Starting something new sometimes can be really frustrating. You have to get tons of information about every aspect. I know it because I was there many times.
When I started backpacking I basically didn’t know anything and just searched the web for the information about backpacking and it wasn’t easy task to do. And now few years later I have the experience and knowledge to tell people how and what to do in your backpacking trip. So I decided to write the article and put everything in one place about how to plan a backpacking trip. So in this article you will find everything what you have to consider before your backpacking trip.
Preparing for backpacking trip
Preparing for backpacking trip is really important and isn’t the easiest
task you can do. It only look easy in the beginning. You have to consider so many things and you have to plan a lot if you want your backpacking trip to be fun experience and not the terrible one.
Backpacking seem an easy task to do, but it’s not. Ask any experienced backpacker and he will say you that backpacking isn’t easy.
If you want that your trip with friends to be pleased experience I would recommend you to train and get little more experience before your long backpacking trip that you are waiting so much.
Just try going on the one day hikes with your friend’s thrue different terrain. After that try to go with your backpack to two day backpacking trip, take your gear with yourself and try it. Also ask your friends that you are planning to travel with to come with you, it would be great training for them too.
After few of these trips you will know what to expect and would have some experience before the big trip. Also you will learn a lot of vital thinks that will be in handy at your big backpacking trips.
Chose the right gear and test it
Choosing a right gear for your backpacking trip can be really frustrating. There is a lot to choose from and it looks like that you can’t make bad decision.
Last year I with the friend decided to go to two week backpacking trip to Italy as I already been backpacking a lot I had all the equipment that i need but my friend who is new to the backpacking had to buy all the equipment. After some research on relatively low budget he managed to buy all the things that he need. Strait after that he called me and said I am ready. When I heard that he is ready I tell him that he isn’t and that he has to test his new equipment before our trip. So long story short we went into two day backpacking trip and in the end his backpack zipper broke down, so he had to change backpack and test it one more time.
Remember never take with yourself thinks that you don’t test before. You don’t want to go to over country and see that your backpack teared or your shoes are rubbing your feet. So straight after you bought your new gear try it and you will know what to expect. Trying your gear is also really good training for your trip.
Plan your budget
Personally I don’t like to over plan backpacking trip with all the details. But planning the budget is basically one of the things that you have to plan very carefully.
If you are like me and you are traveling on low budget you have to think about all the details. There is three things that you have to consider on your budget list. It is transport, food and place to sleep. In my case I always spend majority of my budget on transport then goes food and the last one is sleeping.
Before traveling look at how much you are going to spend on average in one day. If you are traveling in Europe the number would be around 40 euros , but this number is only average. You can spend 3 euros a day and the next one you can spend 100 euros. My advice after you carefully planned your budget take some extra money with yourself the experience shows that money goes faster than you think. 🙂
Plan your gear kit with your friends
When you start thinking what gear you are going to need it sometimes seem crazy. After few minutes you realize where am I going to put all this gear. You have to take with yourself kitchen, fire, repair, survival, toilet, personal and first aid kits. Plus all the food, sleeping bag, tent and etc.
My advice is when you are planning to go backpacking with your friends collaborate and take gear as a team. Share the gear with your colleagues and help each over, that way your trip will be more pleasant.
Sit down before your backpacking trip and look at your gear lists, plan together that way you could save a lot of weight in your backpacks also save money on the gear and have the benefits of working as a team in the adventure of your life.
Pick destination for your backpacking trip
When you are going to backpacking trip it’s good to have some type of destination in your mind and plan around it. As example if you are going to Alps you can look in the mountains you want to climb and plan how to climb them and there you are going to stay.
If you want just travel through the country, pick the cities you want to visit.
My advice be conservative and don’t add to many places to your list. You don’t want to rush in your trip, you want to relax and be in the moment. Just generally look in the map and say that I want to go there and there and that’s it. Write it down, look what type of transport is in that region and plan how you are going to travel. That way you can plan over things esear.
Find out local fire and camping regulations
If you are planning to backpack in the wild probably you want to sleep in the tent or under the tarp and before sleeping it most definitely would be nice to sit near the campfire and talk with friends. But that can be illegal. I recommend to see the regulations of place you are going to backpack. Look is it forbidden to camp and etc. That way you could run out of unpleasant situations in your backpacking trip.
