There are many ways to travel, and each of these traveling techniques can be an enjoyable experience in and by itself. However, for most traveling purists, the best option to go around virtually any destination on Earth is via backpacking. While some would say that it’s not for everyone, being a backpacker will bring an experience of a lifetime if you know how to do it right. Here is a list of some useful backpacking advice for beginners.

1. Pick the right footwear- A good pair of shoes is a backpacker’s best ally. Depending on the situation, a backpacker can walk for miles without relief, and the terrain can change dramatically depending on the location. It is best to pick footwear that will provide the ideal combination of comfort, foot protection, traction, and durability. You can check out shoe reviews to determine which pairs are best used by backpackers. You can also check out your destination to determine if your favorite shoes are appropriate to your destination.

2. Pick the right backpack- Having the right backpack is essential for a good backpacking experience. While one person’s idea of an ideal bag is different from another person, everyone could agree that these characteristics should be present in any travel backpack. It should be large enough to fit most of your important stuff while compact enough that it won’t be cumbersome to carry. It should be made of a material that’s durable and suitable for all types of weather. Lastly, it should be comfortable enough to be carried for hours. My backpacking buddy unfortunately picked up the cheapest bag from walmart.com and heavily regretted it on our last trip. It gave him blisters on his shoulders and also did not hold very much. Beware!

3. Scout your destination- Planning ahead for your trip is essential to get the most out of your travel experience. Regardless of what your destination is, a backpacking plan can come in handy to get the most out of your adventure. Search for the destinations you would want to see in your destination of choice. You can scout walkways and local transportation hubs backpackers usually utilize when visiting town. There are even some pre-made backpacker trail guides experienced travelers make for new visitors.

4. Work on your fitness if possible- Going on a backpacking journey is definitely not for the faint of heart. For those who are not used to traveling by foot, backpacking can be quite a daunting task. Walking for long distance, especially while carrying a full bag of loot, can be quite exhausting. This is especially so when the weather is less than ideal. Seasoned backpackers generally have better endurance owing to practice and experience. For aspiring backpackers, working on your conditioning can potentially be beneficial.

5. Don’t be afraid to explore- The wide window to explore is one of the best things about being a backpacker. When you arrive in a particular destination, it would be great to immerse yourself in the experience. Try to get to know intimately the places you would visit. Interact with the locals and understand their ways. Know the stories behind the landmarks you come across. Try to explore the roads less traveled. You can explore a specific city or town in a multitude of ways. Don’t be afraid to explore.