Now some people say that backpacking is more of a state of mind than accomplishment… I think it’s both. There are all sorts of people that backpack; from the person who reads all the blogs and videos on youtube... and follow what they say to the tee. There are backpackers that buy all the latest and greatest gear expecting that this will make their experience better or easier in some way and then you have the lightweight backpacker this type of backpacker is always asking themselves what can I do without.
So where do you fit into this? what route do you want to take to make your backpacking experience to the max and really soak yourself in this amazing culture? Well, this is what this video series about, over the next six episodes I’ll break down what you can or should do to really prepare yourself for the wonderful world of backpacking.
But before we run, we must learn to walk so let’s talk about backpacking in the general sense of the word and by the end of this blog if you’re still up for it then you my friend are backpacker! So let me tell you why I love backpacking, firstly no matter your age or ability backpacking will have a path for you, secondly, it’s all about the journey you take, not the end goal of getting to a certain place at a certain time, it’s about the path you tread, the people you meet along the way and the memories you make.
Now there is one thing that you will need to have to become a backpacker and that’s enthusiasm if you don’t have that… well, that’s when you’ll run into problems, once you get a bit tired, you light pack will feel like a massive lead weight, the new stove you brought will become a curse and that will no doubt lead to you not wanting to get out of your tent in the morning.
But with enthusiasm, every single piece of gear you own will become your friend, when something goes wrong rather than dread, you’ll feel excited to figure out what went wrong and try and fix it, that nagging nuisance will melt away and you can enjoy and live in the experience that your in and soak it all up. Enthusiasm really can make or break you when on the trail.
Like I said earlier the beauty of backpacking is that it’s suitable for everyone, which means, of course, you can go off with a group of people or go it alone, for those going alone for the first time I will say this, you really do need to make sure that you love your own company, can you go say ten days without talking to another soul other than yours? If so great! Go for it have fun, if you’re thinking wow ten days is a long time… maybe think about going with a small group. But just because you’re in a group doesn’t mean you live in each other's pockets, so you should be able to find some alone time during your adventure.
When in a group you should all pitch in, especially if you’re not too sure on how something works, say like pitching a tent or cooking on a stove or open fire, if the thought scares you then tackle it head-on early in your adventure this will benefit you later on down the lie and will do wonders for your confidence and learning new skills is never a bad thing. Get stuck in and help out, that’s part and parcel of backpacking.
I’m going to briefly talk about equipment, there will be a full episode down the line but just as a note people backpacking for the first time, you don’t always need the best, most expensive gear, also it doesn’t unnecessarily need to be new, second-hand equipment as long as it’s safe can save you money but I’ll go into more detail about that later. If you’re also travelling through the seasons, of course, don’t pack all your gear, think smart and send some of your equipment ahead of you or if money is no worries when you get to the colder parts, give away some of your warm gear to make some room and buy new cold gear that way you not carrying everything you own and your pack is lighter.
So in a nutshell, if you’re thinking about backpacking anywhere in the world, enthusiasm is key, pitch in when you can, if you want to backpack along just make sure that you like your own company, Got a tight budget? Get thrifty and most importantly don’t let anyone put you off the idea, and if this little introduction did… I’m sorry. Anyway let’s inspire people to go backpacking, so in the comments below tell us all why you love backpacking, or if you’re thinking about doing it for the first time, let us know your worries and our awesome community will put those nagging thoughts to rest.