Cracking Answer: What is Backpacking?
“A form of low-cost, independent international travel. It includes the use of a backpack or other luggage that is easily carried for long distances or long periods.” Reference (Wikipedia)
We agree with that completely. But there is a lot more to backpacking. What is backpacking and who is the backpacker?
- Independent travel
- Low cost
- A mean of education
- Using Public Transport
In Short, Backpacking can be described as an Independent and often international, low-budget way of traveling. Someone who Backpacks is called Backpacker. Isn’t backpacking for students? Many people will think you’re crazy.
Let me explain!
Backpacking is to be traveling or hiking with your stuff contained in a bag with a little money around the world. As in student life, most of the students don’t have enough money to travel around the world. So, a student can afford a low-budget trip to any destination in his/her leisure time as a back-packer. To help you launch your first outing, I have assembled 09 tips. These will help you plan your route, choose the right gear and travel comfortably in the out-land. Follow these guidelines and your first backpacking trip will likely be the first of many.
01- CHOOSE A CONVENIENT HIKING ROUTE
Determine how far you can travel and how long you can be away. Try Google maps for destination and Google images for season. If you plan a point-to-point trip, it will be easy for your first time hiking. So hit the road early and allow extra time for this task.
02- DO NOT OVER-PACK
Do your research, create a packing list and note the items you need to buy. Before you buy anything, make sure you have an idea of the available options. Be sure of what will suit you during the journey. Do not overload your backpack with useless goods.
03- TRAIN YOURSELF
Once a wise man said, “the best way to train for any sport is to do the actual sport”. Take yourself on walks and shorter hikes three times a week. Make sure to wear the same boots you’ll wear on your journey. If you’ve just bought new boots, give yourself time to break them in.
04- CHOOSE A GOOD PAIR OF FOOTWEAR
Shoes or boots that fit poorly or fall apart will ruin your journey faster than anything else. Last time when I was on a backpacking journey, one of my friends did not have a comfortable shoe pair. So, our hiking got late for about 8 hours just because he could not walk properly. When we arrived at the destination his feet got serious injuries. Thus, I suggest you to choose a good pair of shoes to enjoy the hiking.
05- BRING SOME HEALTHY MEAL WITH YOU
Food is going to be the heaviest part of your backpack in the beginning. But in my opinion, you must take such a meal with you which has a lot of calories in it. It is the most important thing in the hiking. It will help you to eat less and gain more energy to complete your trip.
06- GO WITH AN EXPERIENCED BACKPACKER
If you have friends who are experienced backpackers, then that’s great. For it is the best opportunity for you to begin your first backpacking journey. This will help you to learn from their experiences. For instant, if you’re not sure about your ability to navigate in the wilderness. You can lean on your partner’s experience and treat your first trip as a learning opportunity.
07- LEARN THE LANGUAGE
Most important point is to learn the language of the area where you have decided to hike. If you want to know not only how to be a backpacker but how to be a sharp backpacker. You must learn to communicate with the people where you are hiking.
08- DRINK UP AT WATER SOURCE
Always remember that your water supply is also the heaviest item to carry with you. So, keep in mind to drink water as much as you can from the water sources along with your hiking. I suggest you to plan how far is the next water source. And carry only what you need to get there.
09- ANALYZE EVERYTHING
Last but not the least, make sure you have asked yourself these important questions:
Do you really need it? Is there a lighter version of it? Can it be shaved or cut down? When you ask yourself these questions you will come to know which items are not good for you during travel. Then you can sort out things to bring with you.
These are some of the tips for you to enjoy your first backpacking journey from my own experience. The coolest part about traveling is getting to meet all sorts of people. But, you might not love all of them. But, you will come to know about different cultures. I have spent A LOT of time hanging out in hostels and sharing room with strangers during my backpacking. So through my experience, I’ve made a list of the 12 types of travelers that you’re bound to meet if you’re backpacking. So, here we have a list of types of back packers and whether you should befriend them or not.
01- THE BLOGGER
These are the travelers who convert their passion into a profession. Well, these guys up everyone in the adventure category 300%. As they share all their experiences with people through blogs, so people get motivate to do so. There can be a team of bloggers or a single blogger.
02- THE TRUE BACKPACKER
This is traveler you want to be. You think you’re out on your own adventure and think wow I’m doing it right? He’s sleeping in a tent back in the forest. He hitchhikes from place to place, has 2 sets of clothes and an epic beard. He has no international data and travel by a map (actual physical map).
03- The DIGITAL ROVER
The digital rover works on the road, supporting his travels through some sort of online business or product. He keeps to himself, lives in cafes or other Wi-Fi hotspots, with headphones on.
04- THE COUPLE
The backpacking couple spends most of their time seeing the beauty, touring and doing activities. They avoid most of the backpacker parties. They tend to fall toward other couples or older travelers. The younger version often goes the opposite route. They tend to party a lot while breaking up about ten times on the road.
05- THE GAP YEARER
The gap yearers are those who tend to be traveling for exactly one year right before or after university. These travelers like to party a lot, see the priceless beauty and sleep in hostels. They don’t bound to a specific place; they travel the way they get.
06- A GOLDEN AGER
The Golden age is the age where a person is free from any burden or responsibilities. He has nothing much to do. So, such persons leave everything behind and take a route to enjoy some quality time. They don’t mind to interact with people and share their experiences.
07- THE HUMANITARIAN
Humanitarian backpackers have volunteering experience in countries you have never heard of. They travel to help everyone who is suffering from bad time. They leave their comforts for other.
08- THE FREE SPIRIT
These are some hippy one who do not care what they are wearing. You will see them wearing fisherman pants and lots of lockets. They will smell like they have not taken bath for two weeks. You will find them in developing countries because they can’t afford anywhere else.
09- THE QUIET ONE
There will be two types of QUIET people. The one who want to be left alone to enjoy his/her own company. The other one don’t have social skills to interact with people. But, in both cases they spend their journey solo by observing other and seeing beauty.
10- THE FOODIE
The last one on my list is the foodie. The critical eater you’ve ever come across. They often critique street foods like they’re at a five-star restaurant. They always have their eyes on food and never miss any meal.