Every backpacking trip is an adventure, and every adventure must have its sense of thrill as well. However, if you are not careful in avoiding the common backpacking mistakes, you could end up ruining the whole experience for yourself and/or others.
Here’s what to be careful with when planning and shopping for your first backpacking trip.
Don’t Select the Wrong Kind of Backpacking Trip
By definition, backpacking describes any and all trips that follow a few principles to save money while traveling and living close to the very adventures planned within the trip. However, you could very well end up choosing the wrong kind of backpacking trip if you are not careful.
For example, backpacking through a Euro trip which has the major European attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the London Bridge in the itinerary is completely different from going on a hiking trip across Australian. Both have their appeal and attractions, but make sure that you choose a backpacking trip which is ideal for the kind of experience that you are looking for.
Don’t Buy the Wrong Backpack
It can’t get more ironic than when someone makes the mistake of choosing the wrong backpack for a backpacking trip! If you do not want to waste money on multiple separate backpacks for each different type of trip, simply choose a couple of them that are great for hiking or backpacking at the same time.
As a general rule, it’s just better to buy something sturdy enough to withstand a long and harsh hike, since it will last you for ages, even if you don’t ever take on such a challenging trek. If you do end up selecting a poor backpack that isn’t up to the task, expect problems in the middle of the trip such as everything being ruined because your bag wasn’t waterproof and rain wasn’t on the forecast.
While backpacking trips are about saving money as well, do not make the mistake of being cheap while buying the backpack.
Don’t Overpack or Under Pack
It is possible to both overpack and under pack on the same trip. What often happens is that backpackers will often first make the mistake of overpacking or under packing, only to overcompensate and make another mistake during the same trip, while refilling their supplies at the next stop!
Avoid making this duo of mistakes by taking the following aspects into account at every resupply stop and of course, even before the trip begins.
Plan Your Route and Keep an Eye on the Weather
Pack a bit more food and water than you need, but not too much more. Do your research on the path you will be taking and prepare accordingly. Don’t forget the basics such as a first-aid kit, compass, a map, waterproofing material, solar-powered equipment, etc.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Understand that everyone makes mistakes, and part of the whole experience of backpacking is to gather experience and learn from them as you go along. It is impossible for to avoid making any mistakes simply by reading tips and tricks. You need to get out there and learn from experience. Nevertheless, there is wisdom in learning from the mistakes of others, and now that you have read this, your learning curve has become a little less steep than it would have been before.