Backpacking with friends is a great way to travel the world. You can carry everything you need and be independent to go wherever you want. You need to plan well, research thoroughly, and check some boxes to make your adventure a success. This is how you plan your backpacking trip to make it memorable.
CHOOSE YOUR COMMUNITY CAREFULLY
Before deciding where you want to go, you must decide who will be with you. You should be able to rely on one another and share similar values and interests. A backpacking trip can make or break a friendship.
PICK YOUR LOCATION
This will influence the destination you choose. Do you want to visit tropical beaches or historical monuments? Are you looking to canoe or hike along a popular mountain trail?
Many factors will impact the timing of your trip. While peak season can offer great weather, the price of airfare, bus tickets and other expenses will be much higher than when you travel off-peak. The latter may be the best option if you have a tight budget. It would be best to do some research about weather patterns to ensure you don’t get soaked by torrential rains and swelter in unbearable heat.
DECIDE ON ROUTES
Now that you know where and when you want to go, you can plan your route to get there. You’ll use the internet to get advice from other backpackers on accommodation, attractions, and potential pitfalls along your route. This step is important. Take your time and make sure you have a Plan A and Plan B if something goes wrong. You can always adjust your itinerary and route plan if necessary.
DO THE IMPORTANT MIN
Check to see if you require permits to travel within the country. This is important as you could be in serious legal trouble in certain countries if you don’t have the proper documentation.
A second important administrative task is to ensure you have adequate medical insurance throughout your trip. This is important if you are injured or have an accident. Your medical insurance should pay for your medical expenses and, in the worst-case scenario, your evacuation back to your country.
Gain Fitness and Skills
A training hike in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado, carrying the Osprey Aether Pro 70 pack loaded with 50 pounds of bricks (Andrew Skurka)
There’s no better way to improve your hiking fitness than by hiking, and there’s no better way to develop backpacking skills than by backpacking.
But who has the time and ability to do that? Not me, and likely not you.
The next-best option is to work out more intensely to maximize the potential of the time you do have available. I do this by running 60 to 70 miles per week. Ultralight backpacking pro-Alan Dixon has a training plan that’s more hiking-oriented (and more realistic). You can also read and watch skill tutorials, such as my series on navigation, pooping in the woods, finding great campsites, packing your backpack, and tying knots.
CHECK YOUR EAR
Depending on where you are going and what season it is, the contents of your bag will vary.
Ask your travel agent to provide a list of the gear you will need for your trip. Also, research online and speak with other backpackers.
Planning a backpacking trip is a complicated task. However, you can relax and enjoy the adventure by working with One Life Adventures. So you can enjoy great memories and make lasting friends, we do the hard work. You can backpack in style across Japan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Call us today to book your dream holiday.