Backpacking as a way to travel has recently become popular, as it provides you with an almost unlimited flexibility with your itinerary, and saves you a significant amount of money compared to booking into pricey hotels. If you want to go backpacking and are interested in knowing the basics, here are some tips to keep in mind:
What to pack:
One of the main concerns when setting out on a backpacking trip is what you need to take with you. You’ll be carrying your backpack around for extended periods of time and it needs to have everything that you will need that can’t be locally bought where you’re headed. It is important to pack as little as possible since you’re going to have to bring your backpack with you everywhere, and having a heavy, bulky pack can restrict your movements when boarding public transport and tire you out since you will have to carry it around all day. Here is a list of what you need to have in your pack:
- A good sleeping bag is necessary. Ones that can be rolled up to a very small size are ideal. In many hostels you will be charged for sheets and blankets.
- A raincoat/ waterproof jacket that can be folded to a small size, just in case you get caught in the rainy season.
- Head covering or hats to keep your hair off your face and the sun off your head.
- Water bottles
- A Swiss army knife.
- Cosmetics and toiletries- just the essentials to maintain your hygiene
- A first aid kit
- 2 towels
- A travel washing line to hang your clothes on when you wash them.
- A plastic bowl with a knife, fork and spoon
- A mosquito repellent
- Traveling light means hand-washing your laundry often. It would be wise to pack clothes made of synthetic fibers like rayon, polyester or nylon since they dry faster than cotton.
- Bring at least 2-3 shirts and a long-sleeved shirt to protect from mosquitoes and the heat or the cold.
- Bring 2 pairs of pants made of lightweight fabric, preferably cargo pants that have plenty of pockets.
- Bring a pair of sturdy, hardwearing jeans
- Bring swimwear, if you plan to go swimming
- Bring a light-weight fleece regardless of the climate of your destination. The fleece can be layered with other clothes to keep you warm, and can double as a pillow when rolled up.
- Bring only 4-5 sets of socks and underwear. There’s no need to bring a lot since you’ll be washing them anyway.
- Bring a good, sturdy pair of hiking boots if you plan to walk a lot.
- A good pair of sandals or flip-flops is essential in most destinations. They’re small and easy to pack and also quite comfortable.
- If you can, fit in a pair of comfortable sneakers.