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What is backpacking and how it is different from travelling?

Category: Backpacks, hiking
What is backpacking and how it is different from travelling?

Giving yourself your utmost time and enjoying your own company while travelling makes backpacking an amazing experience of your lifetime. The basic difference between backpacking and tourism is that the former is a low budget and flexible traveling that does not require you to carry heavy luggage but just basic necessity items that can be carried easily on the back.

Let us take a more detailed perspective in to backpacking and how it is different from travelling with either family or group of close friends. Listed down are few of the main differences:

 

  • The baggage that you carry:

 

While travelling as a tourist, you choose to include all kinds of luxuries such as expensive stop-over, exotic destination, fancy clothing and gifts for family and friends. If a honeymoon trip is being planned, you choose to invest most of your saving in creating a romantic, secluded and most enduring environment for your spouse to enjoy.  

Basically, travelling is all about comfort and relaxation whereas backpacking is more about adventure with just a survival kit on hand. If you are a backpacker, you might not even consider going to an inexpensive hotel or rest-house but rather gear up with your tent to set up a camping site. Here, you would meet the nature and locals in their natural habitats and enjoy the company of people from varied backgrounds.

 

  • The length of stay:

 

Most of the people who undertake backpacking trips do not take a return ticket as they are uncertain about how long they will continue to stay at a certain place. Backpackers are usually on their own; without having any responsibility of family with them during the trip. They can continue to stay as long as they wish or till their purpose fulfills. It could be as short as a few weeks trip to more than year of settlement; depending how long the backpacker aims to stay back and discover.  

 

  • Travelling style:

 

A tourist may opt for different kinds of transport such as buses, trains, cabs, or pull-carts depending on the availability and budget. But a backpacker is usually on foot; as the places he may be staying at doesn’t have any sort of conveyance. He might even look for the cheapest available mode of transportation to reach his destination.

 

  • The purpose of the trip:

 

As mentioned earlier, a traveler is usually looking for luxury and enjoyment of new places whereas backpackers aim to explore and discover nature and natural habitat of a particular region. They aspire to understand the dynamics of the place and understand the interaction of the inhabitant with its environment. A backpacker tries to consume natural resources for his survival and avoid man-made solutions. He might eat wild berries, fruits from trees when hungry instead of going to a fancy lavish restaurant to enjoy wide variety of cuisines.  

For an adventurous exploration, he might hike mountainous terrains and trek the forest whereas a tourist will visit sightseeing destinations, museums and other attractions. A tourist will also enjoy the shopping experience and buy souvenir whereas a backpacker will hunt in the jungle to claim his memento.

If you are planning for a backpack trip then you need to know the certain dos and don’ts  that are common among all backpackers around the world.

Don’ts:

  • If you are planning a solitary backpack trip then it better to keep it a mum as many inexperienced adventurists might want to accompany you.  
  • Don’t carry valuables with you such as jewelry, expensive phones, and credit cards as you might lose them on your adventurous trip.

Dos:

  • Do a research of the place that you plan to visit so that you an idea of what to expect there and what measures to take in a difficult situation.  
  • Carry all basic items such as torch, tent, mobile phone, pocket knife, lighter, sleeping bag, extra pair of clothes and shoes, first aid box and spare batteries.

 

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