What is Backpacking?
Backpacking is normally referred to a simple low-budget way of traveling or going for a trip anywhere in the world. The dictionary meaning of backpackers is the independent travelers who put all their belongings in a bag pack and go for a trip. However, some people tend to narrow down backpacking to a certain place, environment or destination. This does not change backpacking since no matter where you are going the main purpose of that trip is to explore new places, walking on foot and carrying a backpack.
The Essential Things You Need To Know
Backpacking is something that has been there for some time now, however it has changed over time and it is now very easy. That is compared to before it is now cheaper to take a flight, and compared to before you do not have to take care of organizing the backpacking trips there are organizations that have been set up for those purposes. However, even if you decide to plan to make the backpacking trip all on your own the booking of flights are done online with the advancement of technology this has definitely made Backpacking very easy though this does not mean it is free it has definitely made everything very easy. In addition, you can also search engines to know more about backpacking online and you will find all the information that you will need since they are blog posts and websites that have been established to give such important information.
Steps of Backpacking for Beginners
1. Planning the Backpacking Trip
It is very important to have a plan if you want to have a very successful backpacking trip, these means you find out where you plan on taking the trip and who will be your partner or whether you will be going alone. It is important to know where you plan to camp so that you can check it out on the map. It is essential that the place you plan to take your trip should have a place where you can easily access water.
It is important to get an experienced partner if you are going out on the backpacking trip alone since your partner will prepare you on what to expect. However, if you do not have an experienced partner you can sign up for backpacking trips with a friend to be well prepared. If the back trip includes going out as a group, it will be important that you get to plan what everyone will be carrying to ensure that you carry what is required instead of carrying things in excess and leaving out other things.
Choose A Route For Your Backpacking Trip
It is important that you get to know the route that you plan to use for your trip because of the following factors;
The Level of your fitness
It is important because if you are planning to go for a long trip in a hilly and rocky place, your fitness level has to be very high. This means that if you have not been keeping yourself fit you will need to do that and if the time is minimal you will have to choose for yourself a simpler route.
The amount of time at your disposal
This is important since if you are planning a trip that is far away from your place, you will need a lot of time. This means that you will probably need a whole weekend since if you plan on enjoying your trip you will need enough rest.
It is important to check your weather forecast so that there is a possibility of a heavy storm you can postpone your trip. There is also the possibility of too much sun which is not good for walking, it will be very important that you are aware of your weather.
It is important to calculate the distance of your backpacking trip so that you can calculate how many miles you will have to travel each day. This is important especially when it is your first time since you will need to go fewer miles depending on the weight of your backpack. It is normally advisable to go four to seven miles a day for all the beginners.
It is important that on the day of the trip if your two or in a group, everyone should go using the same pace as the slowest person. This is to ensure that everyone sticks together and is also on par with everyone. It is also important that you have breaks frequently to take water or to rest so that everyone remains hydrated.
Setting the camp
It is always very important to remember that when it comes to setting camp there are three things involved; setting up the camp, building a camp fire and cooking dinner. This is things that should be done in accordance with the time that you made it to the place you plan to pitch your tent. This means that if you arrive late it is important to start with building the fire, cooking and the final step to be setting up the tent. When it comes to fire you will find that most campsites already have their own fire pits, in instances that it is not there it is important that you make your own. Gather dry firewood makes the fire and star with the small wood first so that the fire can start burning quickly then later you can use the large wood.
Leaving the Campsite
On the day that your backpacking trip has come to an end it is important that you ensure that you have packed everything that you came with to the trip. After, ensure that you have collected all the dirt around the campsites and that all the fire is completely out. The other very important thing is to ensure that you have filled all your water bottles with water that you will need to use on your way back. (Cohen, 2011)
What should be in your Backpacking Gear
This is a very most obvious thing that you should have before you go on your backpacking trip, it is important that you carry a hiking backpack, since when you go to the market you will always find different types of backpacks. Ensure that the backpack you carry fits your size to ensure that you are comfortable on your backpacking trip. To ensure ease in locating and getting out your belongings from the backpack, pack the large items in the large pocket of the backpack and the small items in the small pocket of the hiking bag.
It is important to know about the weather and distance so that you can be able to carry the right sleeping bag. For instance, if it is cold and the distance is long you will be able to get a light warm sleeping bag.
Personal First Aid Kit
This is a must have for every backpacking trip so that you can ensure that you have a safe trip. It is normally advisable to carry a pre-packaged one in order to ensure that you have everything that is needed for the trip.
Water Treatment Equipments
As I have stated you should choose a camp site that has a water source so to ensure that this water is clean you must have water treatment equipment. The most used are normally the Nalgene bottles, ensure that you also carry filtration pump to help with the purification of the water.
A flashlight and Hiking Boots
This is important for a backpacking trip and also it is important that you taste the flashlight and carry extra batteries for emergencies. It is also important that your hiking boots to be well fitting and flat if you’re going for long distances to ensure comfort.
It is important that you choose the clothing that you plan to carry according to the weather and also according to your own comfort. This means that if it fits the weather it is very important that it is what is comfortable for you.
Food and the food equipment
This means you should have a Hiking Stove, fuel a cooking pot and the food that you will need according to the number of days you plan your backpacking trip to take. (Ateljevic and Doorne, 2004)
Benefits of Backpacking
It is a very good experience since you get to see new places and learn a lot of new things this is especially for those doing it for the first time.
It is a good way to exercise since the trip involves hiking and carrying a backpack through mountains or rocks depending on where you're taking your trip.
It builds you confidence since as a backpackers get to experience on their own different things and places.
It's an opportunity to meet new people and create new connections when on a backpacking trip you get the opportunity of meeting different people.
It is a fun experience since you get to see new places eat in different situations and also be able to learn different things. (Fellman, 2015)
Aswetravel, (2014) what is backpacking? And who is someone called a ‘Backpacker’? Retrieved at www.aswetravel.com Accessed on 7th March 2017
Ateljevic, I. and Doorne, S. (2004). Theoretical encounters: A review of backpacker literature. In G. Richards and J. Wilson (eds). The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice. Clevedon: Channel View Publications.
Cohen, S. A. (2011). Lifestyle travelers: Backpacking as a way of life. Bournemouth: Annals of Tourism Research.
Fellman, A. (2015). Motivations to travel as a backpacker: Case: Australia.