Some do it for adventure, some do it to be one with nature, some do it to rediscover themselves, and some say it’s the only way to travel; some do it for the sheer joy of it and still others for soul cleansing. Whatever your reasons, backpacking for the first time can get daunting. The following are rookie mistakes to avoid.
Packing too much
Your backpack and you are one. Wherever you go, it goes with you, sometimes even to pee. So just take a little care about what you put in. We aren’t asking you to compromise on whatever is necessary, but leave the princess essentials for when you’re back. Depending on where you’re going, the list of absolute essentials will vary, but the common bottom line is to carry minimum clothing. Just think twice before you drop anything into that bag.
Remember to look out for the other edge as well: packing too little. You want to be stuck in the wilderness without extra batteries because you though they would be extra weight. Just use your head and pack right!
An incompatible travel partner
Backpacking can be quite an exhilarating experience. Choosing someone to share this experience with can be challenging. It may be your best friend, or someone you hang out with every day, go out for coffee or go clubbing with. But it’s a whole different story if your spending pretty much all your time with someone, thinks can get very ugly and your relationship could be ruined forever. Just exercise a little bit of caution before you decide who to ask.
Of course, there’s a certain charm to not planning, just go where the road takes you. But not knowing anything about the place you’re headed to can be quite dangerous. Is there a particular area you should avoid? Or if you’re hiking, are wild animals likely to be a threat? Keep abreast of the news too, to make sure you’re aware of current activities and happenings in various areas. There could be periods of unrest, surroundings populated by gangs or floods and other natural disasters at your destination.
This one can get a little tricky. Before you go, spending some time searching for cheap flights can help you save some money for your trip. Everyone tends to go over-budget. You need to keep some extra cash on you at all times for any emergency, in case you have no access to a cash source nearby. Then again, you cannot carry a large amount of cash on your person either, you never know what could happen. Assess the situation carefully and decide accordingly. What you can do is connect with fellow backpackers who’ve already travelled to those parts and get some valuable tips.
Trying to see too much
Many backpackers come up with ambitious itineraries and while there is not necessarily anything wrong with this, moving too fast through too many destinations is a great way to make sure that you don’t really experience any of them. Not only do most destinations require a few.