Pack Lightly for a Backpacking Travel
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Eng
You're travelling with buddies for the first time in a long time. You're pumped up, excited, and ready to go, but you mustn't forget anything. You look at your stuff and you realize you almost brought your entire house with you. Perhaps you've forgotten how to pack lightly for a backpacking travel.
Many people, it seems, have to learn things the hard way. Initially you're ecstatic that you were able to bring everything that you need with you (how can you not when you're lagging around a 90-liter pack?), then you totally regret it the moment you check into the airport or set foot at your destination. As you become a frequent traveler, however, you will realize that less is more and everything you thought you couldn't take with you are really non-essentials. Worse, you may discover that you can easily purchase these things at a much cheaper price when you reach your location.
At some point, you will also look for ways to travel even more lightly either through the use of ultralight backpacking gear or through using packing aids. The former ensures that not an ounce is added unnecessarily on that gear by utilizing perfectly light materials. The latter ensures keeping clothes compressed without space to spare. One also learns how to trim pack weight one item at a time, or by learning new tips and developing their own tricks from scratch.
How can you lighten your load without compromising your needs and laying your safety on the line? There is no single best answer to this question. Each backpacker has a different perception of what is critical for their convenience and comfort. Yet, each strives to pack smarter and lighter to be able to cover more distance and to experience more. The rewards will be worth all your effort.
So, here's a smart list that can easily fit into a 40-liter pack that will make you the happiest traveler ever! No headache, no backache - just a hassle-free trip!
The Basics You Can't Live Without
- 2Reliable Gadgets. You will want a camera with spare batteries, small LED torch, smartphone with your favorite music on it that is WiFi ready, chargers and adapters.Advertisement
- 4Stuff for your convenience. This category includes snacks, tissues, a towel, a sleeping bag (if you're planning to sleep in the great outback), entertainment (book, smartphone, etc.), poncho (depending on the climate), and some earplugs and an eye mask.
Other Essentials that Make a Difference
Now that essential things are packed and ready to go, you may want to touch on some equally important points as well while traveling. Here are some important reminders to heed to make your trip more enjoyable and less of a hassle:
- 1Common sense. You may be left with nothing else, but if you have this intact, you'll be just fine.Advertisement
- 2Take charge of your health. Be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit, and well fed and rested.
- 3Pre-travel Inoculations. Make sure you're well aware of this before you go; better yet, drop by a travel clinic to find out more.
- 4Emergency meds. Yes, most meds you need can be purchased on location, but for something like diarrhea, you may want to always take something with you like Imodium and/or Cipro. Drink lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated during these times.
- 5Veer away from insects, especially mosquitoes. Always use an insect repellent, day and night, and if you're going to a malaria infested place, it's better to sleep under a mosquito net.
- 6As directed, take your antimalarial meds.
- 7Safe sex. Please be reminded that HIV can be easily transmitted via unprotected sex, blood products, and needles. Either abstain from having sex or use a condom each and every time.
- 8Avoid driving in the dark. So many car accidents, especially in rural areas happen after dark, so if you can help it, don't do it.
- 9Be safety-conscious all the time.
- 10Stay away from dogs and animals you're unfamiliar with. Know exactly what to do in case you get bitten.
- 11Drink responsibly.
- 12Insurance. Make sure you taking your travel and medical insurance information with you.
On Accidents and Injuries
Many injuries and accidents are preventable, but then again, they do happen. And in cases such as this, you will want to be armed with sufficient knowledge and know what to do just in case some of these things happen to you:
- 1Cuts and scrapes.
This is not meant to cover all your travel emergencies and concerns, but hopefully it will give you a pretty good idea about the necessary things to bring (material and non-material) and how you must act and/or react when faced with accidents or injuries. So you see, learning how to pack lightly for a backpacking travel is not that daunting after all.
Have a safe and pleasant trip ahead.