You’ve scrimped and saved, and now you’re finally ready to make that big backpacking trip in the Alps. Maybe you’re going deep-sea fishing in South America, or paying a visit to Kashmir in Mongolia. Whatever it is, you’ve finally decided to leave ordinary behind and embark on something unforgettable. Let’s say it’s your first time making a trip like this. Congratulations! It’s literally a whole new world to explore. It can be overwhelming deciding on everything you might need, so here are X tips to keep in mind as you’re packing for your life-changing experience.
Check the Weather, Then Check Again
Weather means all weather, not just a quick peek at the 7-day forecast where you’re going. You really do not want to be stuck without something you need when you’re on the road. This goes double for budding mountaineers and hikers. Even if your itinerary is relatively low-impact, you want to be prepared for any situation. In other words, bring a raincoat, even if the forecast for the next month is all sunny days. Unless you’re vacationing in the middle of the Sahara, it might rain on you no matter what your weather app says. In the same vein, a warm hat and a jacket are a prudent choice in almost any climate if there’s even the slightest chance of a cold snap while you’re there.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Any gear that’s going right on your body has to fit. It may seem obvious now, but sizing for specialized gear can get pretty exact. Gloves have just been one-size-fits-all your whole life–now, suddenly, men’s gloves have all kinds of sizing info to go with them. Confronted with this complexity, it can be tempting to phone it in and cut corners, but you must resist! There are generally very good reasons for gear sizing working in unusual ways. Trust the experts and do your homework, otherwise, the best-case scenario is some uncomfortable blisters and in the worst case you may be endangering your own safety and that of those around you.
Learn a Little of the Language
Phrase books can get you a long way, but languages are one piece of gear that’s best carried in your head. Consider taking crash courses on some common languages where you might be headed. Knowing at least the basics will allow you to do some rudimentary communication with anyone you meet on your way. Let’s be honest; in a lot of places you can get by with only English, but by skimping on language education, you’re really just cheating yourself out of a deeper experience. You can make some amazing connections even if you’re fumbling, and you’ll find locals a lot more understanding if you’re at least trying not to be Mr. Talk Slow And Loud English.
Hopefully, with these tips you’ll be better prepared for your experience, and ready to push yourself that little bit further for your next excursion. Travel is the most rewarding thing a person can do, and you don’t want to spoil your trip for want of something crucial you could have packed. You owe it to yourself to be properly prepared.