But if you like to do crazy things you can just backpack and sleep wherever you want, only that way you have to be super careful and still I would not recommend to campfire where you want because it is dangerous not only for you but also for environment that surrounds you.
Packing for a backpacking trip
Packing right things into your backpack is essential think to your trip success. Knowing what to take with you and what gear to choose helps you to save time and energy also it makes you trip more pleasant not only for you but for your trip buddies also.
Chose the right backpack
Bad backpack can make your trip terrible so choosing the right one is really important. You don’t want to go with bad backpack not only because it can rip every moment but also because of comfort of it.
Choosing backpack is quite hard, there is so many possibilities, but when you know what you need there isn’t so hard to choose. First you have to determine what volume backpack you need. If you are going to long trip and you have to take a lot of things with yourself look for higher volume backpack with high quality backseastem. That way you can take all things that you need and be comfortable with it. Look for well know brands that way you may pay more but you will know that equipment is really high quality.
Chose the right hiking boots
Your hiking boots is the number one gear peace of your equipment. Boots are so important, they can make your trip terrible so investing in good hiking boots is essential for good backpacking trip.
When you are planing to buy hiking boots look at what terrain you are going to travel. If you are going to the mountains to high altitude technical backpacking look for stiffer sole shoes and if you are planning to backpack in cities look for not so stiff hiking shoe.
For backpacking in the wild I would recommend boots with goretex that way your feet will be dry. Only one downside of gore tex shoes is that they breve less. And for backpacking in the cities I would recommend some light comfortable shoes.
Remember after you purchased your shoes walk with them at least 50 kilometres before your backpacking trip. Your feet and shoes has to adapt to you so it is important because often new shoes is rubbing the feet.
Chose the right clothes and bring layers
If you are active person you most definitely already have some sort of clothes that fits for backpacking.
For backpacking in the wild look for durable quality clothes that can hold on the stress that you are going to put on them. Don’t forget layers,at colder temperatures try layering it will help you stay warm.
Also look for the clothes that can dry quickly because when you’re hiking you are going to sweat a lot so it is important that your clothes dry fast. Don’t pack too much clothes really think what you are going to need. Also don’t forget to take something that can help you to be dry during the rain.
Chose tarp or tent
First of all you have to plan where you are going to sleep. If you are planning to sleep in hostel or search something on airbnb you can skip this, but if you are planning to stay in the wild you have to decide what to take.
For first time backpackers I would recommend staying under tent because it isn’t that much extreme as staying under the tarp. I personally prefer traveling with tarp.
Bring handful accessories
Bringing handful accessories to your trip can help you in all sorts of situations. You never know where you are going to end up at your backpacking trip and having small accessories that can help you is really handy.
If you are traveling into the wild I would recommend to take with you some type of emergency kit with whistle, mirror maybe emergency blanket and etc. Also taking map of the area you are traveling is also smart decision.
I personally always take with myself few meters of rope, knife, liter, whistle and compass. These essential handful accessories almost always helps me in variety of ways.
Pack as light as possible
I know you must have all those things with you. I remember when I first time was packing for backpacking trip and didn’t know where to put all the stuff and it seemed that i need it all. Now I know that half of the stuff that you are taking with yourself you will never use.
As I already mentioned before training for backpacking trip is really good way of learning essential things about backpacking. So go to few hikes with your pack and then you will see what you don’t need. Also remember my advice about packing your backpack with friends and backpacking as a team not as individuals.
Pack plenty of light-weight, high-calorie food
Eating at backpacking trips is important. If you do not eat you will soon waist all your energy reserves and will be stucked, I been in these situations many times.
If you decided to backpack in the nature and especially in the mountains you have to eat as often as possible. The problem is that there isn’t enough time to make a good meal on your cooking stove every thirty minutes, so you have to take with yourself high calorie snacks that can help you to retain your energy levels at normal positions.
Pack as a group, not as individual
At this point you already know that if you want your trip to be successful you have to take a lot of things with you and also to think about bunch of situations that can occur during the trip.
