What You'll Need Before You Go on That Backpacking Trip

Prepare for what could happen.


If you are a true lover of nature, a backpacking trip would be an attractive adventure for you. The invigorating hiking, the meditative nature of being in the wild, sometimes the solitude alone is all attractive. However, the venture has a reputation for being dangerous when it’s not just you and cliffs – or even when it is.

The first step to staying safe is to prepare for what could happen and balancing that with the idea that a backpacker should keep their gear light can be tricky. Read our guide to understand what is essential and what can be left at home.

It all depends

The first step to packing for any holiday or excursion is to understand where you are going. Think about the climate you are likely to encounter. Sure, that means look up the typical weather for the time and place you’re going, but also the sort of environment you’re in. Are you going to the desert? The tundra? The monsoon where the weather can drastically change in a moment?

Also, look into the likely crime in the area. For example, a lot of European cities have a problem with pickpocketing, and they will target people who look like tourists. People that might have, say a massive backpacking bag on their back for example. It’s something to be aware of if you plan to stop at a hostel in between journeys.

The right gear

Choosing the right bag for your trip comes with more options than you’d think. Sure, it has to be light, with a lot of places to put everything, but do you want wheels to make navigating the airport easier? Or a duffel bag that you can sling over your shoulder? You will be carrying it around a lot so make sure you get what you need.

The world’s powers have yet to unite and decide on the most important issue: a universal size for power adaptors. You should invest in a world travel adapter, allowing you to charge and power any electronics you take on your journey no matter what country you find yourself in.

Invest in a traveller’s towel, which are microfiber and lightweight, so that you’re not lugging around a heavy bath towel that will get heavier when wet.

Some protection

Holiday insurance can be a good investment if you are planning on travelling abroad. Your medical expenses, lost luggage, personal liability, and, most importantly for now, cancellation of your trip is all covered. With travel insures like Staysure for example, you can get up to 104 days of worldwide coverage should anything happen with a single trip policy, plus you could also be paying less than £5 on coverage as did 74% of their customers. With the current climate, the status of your holiday is more likely than ever to be taken out of your hands and backpackers in particular will require the coverage afforded for theft or injury, should something happen.

A passport is the most important thing to a traveller who is abroad. It proves who you are and that you have permission to re-enter your country, allowing for safe passage home. There is unfortunately a lot of reasons as to why it would go missing. Drug smugglers and human traffickers rely on “clean” passports to go about their business, making that photo that you hate a valuable piece of paper. Make sure to keep it on you on your travels. The bottom of the backpack might be best to deter anyone from grabbing it easily but keeping it in some clothes with a hidden pocket will mean you will feel when it is gone. Or invest in a padlock to keep sticky fingers out of your bag.