Backpackers travel long distances for longer duration, carrying everything they need in a backpack. They do not bother to book lodging at expensive hotels or look for fine dining. They stay where they can, eat what they can. In short, they expose themselves to the elements while on their backpacking trip.
Young men and women prefer backpacking to conventional trips as it costs less and they have the freedom to go where they want. They also can get a feel of the place and taste the local cuisine in an authentic way. However, for a beginner in backpacking, there are certain do’s and don’ts that they have to take note of for their own safety and comfort
- Pack the backpackers gear essentials without fail
You need a few items of clothing that wash well and don’t crease. A water proof jacket, shoes, socks are a must. You need to carry a sleeping bag, sunscreen, toiletries, hat, first aid kit, money belt, rope (you never know when it might be handy), lighter, itinerary, phone, wallet and passport should get you by. Make sure that your backpack is durable. It has to last the entire trip.
- Plan an itinerary
Of course, backpacking means that you have the freedom to travel where you want and stay as many days as you want. However, it wouldn’t hurt to have an itinerary that is flexible enough to suit your needs. Starting a trip with no clue of where you want to do is not so good as you can’t plan a budget for it.
- Pack less food
Try to have the local food and save space in your backpack. Do carry a few bars of chocolate in case of emergency.
- Go with an experienced backpacker the first time
While it is adventurous to try it solo, it is always good to have the company of an experienced person the first time you venture out on a backpacking trip. You can learn a lot about how to survive and how to handle any issues from him or her.
- Carry an extra set of batteries
You never know when you may need these. It is always good to be prepared than regret later. In case of a blackout in the area or if you are stranded on a dark long stretch of road, it is always good to know where you are going. That’s when the flashlight and the extra set of batteries are a real help.
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- Don’t lend money to strangers you met on the way
Don’t blindly trust other backpackers and end up lending them money. Your money is your own. If they did not plan ahead, it is their problem, not yours.
- Don’t over pack
Carry only the things that you know you will need for sure. Also don’t take things that are expensive and so precious to you that you will not want to lose them.
- Don’t carry a lot of cash with you
In these days of ATMs, it is foolish to carry a lot of cash with you on your person or in your backpack. Carry what you need for a few days.
- Don’t worry if things don’t go according to your plan
There are times when things go wrong. You may lose your belongings or it may rain for several days that you get stranded in one place. Be flexible and open minded. Learn to accept things calmly and think about what you can go next.
So are you ready for your backpacking trip? Do go on a backpacking trip at least once in your lifetime.