Some tips on backpacking

Most backpackers have their worldly possessions on their backs and little else. It is therefore imperative that all essentials are included, because in some remote areas it is not easy to make up the shortages.

The first and the most important consideration is the backpack itself. Make sure that its size and weight is suitable for you. Next ensure that it fits well. Ill fitting backpacks can cause injury in creating extra friction with the shoulders. At the very least, ill fitting backpacks can make the trip somewhat unpleasant.

Walking boots. Ensure that they fit snugly, and are suitable for rough terrains. Prior to trip, it is a good idea to wear the boots on a few occasions to ensure that everything with them is ok.

Wear heavy duty socks. In such circumstances, boots will be worn longer than normal. So suitable socks can reduce possible injuries.

Make sure that you buy quick- drying towels, as opposed to ordinary ones. For health reasons it is essential that after use, your towel is dry before packing it with the rest of your gear. Furthermore, wet and damp towels are heavier, which places unnecessary strain on your legs!

Wear suitable underwear for the climatic conditions that will be visited. Too much underwear can lead to exhaustion through heat build up. Too little underwear means that the cooler temperatures are felt quickly, and in prolonged cases it can lead to illness.

Wearing of long underwear can be useful in some accommodations. For example, when sleeping in a tent or unheated room, long underwear will contribute in ensuring proper sleep.

Suitable sleeping bag. Make sure that the sleeping bag is the correct size for your body. Consider the weight of the sleeping bag- different weights of the bags can be considerable. Ensure that the sleeping bag fits properly in the backpack, and does not take too much space.

Invest in a money belt. When backpacking, some essentials such as money, passport, and traveller’s cheques, and mobile phones must be guarded securely, and separate from the backpack.

For taking photographs, ensure that the camera is suitable for the job. It must be as small and as light as possible. At the same time, the camera must be sturdy in make, or be placed in a protective case.

If the intended journey includes remote areas, certain items such as a first aid kit, and wet wipes are prudent measures. If possible, include a small container of drinking water- in case of getting lost or breakdowns, the water could make a big difference.

It is a good idea to include an up to date travel guide for the area to be visited. Again, if intending to visit remote areas, include a compact compass.

Depending on the area to be visited, investment in a suitable raincoat may become necessary. Try to choose a light and easy- fold raincoat, which occupies as little space in the backpack as possible.

Finally, include personal hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste and brush, and shampoo. This is particularly important in cases where one has allergies and sensitivities to other makes. make sure that any prescribed medications are included. failure to do so can be costly- a doctor will not be as accessible as in cities.

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