
 
1. Distance of travel and how long you have to travel
2. Your level of fitness
3. Time of year and weather
4. Your interests (e.g. food and culture, nature, etc.)
5. Logistics of the trip (i.e., individual, group, loop-to-loop, point-to-point, etc.)

 

2) Backpacking Buddy

 
Picture Credit - www.pexels.com
 
A very good backpacking tip for beginners, especially if it’s your first time, is to tag along with a more experienced backpacker. As a beginner, there are quite a lot of issues you’ll end up facing that you might not have even thought of. That’s why having a more experienced person to help and guide you along can be a lifesaver. Even if you’re not a beginner, having a like-minded person to travel with you can make a good experience great!

 

3) Get Fit

 
No matter which backpacking destination you choose, you can be sure that it’s going to involve a fair bit of physical exertion. Backpacking involves a lot of walking, climbing, sleeping in uncomfortable places, travelling on uncomfortable transport, and not to mention, literally having to carry all your stuff on your back. So, as a part of your travel planning, get plenty of exercise, get fit, and gear your body up for the inevitable physical trials you will face.
 

4) Learn Backpacking Skills

 
A valuable piece of backpacking advice is to learn some skills that can be literal lifesavers in certain situations. Learn crucial skills for backpacking in the wilderness like navigation and direction, setting up camp, picking the right location to do so, the correct way to pack essentials, cooking with minimal supplies, how to start a fire, water treatment, first aid, etc.
 
Other “skills” that can come in handy when backpacking in civilization are haggling, washing your clothes (in the sink), learning a few words of the local language (for international travel), etc.
 

5) Backpacking Checklist

 
You’ve picked a destination, and you’ve mapped out a travel plan. Now comes the next part of your travel planning, and the time to wonder “how do you pack a backpack?” The answer is, it depends! Depending on the chosen destination, you’ll have to pick different things to put on your backpacking checklist.
 
Take note of the conditions, weather, and facilities available along your journey and pack accordingly. Some of the essential things that you’ll need for backpacking are: an emergency first aid kit, weather-appropriate clothing and footwear, personal hygiene products and of course, a portable prayer mat and garment. And if you’re backpacking in the wild, make sure to bring along some food, kitchen supplies, camping gear and sleeping bags, water treatment equipment, etc.
 

6) Do Not Pack Too Many Things

 
Picture Credit - www.pexels.com
 
Got your backpacking checklist done; have figured what you need for backpacking? Good, now it’s time to cut a few things down. No matter what, you’ll always end up actually needing way less stuff than you think you will.
 
Take a long, hard look at that backpacking checklist and ask yourself, do I really need three pairs of shoes? (Hint: no, you don’t!) Remember, whatever you choose to bring along, you’ll have to carry on your back throughout the whole journey, so make it as easy on yourself as much as possible. If you find that you forgot to bring something that you really need, you can always just pick it up along the way!
 

7) Leave No Trace

 
When backpacking in the wilderness, it’s important that you make sure not to harm or disturb the natural habitats of animals and plants. Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of outdoor ethics that promotes conservation of the outdoors and sustainable backpacking. It consists of seven principles:
 
1. Plan Ahead And Prepare,
2. Travel And Camp On Durable Surfaces,
3. Dispose Of Waste Properly,
4. Leave What You Find,
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts,
6. Respect Wildlife,
7. Be Considerate Of Other Visitors.
 
Learn more about LNT here. 
 

8) Unplug


 
Picture Credit - www.pexels.com
 
Even though it may seem hard to believe, the entire world does not exist inside of your smartphone. A backpacking trip is always full of adventure and new experiences, and how do you expect to gain from them if you stay glued to your phone? Even if you’re looking for new places to see, food to try, and experiences to have, it’s always better to talk to the locals for recommendations. There are nice people everywhere who are ready to help you out, so take advantage of that.
 
With these 8 tips, are you ready for your backpacking trip? Go backpacking at least once in your life and have a safe, exciting and memorable holiday