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You may be familiar with the term “ backpacking across Europe” as a favorite pastime for graduating college students who want to taste of Freedom before they settle into their new careers. But what is the term actually mean?

It's a concept that reached his height in the 1970s where people who were looking for more of an adventure would pack up their essential belongings into a backpack and then choose a destination. Some people will decide to go to Europe and travel across the country to see different historical areas as well as get a feel for different cultures.

And then there are others who choose to go to places like India, or even backpack in their own country. Mostly you could call them tourists, but they're usually in there for the long run living out of just what they packed in their backpack and even going through extreme such as living out of a tent until their journey is over. 

WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO GO BACKPACKING?

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There can be a lot said about setting out on an adventure to discover locations that you've never considered visiting before. You could always go to the tourist route and check out the areas that hundreds of other people attend every single day or you could wander about and find yourself in an area that many people are unaware of at the time.

FINDING HIDDEN GEMS

YOU’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT YOURSELF

FREEDOM

YOU COULD DISCOVER YOUR NEW HOME

YOU’LL GET TO MEET NEW PEOPLE EVERY DAY

​WHAT GEAR DO YOU NEED TO GO BACKPACKING?

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Unsurprisingly there are several essential items that you will need when it comes to going backpacking, even if you’re a veteran or just starting, you’ll want a checklist of things that you’ll need that won’t break your back while you’re traveling. Remember: Travelling light is more than necessary to spare your body the pain of all day travel. 

Some of the essential items that you can bring along while you're going backpacking include the following:

  • Sturdy pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes
  • Good sized backpack
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Water bottles and water treatment
  • Repair kit
  • Small stove with fuel
  • Weatherproof tent
  • Collapsible kitchen supplies
  • Hygiene products
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

There are also ten essentials that you should have no matter what when you're about to go backpacking even if it's for just over the weekend. These ten Essentials include:

  • Navigational tools ( map, GPS device, a PLB, compass.) 
  • A source of battery-operated light, either a flashlight or headlamp
  • Sun protection ( sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat)
  • Extra food
  • Extra clothing
  • Shelter
  • Extra water
  • Fire starting kit
  • Knife
  • First aid kit 

You want to make sure that you pick a tent that's both lightweight and capable of handling just about anything that Mother Nature hurls at you. A tent that's big enough for only two people is the perfect size that you want as well as something that will be easy to put together if a sudden storm hits and you need emergency shelter. 

Getting yourself a backpack with a proper rain cover will help protect your items if you are suddenly caught up in a rainstorm and will provide your clothing and other items the proper safety so that you don't have to worry about anything getting drenched. 

A stove in the fire starting kit is excellent ways to provide yourself with heat and a way to cook your food and or boil your water. Having these tools available is especially useful if you find yourself in a situation where the shelter is not a possibility for the evening, and you need a way to take care of yourself at that point. 

Additionally, you'll want to make sure that you have the appropriate clothing with you to Be prepared for when anything in the weather suddenly changes. It's essential to have a good idea of what the weather is going to be like and be adequately dressed to face it head-on. 

EVERY OUNCE COUNTS

man in hurry

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To the inexperienced backpacker, hearing tales of people cutting their toothbrushes and a half to save on the weight seems like a ridiculous notion. However, what they don't seem to realize that they will be carrying around everything that they need for this trip the entire time and after awhile ounces turn into pounds and that can put a lot of strain on your body.

Make sure that when you choose the items for your backpacking trip, you're selecting the lightest versions of these items without neglecting on the things that you need. If you're at a key that needs to have a laptop to travel properly, get yourself something that's exceptionally light and functions just as you need it to like a tablet or a Chromebook for example.

The same thing applies to all of your other items. You want only to pack what you need for your trip. There are helpful weight calculators online that'll give you an idea as to how much something will weigh to provide you with a sense of what you'll be carrying all day.

​HOW MUCH MONEY DOES BACKPACKING COST?

Most of this question depends solely on yourself. Some backpackers claimed that they were able to manage a year of backpacking across different countries for only $10,000 for the entire year, and then there are those who say that it can't get done for under $20,000 a year.

There are some questions that you should ask yourself that would help you determine how much you can expect to pay and expenses.

​CAMPING OUT OR RENTING A ROOM?

to person having a coffee in front of waterfalls

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It's unsurprising that living in a tent and cooking your food on a campfire is going to be cheaper than renting a hostel for the night. However, some people need that extra level of comfort and running water to get proper rest. 

There are also some backpackers who much prefer to save the extra money that they spent on renting a room and put it towards experiencing the area that they are visiting. Ultimately, it's important to remember that you are going to be living on a tight budget, so every dollar counts when it comes to living expenses and travel. 

​TO PARTY OR NOT TO PARTY?

two woman with bag packs

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Backpackers are indeed party people especially when it comes down to the fact that when you do come across other people, it can be a relieving experience. 

While it's essential to celebrate coming together as backpackers, or celebrating someone's first trip, it's also important to remember that alcohol and clubs cost money and sometimes more money than you're willing to part with initially.

Your party habits will determine if you are going to be able to live on a Backpackers budget, so it's something to consider before you even start packing your things for your trip.

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