Backpacking Checklist for new backpackers – All backpackers in the world come across a time when a few of their friends start developing interest in backpacking. They may ask hundreds of questions. Have a hundred other doubts and what not! Yes, this can be overwhelming. But if you want to help them, we have something for you. An extensive listing of all the essential gear that you’ll need for backpacking , from books to maps and clothing to sleeping bags.
The key thing is that you can’t just buy stuff while travelling – so it’s not like you’re going to find a shop where you can get everything at one go, but instead what you should do is make sure you have enough money with you while planning your trip. To give you an example – I was in Greece last year in October and we were there for about 10 days and didn’t see any shops open on Sundays or public holidays while we were there. So if you need something right away, then this might not be possible while you are on holiday.
You also need to consider whether you will meet people where you plan to visit who would sell you things they don’t usually sell. In Italy most places are pretty self-sufficient, except for large towns where there may well be a supermarket.
Guide Friends New To Backpacking
Here are four tips for guiding your friends who are new to backpacking. So, are you ready? Let’s get going then.
Let Them Have Their Questions
The first thing that you need to do is let them bombard you with their questions (not literally, but welcome them). They may ask you about the expenses. They may ask you about accommodation. Feeling alone. Getting lost in the jungle. And everything else under the sun. Just hear them out and give answers from your own experiences. Once this is done, their minds may be at peace concerning the idea of backpacking. So, you can now move ahead and guide them.
Tell Them What Not To Do
On your backpacking journeys so far, you would surely have made a number of mistakes. On some days you might have forgotten your documents in the hotel room. On some days you might have left the cash. And on some days you might have spent a fortune on something that wasn’t worth it. All of this might have led to some sort of trouble. And if not that, you might just have kept thinking about it. Now that you are guiding your friend(s), you wouldn’t want them to make these silly mistakes, would you? So, educate them. Tell them about how you made these mistakes and how these effected your backpacking experience. Even though backpacking is a lot about thinking less and travelling more, some precautions must be practiced for a safe and memorable experience.
Tell Them What to Do
Once you have told them what they must not do on their travel escapades, it’s important for you to tell them about what they must do. For example, carrying the right set of essentials so they don’t get stuck unnecessarily. Most of us have been through a time when we were on a trek and couldn’t find matches to lit up a bonfire. Try to keep your buds away from such trouble when you can. Tell them about the tools that they must carry.
- A magnetic compass
- A pair of hiking boots
- A lighter, in case you may want to set up a small bonfire
- Sleeping bag
- Clothes (extra pair)
- Water bottle or water filter
- Food for at least 3 days (or more)
- First aid kit, including pain reliever, antihistamine, and sunscreen
- Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
- Knife or multi-tool
- Toilet Paper
Apart from these, you may also suggest your hunting enthusiast friends to safely carry their ammunition using condor MOLLE pouches. This will keep magazines from being lost and will keep them close so they don’t have to waste time in panic situations.
Insect Repellent & Mosquito Net
Mozzies are nasty little insects that can carry many different diseases. Depending on which country you’re in, mosquito bites can spread malaria, dengue fever or other dangerous conditions, which result in a fever and require immediate medical attention. Whilst there are anti-malarial tablets available to prevent the disease, they can have nasty side effects and the most effective way to avoid contracting it is not to get bitten in the first place. So, invest in a strong mosquito repellent, and consider buying a mosquito net for use in particularly hazardous areas.
What are your best tips for first time backpackers?
Backpacking is one of the most adventurous sports that one can participate in. It lets an individual’s mind be expanded and allows it to explore the beauties that are there in the world but often go unnoticed. And then, it’s an experience that can’t be inherited or conveyed in words. To make the most out of it, your friends would need to live, observe, acquire and improvise. So, talk to them about this. Tell them how it’s important to keep their ears and eyes open during their backpacking journey. Once you have communicated the pointers above, your friend(s) will probably be adventure ready for starting their backpacking journey. And we’d love to hear about their experiences.
Always Book With Reputable Companies.
Bungee jumping off a waterfall, flying over the Nazca lines and cycling down the world’s most dangerous road may all be on the list of must-do activities. I know it’s tempting to go for the cheapest possible option, but it’s really not worth the risk. Make sure to book through a reputable and certified company, rather than trying to do it on a budget. Always assess the risks before you sign up, and be aware of any scams or copycat companies that operate in the area. This applies to bus and taxi companies as well.