HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST BACKPACKING ADVENTURE
Okay, you’ve finally made your decision. You’re off to backpack to who-knows-where in the Philippines and no one can stop you! You’ve never done this before, but you’re ready to try it anyway! But before you go, you have to make sure you have all the essentials. The world may be a wonderful place to explore, but you should never throw caution to the wind.
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In simple terms, backpacking is a style of traveling that relies on a single backpack as your only piece of luggage. It focuses on taking the less convenient road to a destination. No fancy and quick plane or a boat ride with a service crew here. Instead, this is a very low-cost and independent way of traveling.
It may require more physical effort on your part. But it also gives you the opportunity to actually savor, see and really feel each step of a trip. This is especially true for outdoor backpacking where you can experience camping and wilderness adventures on your journey. And once you’ve reached your destination, you still have the option to book affordable and excellent hotels in the Philippines.
cruising at Guimaras Island , Philippines
Ready to join the backpacking community? Remember, this is not your conventional vacation or holiday. You won’t bring much, you’ll depend on yourself, and you’ll meet many strangers who are very different from you. In trips like these, your biggest ally is yourself, and your strongest weapon is your preparedness. Backpacking can be an enriching and extremely fun experience, but avoiding dangerous situations is important, too.
It’s time to prepare for your First Backpacking Adventure!
- Pick a destination
Where will you go? For some people, it’s an easy decision. They’ll go where they desire. But for first-time backpackers, doing research on specific places is invaluable. First, choose a location you like—somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. This will motivate you to keep going even if you encounter difficulties. Second, make sure the trip there fits your budget and time constraints. If you were to go to your preferred destination, how much would you spend? What will your schedule be? To make the best out of your trip, you have to prioritize the attractions you want to see.
Of course, the season and terrain of your route and destination should not be forgotten. This will determine what you will need to bring and what type of clothes you will wear. Also, check if you are actually allowed to travel to your dream destination. These days, new rules and regulations are constantly being enforced. Inquire and research if you need travel visas, permits or licenses.
adventure for backpackers
- Backpacking training and preparation
In this case, training means prepping your body and gear for backpacking. Certain backpacking trips may need some wildlife survival skills but it depends on where you are going. If you are backpacking to a city and will take the highway or paved roads, then you will not need too many survival skills. However, if the chosen route involves going through forests, mountains and the like, then it will be better if you prepare physically. This is especially true if you aren’t used to doing strenuous activities. Backpacking is technically a long exercise routine even without going through the great outdoors. Start by getting healthy and fit if you think you aren’t in shape. You’ll be thanking yourself for having a body that doesn’t get tired easily or strains quickly.
white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro is one great adventure for backpackers
Meanwhile, learning how to do basic first aid, how to read a map, and how to use a compass will be huge advantages in any scenario. So try to learn these vital tricks if you have time. Basically, try to study as many survival skills as you can because you’ll never know what will happen. Thankfully, acquiring these skills won’t be too hard with the internet at your disposal.
And before heading out, remember to check your gear and even test them out. We suggest doing a trial trip before going on your big outdoor adventure. Try pitching your tent, see if you can start a campfire, test if all your gear is working, and learn how to use them properly. Many times, newbies make the mistake of bringing equipment and tools they have no clue how to use. This can lead to frustration and even danger. Save yourself the time, and test your gear out before the big day comes.
This also applies to your footwear. Did you buy new shoes for your trip? Don’t forget to break them in. Remember: backpackers spend 50-70% of their trip walking. To avoid hurting your feet and to keep blisters away, walk around in your new shoes, and get used to them well before your trip.
don’t forget to bring these travel essentials to make your First Backpacking Adventure memorable
- Packing the essentials
Whenever we travel, be it to a sleepover or to a distant destination, it seems like packing can be the hardest part. Everything seems important. “I might need this and that,” and “Who knows what’ll happen if I leave this behind?” Indecision can really prolong your preparation, so it’s best to know what it is you need exactly.
When backpacking, you should only bring the things you are sure to use. You have one big bag after all. Bring along important personal items like medicine, toiletries or any other specific necessities. Much of what you end up packing will be determined by where you will go and what kind of weather you’ll likely encounter. For first time backpackers, a trip to somewhere that has mild weather would be best. No heat stroke or frostbite to watch out for.
The clothes you bring and wear should be made from synthetic materials that can be easily washed, can withstand wear and tear, plus regulate body temperature. You don’t need four shirts or seven pants when two of each would suffice. Don’t forget to bring some detergent to wash your clothes. Also, always bring socks as they are vital to keeping your feet in tip-top shape.
energy bars are great things to bring while on a trip
- Eating and sleeping
All travelers need sustenance to keep going. Good backpackers have meal plans that ensure enough calories are consumed to keep their body full of energy. With sufficient planning, you can stay healthy without bringing a mountain of food. Remember that meals should be convenient, simple to prepare, quick to finish, and easy to store. Pre-made dry dishes are recommended.
a small bag which can contain important documents and valuables comes in handy
When it comes to shelter and beddings, the equipment varies on how experienced you are. For your first backpacking trip, a 3-season foldable tent should be pitched to ease sleeping discomfort. You don’t need to set up anything else and this will keep the cold and pests out and can shelter one from the freezing rain or blazing sun. A synthetic or down sleeping bag should serve as a good bed. Make sure it’s clean!
If tents aren’t available and you are close to a town, then a cheap hostel is your go-to lodging option.
engage in some fun on your First Backpacking Adventure
- In case of emergency
Have an emergency kit at the top, in the most accessible pocket of your bag. You can even keep it on your person. This kit should have: a flashlight or headlamp, a first aid kit, a map, a compass, a pocket knife, a lighter or match, and a whistle.
Did you get lost? Got separated from the group? No phone signal? Fret not. First, try and stay where you are. Your fellow backpackers will surely come looking for you. If it’s getting dark, it would be helpful if you can get a campfire going to serve as a beacon for anyone searching for you.
But what if you are alone? Hopefully, by the time you experience this, you’ve prepared and practiced well. Keep calm and try to retrace your steps. Try following a trail that looks used. No luck? Time to start utilizing your emergency kit. Use the compass and map. Look around you. Use your surroundings as guides and relate major landmarks to your map. Don’t walk aimlessly and don’t stray far from the trail. Avoid panicking and eventually, you will get back on track.
Biri Island in Samar is one great destination for your First Backpacking Adventure
Backpacking, especially through nature, is an amazing and exciting way to travel. A journey for the sake of journeying, you could say. It will teach you many things and you can fully immerse yourself in your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to take a backpacker’s route to your dream destination!