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Backpacking Travel

Backpacking is one of the best ways to travel and really get to know a country. Recently I took a trip down to Mexico for two weeks with the terrific Bamba Experience travel network and could not be happier. You discover many incredible places and cultures through backpacking that are not available when traveling under other accommodations.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white sub tabs above to navigate the other Backpacking resources. We have a Backpacking forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Backpacking -to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Backpacking books and products.



If you enjoy the outdoors and if you are looking for a hobby that is not expensive, backpacking is the right one for you. There are people who go backpacking all the time. The main thing is to check whether you are physically fit enough to set out on a trip. Backpacking is a healthy activity and it also gives you the chance to see places in a new perspective. Other than that, you get to travel, since you need not confine yourself to backpacking only on daytrips or overnight trips.

Going About Preparing For Your Backpacking Trip

The main thing about backpacking is the planning and preparation, before you get all excited and set off. Planning involves choosing where you want to go. Preparation means you must select your backpacking gear, get it all together and pack all the supplies you may need to make it a memorable trip.

Where Do You Want To Go?

First, make up your mind about where you want to go, as it will help get the right gear together. Perhaps you want to go backpacking for a week through a natural park or maybe you only want to go for an overnight trip. You will want to know about the weather so that you can decide when to go and pack accordingly. Next, you want to choose your trail, based on how experienced you are. Stick with well-known trails. If you are heading off to an international destination, you want to pick the international trails. A good map will be your best guide when you mark the routes you want to take, along with important landmarks.

There are plenty of campsites that make life easier for the backpacker since they have facilities like showers, bathrooms and stores, so make sure you know where the ones on your route are located.

It is also worthwhile to get in touch with other backpackers who go on trips regularly for useful information on what you can expect from a particular destination. You can meet other backpackers via message boards and online forums. Quite a few of these have realistic accounts of trips and experience, reviews of backpacking gear, tips, etc. There are also backpacking clubs where you can meet with backpackers who will be more than glad to help you plan a trip.

Getting your gear together

Choosing your gear is the starting point. But remember not to load up, or pick the wrong gear – the last thing you want is to be loaded down with unnecessary weight from things you will not use. Your backpack must carry gear that contributes to your comfort and safety. So while there is actually no such thing as the ideal backpacking gear, there is a list of things you must carry. Eventually, though, after a few trips, you will be able to decide about what works best for you.

Some people also wisely rent or borrow whatever they want when they go backpacking the first time. This helps to decide on the right gear to buy and avoid getting stuff you may not need or use.

So lets go ahead and make a list of what you will want!

Your backpack will carry all your stuff. Depending on how long you are going to be away, and the kind of weather you will face, you want to choose the right kind of backpack. There are different types of backpacks – internal frame and external frames and the day backpacks. The external frame backpacks are good for big loads while the internal frame type is easier to handle, being smaller. Try on the backpack before you decide to buy it and make sure you get the right size.

Here Is What You Will Need To Pack:

• Water

• Route maps with your program

• Pocket knife

• Flashlight with an extra set of batteries

• Match box

• A whistle

• A paper pad and pencil

• Digital Camera

• Mobile phone (fully charged)

• Sleeping bag for overnight trips

• Photo ID

• Extra clothing with an extra pair of socks

• A first aid kit

• Stove

• Tent

• Cash

When you pack all these into your backpack, do it in a way that makes your backpack easy to carry. Spread the weight so that you are comfortable with it. Depending on the length of your trip, you can decide which of the above items you want to pack. Preferably, begin collecting what you need a few days before you plan to take off. If you intend being away for a week, you might want to become familiar with setting up a tent and using a stove if you are carrying one. Some people set off on backpacking trips that even last a few months, especially when they travel to a different country and then go backpacking. In such instances, they carry lists of youth hostels on the route.

Some Useful Tips That Will Come In Handy

• You want to make sure about the weather when you plan your trip. Sometimes there could be a sudden change in weather and it could spoil your trip. Also, heavy rains can actually be hazardous depending on the terrain you plan to cover. So keep a watch on the weather forecast.

• Be aware of the laws of the area you intend to go backpacking in. Most backpacking areas have specific regulations to protect the environment and you would do well to respect it.

• If you plan to visit a different country where you are unfamiliar with the language, carry a phrase book that will help you in basic communication and to read important signs.

• Let your friends and family have a copy of your route map when you go backpacking.

That said, backpacking takes an adventurous mindset, planning and preparation. It is best to begin with short trips and progress to longer ones so that you get more confident as you go along – physically as well as mentally. This should have you eager to get started with backpacking as a hobby.