When I am packing my backpack I always looking in bunch on variable from that depends how much weight I am going to carry in my trip. You have to look at the weather also the region where are you traveling. You have to determine if you are going to need any special equipment and only when pack you bag. But just before that I would recommend to sit with the friends talk to them and pack your bags together as a team of backpackers, believe me it has so many advantages that you most definitely not going to regret this decision.
So pack pas a team, because you are one.
My friends sometimes ask me, isn’t you afraid that something is going to happen? And, yes I am a bit but I know that I am ready and know what to do. For new backpackers it is really important to know a lot about safety at your trips because they tend to undervalue all the danger and thinks that can happen to them.
Always be prepared
They only way of feeling safe in your backpacking trips is to be ready for all sorts of situations and knowing what to do and when to do it. If you want to be safe and feel safe in your trip you have to think about a lot of different things. First think about you health and take with your self first aid kit for those situations when you can get sick or you heard yourself.
Second, research about the place you are traveling, is it safe? When you know all the details about the safety of the location you are traveling make necessary precautions that can make your trip more safe.
Remember all the details about the safety and you should be fine in your traveling trip.
Evaluate what you can do
It is often that people that run in those difficult situations over estimate themselves. I know you heard it before but careful thinking before doing is really important, especially if you are traveling in foreign country or in the mountains, or in the wilderness. You have to think about consequences of each of your decisions.
Many montenier climbers die each year do too that they thought that they can do in and the serpas said that they can’t but they were stubborn and don’t listened to them. So this is perfect example how people underestimate the danger and do things that they can’t do.
My advice always think twice before doing something and it will definitely make your trip safer and your life easier.
Go with a group
Backpacking is fun way of spending your free time. You can go to the trip alone or with the group of friends. Each of ways has advantages, but if we are going to talk about safety the safest way is going with small group of friends.
Going with friends is not only the safest way because you work as a group and you can help each over no matter what happens. It is also more fun to travel with you friends. 🙂
Carry enough water and food
Being hydrated and full of energy is really important thing in your traveling trip. If you are traveling in the mountains or in the remote places you have to think about your water and food supplies. Remember that event if you thought about everything and you think as example 2 litres of water is plenty enough for that distance always take extra.
Because you don’t really know what is going to happen and having extra water and food is always in handy.
Remember that these few small bottles of water or few chocolate bars can even save your life so always take extra water and food with yourself and it will definitely make your trip safer.
Check in with someone before you leave
If you are going to backpacking trip just tell your close friends, girlfriend or boyfriend or even parents where are you going and with whom you are going. Call them every day one or two times that way they will know that everything is ok and if something will not go as you want they will know there to look for you.
I personally calling one time in the evening if the trip isn’t that hard and if I am going to mountains or something like that I am calling two times a day one in the morning and one in the evening. In the morning I just saying what is today’s plan and where we are planing to go and in the evening I am calling to say where I am.
Going on serious hiking and backpacking trips can be really challenging thing to do. In the beginning it looks like it is easy, but believe me it is not. If you are going to the mountains and first day you would try to hike super long distance most probably next day you would be tired and don’t want to go any there.
My advice always pace yourselves at your traveling trips, always think what can you. Don’t go for to many kilometers in one day if you feel it is too hard for you. If you go to many kilometers in one day I am most certain that you will burnout at some point of your trip. So remember to pace yourselves and do not overestimate what you can do.
Know about animals
When you are going to the different country for your wild backpacking trip look about local animals and what
precautions you have to do. As the example if you are going to Romania for your backpacking trips read a lot
about bears and wolves and the same goes for Canada and etc.
Knowing about local animals is really in handy when you are backpacking so read before you leave about that
country’s wild animals, and most probably you will know what to do when you meet them.
Have your protection
When you are going to your backpacking trip you don’t really know what is going to happen. And sometimes bad things can happen to you. You can break your bones or something terrible as that so I recommend to be prepared for that also.
Have your travel insurance that then something bad happened you would have a plan. When you are buying your travel insurance look at many options you can insure your baggage when you are going with place and also your health if something bad will happen.
By now I think you know enough about how to plan your backpacking trips. I hope that information in this article is helpful for you. If you like this article please share it with your friends.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed please share this story. Would mean a lot to me and it helps others to see the story. If you want to support my writing visit my Patreon: click here