The A-Z of Backpacking Essentials

Backpacking is the new form of adventure activity for the younger generation. Sounds a lot of fun than the other usual family vacation because of the care free travel it involves along with the impromptu new destinations, strangers turning into friends, hopping on public transportation, savoring the local delicacies, budget stays and much more to explore from. Looking to try backpacking soon, here we bring in the A-Z essentials to make this a memorable one!

  • A – Altimeter

An instrument that determines the altitude of an object or a place. An optional yet important if your journey involves hiking the mountains and you wish to have a record of the levels you have conquered. The convenient way is to pick a watch with an altimeter option.

  • B – Bivouac

Of course this a must if your backpacking plans include camping under the stars or amidst the nature. A tent with a little or no shelter can be of great help wherever you need to take a break to relax.

  • C – Camera

How can one forget to travel without a camera? It’s fancy enough to capture HD quality images of the new places your exploring to share them on social media. It’s advisable to carry a mini digital camera which serves the purpose right.

  • D – Documents

A set of all your documents come in handy for last minute plans. A passport & a valid visa if your wish to explore a whole new country, your identity proofs which are a must if there are certain procedures you need to follow. Do not forget your insurance details, driving license, few photographs; you don’t want to miss out on an adventure.

  • E – Energy

Yes! I’m sure you agree with this one completely. You’re out on an adventure all by yourself, its necessary you stay fit & energized. Carry enough energy bars, juices, dry fruits, nuts to keep you going in case you are on an unexpected adventure in the mountains!

  • F – First aid kit

When it comes to backpacking, all of us aware that it comes with a little bit of risk involved. One must be well prepared for all kind of weather surprises or an overnight hiking trip or to stay amidst the forests or the ice sheets. Carry all necessary first aid supplies to suit your personal needs. It’s a good idea to carry few general medicines.

  • G – Guides

Sure it’s fun to plan an unforeseen destination, but it’s always good to have some information of the place you plan to make your home the next couple of days. Prepare your own mini guide by making pointers about the place, what to visit, where to eat, it saves a time on trying to figuring it out once you’ve reached.

  • H – Hazard

Always take calculated risks; of course, everything is uncertain during a hike! Carry enough money, the emergency contacts, and the medication. Be mentally prepared to face any kind of hazard that may occur.

  • I – Insulation

Adventures sure involve living in extreme climatic conditions. Based on the season and the location, carry insulation like gloves, jacket, shoes, ear plugs, thermal wear, sun shades, etc to keep your body apt to the weather.

  • J – Journal

Travelling brings out the writer side of every person. Carry a pocket size journal to pen down your thoughts. It makes a perfect memorable gift for you.

  • K – Knapsack

Of course the obvious one! This sack is going to be your everything for the next few days as your wardrobe, your companion, your dressing table, your pillow! Pick one that’s suitable for all your needs and go easy on your spinal column as well. Remember you will be carrying this for pretty long time.

  • L – Local knowledge

Learning a little about the local language and culture of the place helps if you are travelling to a whole new place and know nothing about. Basic research on the history & culture of the place, kind of food available, what to explore, where to stay must be surely added to your list.

  • M – Money

Yes! The most important one. Carry the right currency and sufficient enough to survive as long as you wish to go backpacking. You might not find the right banks or ATM’s to withdraw cash, or even the locals might not accept cards. So plan well money wise!

  • N – Nutrition

We mentioned that your food supplies are important, but what’s more important is that you carry food with nutrition and not junk. Also if you are adaptable to nutrient supplements, that’s a best way to keep you healthy during your hike.

  • O – Orienteer

While touring and admiring the awe-inspiring views of the new destination you might not be aware of the location and how to proceed. An orienteer like a navigation map with all details helps you on your journey.

  • P – Permits

Not every place will allow you to walk in and explore. Ensure you have all the necessary permits to enter a place and follow the rules as per the local guidelines.

  • Q – Quality of experience

It’s necessary to have tasted the true essence of a place while backpacking. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Don’t just waste your time and money on the unnecessary stuff. Make your hiking experience a quality experience.

  • R – Repellent

This might sound a little funny but practical though! Don’t be surprised by the new creatures you make friends with along your way, but be sure they don’t harm you. So carry an insect / mosquito repellent.

  • S – Sleeping bag

A good night sleep is essential for intense adventures. To make your outdoor experience more enjoyable, carry a good quality inflatable sleeping bag with a pillow.

  • T – Toiletries

Backpacking means staying in dorms, hostels or amidst the nature with no 5 star facilities. Pack your toiletries in mini pouches long enough to last for your trip. Take only small quantities of just the important ones.

  • U – User friendly commodities

Anything you carry, especially the devices, the bivouac must be user friendly to use as you will not be able to find all the facilities you look for or people around to help you with. So to make your adventure a simpler one, carry items that are easy to use or that you are good at.

  • V – Vocabulary note

Travelling to a new place means opportunity to learn new languages. Learning some local basic words for communication purpose will definitely make a difference.

  • W – Water Bottle

No matter where you travel, the most important life making material is water. Carry a good quality water bottle which you can also recycle to keep you hydrated during the hike.

  • X – Xenogogue

No, don’t get confused this is no scientific instrument. Xenogogue is a tour guide book which demonstrates all the necessary details of the place making your travel adventure an easier one.

  • Y – Yo-yo

This sounds funny but a toy like yo-yo becomes essential during an intense journey. After a tiring day of hiking and exploring, it’s fun to unleash with some time with the yo-yo and its small enough to find a perfect spot in your backpack.

  • Z – Zest

This might be the last one on the list, yet any adventure story is incomplete without the enthusiasm and keenness to explore a new place.

I hope these essentials come in handy next time you plan to escape on a backpacking adventure. Keep up your spirits high and happy travelling!

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