Hearing the word “backpacking” alone generates so much excitement, well, at least with my fellow backpacking friends. With its single mention, a series of exciting ideas, suggestions, preparations, and of course, the location, would topple like dominoes.
It’s just exciting to have a roundtable discussion all day about these things.
Along with the discussions, one of the most exciting topics we don’t always fail to discuss are the lessons we have learned from our past expeditions.
To be frank, we learned most of our lessons the hard way, but it turned out to be good because we learned from it, and have vowed to never repeat those mistakes again.
During one of our regular meet-ups, somebody suggested this idea of turning our discussions into one nifty book. The idea delighted all of us because it would certainly help many of our fellow backpackers and would-be backpackers, but as a start, we’ve gathered most of the significant things we have learned with our years of journey in this article. It is our hope that it will provide you with important insights, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned backpacker.
Let the trekking start with these important reminders.
Tip # 1 BRING ALL THE NECESSARY MEDICATIONS
You wouldn’t want to find yourself needing medicines, and the only thing you could find in your backpack is a bunch of soda bottles. It’s a nightmare.
It’s easy to think that your fellow backpackers would bring medicines that you might be needing. Well, that kind of thinking is a red flag on a backpacker’s proper attitude. Whenever you hike, always be sure that you are self-sufficient, and it includes bringing the complete medicines that you’ll be needing. Yes, backpacking symbolizes camaraderie, but being too dependent on others is not synonymous with it.
Tip#2 TEMPER THE ‘TOURIST LOOK’
Keep in mind that there are places where tourists can be seen as nothing as ‘easy preys’. Study the locals at the site you’re visiting, and as much as possible, lean a bit towards their clothing. You know how much a tourist looks, right? Then temper that look. Never make an appearance, a gesture, or even the items that you’re holding, that makes it obvious that you are a tourist. Insisting on a ‘tourist look’ would be like wearing big signage saying: “An Easy Target Here!”
Tip#3 CHOOSE AN EASY DESTINATION FIRST
The secret to building your backpacking momentum is to start with the easy treks first. In fact, it was one of the secrets of the Pros we see now in different fields, especially in backpacking: they all start small. Every easy trek would prepare a backpacker’s mind and body to take on more challenging ones. Taking a challenging trek first would immediately cut the momentum, and would lose a backpackers passion for what he is doing quickly.
When we were just starting out, we chose Yosemite as one of our first destinations to visit; we were so thrilled to conquer this place because it’s a top spot to backpack in California and it’s in every backpacker’s wishlist, but there were more to our wishlist that were more tempting to conquer than Yosemite, but we’re not yet ready for those locations, so we tempered our excitement and took Yosemite first because we knew that this trek was a necessary step to build up our experience, momentum, and most of all, appreciation to what we were doing.
Tip#4 BRING THE NECESSARY CLOTHES
One of the things you need to plan very well is the clothes that you are going to bring. What we’ve learned from experience is that excitement really distorts our logical thinking. Do not just dump clothes on your backpack, sort and choose them very well because whatever unnecessary things you stuff in your backpack would bring an added weight and burden to your journey.
The clothes you should be bringing are clothes that can protect you from a harsh environment, weather and insects. Also, you need to bring clothes that can allow your body to breathe. Always remember these reminders so you can sort your clothes really well.