Backpacking really is one of the greatest ways to see the world. Behind all of the fancy restaurants, five-star hotels, resorts and tourist attractions are often a fascinating destination brimming with culture and history. Instead of being a tourist you become a traveller, and it allows you to see things in an entirely new way. Planning on going backpacking this year? Here are a few questions to ask yourself!
Backpacking With a Tour or Going Alone?
If you’re new to backpacking, booking a tour could be the way to go. Here you will join a group of other backpackers and will have transport and accommodation sorted along the way. You will be taken to all of the best sites, and your route will be planned so the hard and scary stuff is done for you. If you’re a little more experienced, you and your group could plan your own route. Just be careful, backpacking can be dangerous, and the world is an enormous place. It’s so easy to end up lost. Even more so in a country you’ve never been to, who speak a language you can’t understand.
Which Backpack is Best?
If you’re going to be spending weeks or months with a backpack on your back, it needs to be a good one. Spend some time in the store trying on different models, find a size that’s comfortable for you. Obviously, a bigger pack allows you to carry more, but then there’s the risk of overfilling it and it becoming too heavy. Look into different brands, materials and sizes to find your perfect match.
What Clothing Will You Need?
Suitable clothing is a must, and exactly what you need will depend on your destination and the time of year. If you’re in a part of the world where it’s very sunny, or there are a lot of mosquitos, long layers will protect your skin. If you’re travelling through a part of the world that’s very religious, you may need clothing that suitably covers you since certain pieces won’t be deemed acceptable. A good pair of walking boots is essential for any backpacker, make sure yours are broken in and feel comfortable before setting off on your travels.
Will You Be Staying in a Tent or Accommodation?
If you’re mainly going to be camping, you will need to look into what the best backpacking tent is for your needs. Something sturdy yet lightweight enough to carry around is a must. If you’re staying in hostels, it may be worth signing up to a hostel chain. That way you can plan out your journey based on the hostel’s locations, and you know where you’re going to be staying will be clean and secure,
What Food and Water Will You Consume?
When you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, high energy and nutritious foods are essential. Do regular stops at the grocery store to fill up on essentials while keeping costs down. You need a least a day and a half’s food and water with you, it can also help to include a water filtering kit in your pack. That way, at least if you do get lost or stranded, you have something to drink if you can find a water source. This could literally be life-saving.
Are You Prepared For Accidents?
Another important piece of kit not to be overlooked is a first aid kit. Some band-aids and over the counter pain medication will make life more comfortable if you need them. It should also include antiseptic wipes, bite and sting cream, gauze and bandages. In warm climates cuts and bites can get infected quickly, you need to be able to patch yourself up until you can get medical attention.