What to Know Before Going Backpacking

Backpacking is becoming more popular than ever! More affordable than traditional travel and a more outdoorsy-vibe than you could find going city to city, backpacking gives you the chance to get out there and get to know the land beyond what travel brochures sell you.

The excitement of travelling is not a hidden virtue for all those who just want to pack their bags up and escape concrete jungle for few days. Here are some common items that every avid traveller should bring with them. Pack all you need on the trip, but you must not forget the essentials. It's obvious that the travel essentials depend on your destination, but these are a few things you will need and it doesn't wherever you go.

what to bring on a backpacking trip

If you want to go backpacking and aren't sure where to start, these are the basics that everyone should know.

1. Only Iceland and Antarctica Are Completely Mosquito Free

You must have some form of insect and sun repellant. Even if your version of backpacking is going into nice neighborhoods and looking for houses for sale, there's a large likelihood that if it's warm and muggy out, there will be mosquitoes, and there's a risk of sunburn.

Some sprays combine these two uses, and it's a good idea to have that on hand. In addition, protecting your skin from sunburn while protecting yourself from insects like ticks, mosquitoes, and spiders can help you ensure that you have a better trip overall. Carrying an insect repellent is always a good idea.

2. Keep A Personal Water Bottle and Don't Over Hydrate.

As much as you may think that being dehydrated is the largest issue with travel: overhydrating is far more common. Keep a water bottle that's your main source of water, and only drink when you're thirsty. Many people think that when they're out backpacking, they have to drink as much water as possible, but that will slow you down and deplete a hydration source that you need.

Instead, wait until you’re thirsty, and then drink. This will make it so that you have to take fewer bathroom breaks, and you'll have to spend less time seeking out fountains or other places where you can refill your bottle. On the other hand, drinking too much water can leave you lightheaded, less capable of traveling, and more likely to have stomach issues.

You should ensure that your water bottle is sturdy, like most thermos-styled bottles, so that you can be safe and rest easy knowing it’s not going to shatter or crack if you drop your bag or anything happens.

3. Keep Multiple Phone Chargers and External Batteries

It has to be one of the most important travel essentials. You won't want your phone to die when you are in the middle of an intense movie scene on the flight or train. No charge in your phone or camera means no pictures and one won't want that. To avoid such issues ,make sure to pack your chargers and a portable backup charger as well.

Whether your version of backpacking includes hostels or not, bring lots of spare chargers with you to ensure that you're not stuck without a phone. Keeping well-charged external batteries that can be plugged into your phone is another good option since it provides that you'll have a backup on hand.

Being without your phone might not have mattered thirty years ago, but we hold everything in these devices now. They're our maps, our emergency contact holder, and a source of entertainment if you get bored.

It's a good idea also to keep functional items that your phone often multi-purposes on hand. This means a flashlight so that you don't have to drain your phone's battery after dark, a paper map in case you need it, and a piece of paper with any family or important phone numbers in case you've found and not able to relay them. Saving your phone's battery in these ways will keep you from having to deal with the stress of a dead phone later.

4. Sunscreen

The sun is not a forgiving force. Make sure to keep your sunscreen with you at all times and apply as necessary. Take advantage of your favourite moisturiser and lip balm to keep your face and lips hydrated. Don't forget to go with the 3oz rule to be safe. To keep yourself safe from the bad sun rays, you will be using this cream which you mostly use in your hometown.

Sunscreen is the most important travel accessory. It will protect you from the harmful UV rays and keep your skin unharmed. Carry your moisturizer and lip balm along with the suncreen so that your skin stays moisturised and you look amazing in all your pictures.

5. Travel wallet

A travel wallet is just the right accessory you need. Use it to organize all your important documents such as your Passport, travel tickets and many more.

6. Travel wallet

Keeping an small set of toiletries in your carry on baf like your toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and face wash. This way you won't have to search every corner of your luggage as it will be arranged.

7. Medicines

Some general medicines in case you feel, under the weather due to headache, stomach upset or any other issue. It's better to make a small and portable first-aid box and carry it whenever you are travelling.

8. Camera Lens

If you just want to keep one lens on your camera, go with a moderate wide-angle to medium telephoto zoom lens. Stay away from extreme zooms as with a few costly exceptions, as the optical quality suffers having to cover a wide range of focal lengths. If you are thinking more of a kit, try a wide-angle to normal or short telephoto zoom and a normal or short telephoto to a medium-long telephoto.

Try to buy hobbyist-grade lenses. They are usually better optically than cheap kit lenses but less expensive than professional lenses with features you don’t need. In either scenario, also buy a 50mm “normal” lens. The speed will come in handy in poor light, and if you use an APS-C sized camera, a 50mm makes a very nice portrait lens. Normal lenses are also usually very good and relatively inexpensive, especially when you buy them used.

9. Well planned set of clothes

Don’t go overboard with packing tons of clothes. Also lose any sort of expensive items/ accessory. Get into your comfy clothes and shoes as per the terrain of your trip. The motive is to travel with as less stress as possible. Clothes totally depends on the place you are visiting. If you are visiting snow capped destinations then keep cardigans, sweaters.

If you are visiting beach, casual light wears will do the job. A couple of comfortable T-shirts, hat and shorts are must.

Are you visiting a cold place or a much warmer region? What season prevails at your destination presently? Would you need your winter scarfs too? Is it required to take your swimming dress for the pool-party? All these questions would help you analyse your requirements for the place and likewise assist you in your planning.

It is also essential to consider the reason for your visit. If you are to attend a wedding ceremony, you will undoubtedly need to carry one of your best suits and brown leather formal shoes for men. In the case of women, a beautiful long dress with stilettos. Also, do a bit of research on the culture of the place so that you can blend in and enjoy even more with the locals.

Kalyan Panja