Heading off on a backpacking trip? Exciting times… but you’ll need to pack correctly if you want to make that excitement last once you arrive!
What you’re going to need when backpacking will be significantly different to what you’d take for a weekend trip. Chances are you’ll spend a lot of time walking or hiking, moving from place to place and traveling. This means that your packing needs to help you with your journey, not impede it! With this in mind, here are a few items that you will want to take along with you.
Wearing the wrong shoes when backpacking spells disaster. If there is anything that is going to slow you right down, or even put you out of action, its feet that can't take it. The wrong shoes will give you sores and blisters, and can even damage your toe nails! If the right shoes mean you have to invest a bit of money in them, it is still worth it. Two key features are their support and their weight. First of all, of course, they should support your foot and ankle properly. They also need to be a weight that you can manage. Too heavy and they’ll be counterintuitive as your legs will be sore from carrying them around all day!
When you've been walking, trekking or traveling all day, you’re not going to want to put on heels or smart leather shoes after. You’ll need a reliable pair of shoes to wear around your campsite or hostel. Invest in some simple pumps or lightweight trainers. Vans are flat and comfortable. The weight of these shoes, whatever brand or type they are, is key. After all, you’re going to be carrying them around on your back whenever you’re not wearing them.
“Well, where else am I going to carry all my stuff? On my head?” While it might seem like this one goes without saying, it is mentioned because getting the right backpack is key. Take the wrong one and you might as well be carrying the stuff on your head! Your backpack should be the right size for your height and strength. Many people forget this, but it’s important. Taking the biggest backpack in the world might mean you can take a lot of stuff, but if you can’t lift it? It’s no good at all!
A ‘Get Me Home’ kit
Due to the nature of backpacking, you aren’t necessarily as safe as you would be were you doing another type of travel. This isn’t to put you off, of course. But it is important to be aware of. You will be moving to lots of different places, more people will have access to your belongings than if you were to head to one hotel. And, if you are staying in hostels with strangers, these people are near your belongings when you are asleep. It isn’t necessary to be worried about this, but it is necessary to be prepared. Keep a ‘get me home’ pack on you at all times. Instead of keeping it in your backpack, keep it around your waist. Inside you should keep a spare bank card, your passport, and some emergency cash.