Backpacking through Europe is on many people’s bucket lists. But anyone who’s thought about it knows that there’s a lot to plan before you head out.
Though independent and adventurous, backpacking can also be risky and dangerous. Most people have grown increasingly accustomed to typical residential life – a 9 to 5 job and a place to call home at the end of each day. But if you decide to uproot your life for a few days, you can really be surprised by how dependent you’ve become.
So why do people find the urge to go backpacking?
Well, to put it simply, it can be nice to get away for awhile. Backpacking is a great way to rest and reset, especially after a lot of stress.
Many people find nature and simplistic lifestyle reinvigorating. It’s just so different from typical life. And many people have found that taking trips like these can give them a new perspective and help them reflect on their lives and remind themselves of what matters.
Others simply love backpacking because it’s challenging and adventurous. The satisfaction that comes with being so self-sufficient is an amazing feeling.
These are some of the backpacking’s biggest appeals. But it often runs the risk of being idealized and glorified, meaning that people can easily underestimate how much preparation and planning goes into a successful backpacking trip.
So, on the other end, what should you watch out for when planning a backpacking trip?
Many people will tell you that one of the most important things is the weather. Make sure you know what the weather’s going to be like so that you can dress appropriately. This is especially true if you’re going somewhere completely new.
Not being prepared can cost you your life, or at the least, put you in a dangerous situation. And if you haven’t gone backpacking before and aren’t going with any experienced friends, planning ahead is all the more crucial.
But anyway, you might now be wondering, “Well, what should I pack on a backpacking trip?” Here are eight suggestions:
1. Water bottle
Water is essential! Staying hydrated is very important, especially if you’re going to be undergoing such intensive and physically exhausting activities.
The best way to stay hydrated on a backpacking trip is to bring along a reusable water bottle. Kool8 creates a bottle that’s durable, insulated, and eco-friendly, perfect for a backpacking trip through Europe.
Carrying a reusable bottle, especially one that’s strong enough to withstand the elements, is so useful. It saves space and will last the entire trip.
2. Warm and waterproof clothing
Dressing properly will save you a whole lot of frustration. Check the weather, and make sure your clothes are suitable. You don’t want to find yourself in the freezing cold with only a t-shirt and jeans!
Making sure your clothes are waterproof can be an additional plus, especially if there’s a high chance of rain. While you might consider bringing an umbrella, having waterproof clothing can save you space. It’s also difficult to hike through a dense forest with an umbrella, so having waterproof clothing will help ensure that you don’t end up hiking around in cold, wet clothes.
3. Portable Charger
Although part of going out into nature is forgetting your phone, a portable charger can come in handy.
Many users swear by Anker’s Astro E1 Charger. They say it’s even turned their lives around. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the Astro E1 Charger was also featured on Giftwits’ 59 Best Gift Ideas This Year list.
4. A solid pair of shoes
You should always make sure that your shoes are comfortable and durable. Especially for backpacking trips that last a couple of days or more, your shoes will be one of the most essential pieces of gear that you bring along.
A pedometer is useful for keeping track of your steps and seeing how far you’ve traveled. Keeping a pedometer with you can be motivating. You can use it to track your goals.
Especially if you’re feeling tired and exhausted, a pedometer can help you with the extra push you need to keep going.
Cool Things Chicago provides a list of some of the best pedometers on the market. This can help you figure out which one best fits your needs.
6. A flashlight
Bringing a flashlight is always a must! If you plan on staying overnight or are going to end up on your trek while it starts getting dark, you should bring a flashlight.
A hand-cranked flashlight can especially come in handy. Instead of relying on batteries, using a hand crank will ensure that your flashlight will shine, especially in the darkest of times.
7. A camera
If you want to capture all the beautiful moments on your trip, you should definitely invest in a camera.
Unless you’re looking to take high-definition, close-up shots of nature’s flora and fauna, carrying around a nice camera can be bulky, heavy, and even dangerous. You wouldn’t want to lose an expensive piece of equipment!
An alternative is to bring a Polaroid camera. These have made a come-back due to their nostalgic feel.
8. Emergency shelter tent
This emergency shelter tent is lightweight, easy to assemble, and can fit two people. Switching to this tent from a more traditional tent can help you pack more efficiently. And you’ll be thankful for the lighter load after a few hours of walking around.
If you’d like to see some other useful gear, check out this article on hiking basics.
So, if you’re planning a backpacking trip through Europe, make sure you plan ahead. While there are many things to consider, this list is a good start.
A lot of what you plan will depend on where and when you’re going, but these eight things are sure to come in handy, whether you’re backpacking for the first time or are a seasoned pro.
Author bio: This article comes from Andrew Peterson at VegasForAll