The 1 Minute Backpackers Guide

Before you and your backpack head off for a hiking adventure, make sure you have all the essential items you need. You may have your own ideas of what should be in your pack but please take 1 minute to read this checklist and hopefully you wont end up with a sore back.PRIORITY NUMBER 1: a good strong Backpack! How can you go for a wild backpacking adventure with a cheap useless backpack? Pick one which is comfortable and fits well on you. A custom fitted backpack is crucial. You are going hiking and the last thing you need is a backpack gouging into your shoulders. Make sure it fits as comfortable as possible, you could be carrying it for thousands of miles. Purchase one with a lock and key as well, if you can’t find one with a lock and key, then buy a separate padlock to keep your belongings safe.

Two of the most important elements of your backpacking journey will be, sleep and walking, hopefully not together. Pick a pair of very comfy walking shoes because, you will learn soon enough that walking is going to be a major part of your backpacking adventure. A pillow case and lightweight sleeping bag are essential items to keep when you stay in accommodation for backpackers. The pillow case is great because you know your head is the only one which has slept on it and it wont need too much regular washing. A sleeping bag will improve your sleep if your bag is comfortable and you can always pull out a few clothes to stuff in the pillow case for a custom sized pillow.

“DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT”! This little booklet is the key to you leaving your home country and the same key, which will allow you to enter and leave many other countries. Without it, well, you wont be going anywhere. Separate your cash and travelers cheques into different compartments on your backpack and, keep some about your person. This way, “IF” robbers strike or “IF”, you lose your backpack, you can ensure you have something left. In addition, find yourself a comprehensive travel guide but one, which only has the essential info you need.

Most backpacks have a detachable daypack. This little pack can easily carry your essential items for a day trip, like a camera, journal, one or two travelers cheques and flip flops. Flip flops I hear you ask? Flip flops can be very useful when you take a shower in places you may not normally take a shower.

Mini packs of toothpaste, shampoo, sun cream, wet wipes, body spray or roll on, soap and a small bag of laundry powder will all keep you clean and feeling fresh for the first few weeks of your journey. Restock at different stages on your travels. A tiny first aid kit could prove very handy and finally, a quick drying towel! You don’t want to be carrying a heavy, damp towel on your back for miles and miles.

Take just enough underwear & socks for a week and make sure your socks are 100% cotton so your feet can breathe. You might also want to pack a pair of long Johns. This depends on the season and place where you are traveling. You might need your long underwear when you stay in accommodation with a poor heating system. Pack a lightweight raincoat or kagool, especially for tropical or rainy countries like those in South America or South East Asia.