9 BACKPACKING DO’S AND DON’T FOR BEGINNERS
Having your first ever backpacking adventure soon? Let’s set your expectations right: it is not going to be as smooth and perfect as you want it to be. You will forget to bring something. You will make mistakes. Anything can go wrong.
But you can still have a great time exploring different places, of course. Before you embark on your trip, learn from the common blunders of other backpackers. Here are some dos and don’ts to remember so that your backpacking journey will be less stressful and more enjoyable:
DON’T OVER STUFF YOUR TRAVEL BAG.
Pack just the essentials that will help you survive your entire backpacking trip—nothing more, nothing less.
Extra clothes, extra shoes, and beauty or grooming products will only add unnecessary weight and take up too much space in your bag, so you will be better off leaving them at home. You will be sleeping in the woods, so there is no need to dress up and look fancy. There might even be times that you will not be able to take a bath.
It helps to create a to-bring list to identify the things that you will really need on your trip. Once your list is complete, make sure to use a sturdy travel bag that fits you just right.
If nothing weighs you down and causes body pains as you move along, then you can be sure to have a great time on your travels.
DON’T BRING TOO MUCH PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR.
You can take stunning photos of your travels without having to bring too many heavy equipment. Yes, you can leave those bulky DSLR and multiple camera lenses behind. Compact and lightweight mirrorless cameras are a great alternative to DSLRs for travel photography because they can produce sharp, crisp photos without the bulk and weight.
Also, bring a good zoom lens (instead of carrying multiple lenses for different shooting situations), a portable tripod, and a spare battery, and you’re good to go.
KNOW THE WEATHER
Your comfort should always be among your priorities each time you travel. The last thing you would want to happen is to get stuck in the cold and be frozen to death without the right backpacking apparel to keep you warm. Knowing the weather of the place beforehand will help you prepare the proper clothes to pack.
WEAR TRAIL RUNNING SHOES INSTEAD OF BOOTS.
Your backpacking trip is not the right time to break in those brand-new boots. New shoes, especially boots, need time to adjust to your feet before you can comfortably wear them. You do not want to deal with painful blisters, right? Instead, wear comfy and lightweight trail running shoes.
USE TREKKING POLES PROPERLY.
Trekking poles can be a lifesaver on long hikes, as they help reduce chances of accidents and injuries by providing support and balance. Learn the techniques on using trekking poles to ensure your safety when walking on rough terrains.
HAVE A STRICT WATER PLAN.
You cannot survive your backpacking trip without clean water. But it can also be the heaviest to carry should you decide to stock up your drinking bottle. Strategically budget the water you will carry without dehydrating yourself. Research on the trail you will go through. If there are freshwater sources (like rivers) around the area, refill your water bottle and quench your thirst just enough to last you until your next drink.
DON’T SKIP A MEAL
Skipping breakfast is a bad habit everyone—backpackers included—should avoid. If you do not eat something before you start your day, it will definitely be hard to keep up with your schedule and activities.
HIKE AT YOUR OWN PACE.
Evaluate yourself carefully and do not force yourself to reach the summit faster than you actually can because as a beginner, you are still finding the pace that you are most comfortable with. If it takes you longer than your companions to walk, that’s okay, too. Just enjoy your trip and take your time. No pressure.
As responsible travelers, we should respect the environment and communities in each place we visit. That involves making sure to leave no trace in the area, picking up your trash, and disposing it properly. Also, be mindful of how your actions and behaviors will affect the community you are in—you do not want to disturb the peace and quiet of the locals.
What do you think of these backpacking for beginners tips.