How to Plan a Backpacking Trip

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Backpacking trip, as the name suggests, is an inexpensive independent trip with a backpack, having minimum essential things that can be carried all along the journey.

It’s an unconventional and non-institutionalized way of traveling. While moving around in public transport among the locals and staying in tents or inexpensive hotels or lodges, the travelers get to see the true culture and lifestyle of the natives.

In a way, it is a very different experience about the place that cannot, surely, be experienced in the customized culture of five-star hotels and chauffeur driven cars. To enhance the experience of knowing the place so closely, it is important to know “How to plan a backpacking trip”.

Here are some guidelines to help you plan your backpacking trip:

  • Deciding the destination and date of backpacking trip – The foremost thing is to decide the destination for the trip. For a short duration trip or a weekend trip, the best destination to choose will be a place near to your residence such as countryside or backcountry.
  • For a long trip, the destination can be based on your interest in mountains, rivers, and grassland. Decide on a destination that can actually give the experience you are looking for.

Once, the destination is decided, the next important thing is to decide the dates of the trip. While deciding the dates, it’s wise to consider the terrain of the destination such as its good to visit mountains in summer.

Planning a Backpacking Trip

Permit/Visa Requirements

After deciding the destination, the other important things to know is the requirements of the permits and permissions before heading with the backpack trip.

There are destinations that requires permit requirement a month before. While at times these permits require payment of fees, sometime they are also based on lottery.

So, before planning the trip, check on the permits and associated permission requirements and be ready with them before beginning the trip.

Route and Transport Planning

Along with the permits, it’s good to be ready with the route for the trip. While doing so, it’s important to account for the weather, terrain and transport availability.

At times, there are deals and offers on prior booking of air- tickets and bus –tickets. It’s monetarily wise to claim the best offers in consideration with the trip.

Backpack and Gear

Backpacking Trip Gear

After choosing the destination, dates and route for the trips, it’s time to decide on the backpack and your gear. While choosing your travel backpack, consider its sturdiness, lightweight and capacity.

You may want to consider a backpack with a solar charger, or a separate solar charger so you always have a fully charged phone.

For the trip, choose shoes that can stand the stress of long walks, dress in layers such that you can stand any weather type. A small packable rain jacket is a good idea.

Also carry some packaged food to have on the go. Don’t forget to test the gear like tents and sleeping pads before leaving for the trip.

Events Itinerary

Before heading for the trip, research about what all you can do there and plan the event itinerary. Balance the site-seeing and sports in the schedule to have a fun-filled experience. You can also check the offers and pre-book the tickets for adventure parks and sports.

Know Some Local Pleasantries

If the backpack trip is far from the native place to a new country and culture, communication can be biggest hurdle.

Thus it is advisable to know some basic, greeting words in the local language as you will traveling in public transport to public places where you will have constantly meet and deal with the locals who might not be able to communicate in your language.

Know the Culture and Customs

Backpacking Trip -Knowing the local customs

If your chosen destination belongs to different culture and custom than your, it’s advisable to know and read about it before heading for the trip.

For instance, middle-east countries have very different culture from the Western Countries. So, it’s important to be aware of the culture before the trip as lack of awareness about the customs might get you in the situation you don’t want to experience.

These are just a few of the essentials for planning the back-pack trip. There are much more things such as finance, exchange rate, insurance and similar stuff to consider and plan before beginning the trip.

But, if you have headed to your back-pack trip without a plan, you can begin by hanging around in the common-room, meeting some fellow travelers who can join you.

Or you can check-in trip advisors website and know about the place and nearby happenings that you can join and have fun.

About the author

Yogi and Suchna believe in taking the road less traveled and stumbling upon some hidden gems along the way! For over a decade, they’ve mapped their way across various continents, sniffed out unusual routes, discovered new flavours and stayed at quirky hostels. TheBackpackerCo is their expression of soul travel. You can catch up with them at TheBackpackerCo – The Backpack Paris Trip Experts


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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.

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