Information on Backpacks

Packs used for traveling are a bit different from packs used for hiking — they tend to be larger, heavier, and sturdier. This is because they need to withstand being tossed around by airport baggage handlers. They are often quite large because they have to hold all the travelers goods. On the other hand, the packs used for hiking can be smaller and lighter. Backpackers carry less weight than most travelers, and they handle their packs a lot more gently.

A lot depends on the length of your backpacking trips. A good weekender pack will probably not work as well for a ten day expedition. Much also depends on whether you’re travelling alone or in a group. When you travel in a group, each person ends up carrying a bit less weight. Another factor for longer trips is how frequently you’ll be able to resupply. If you’re hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail, it’s pretty easy to get into town from almost any major road crossing, and you cross major roads every couple of days. On the other hand, if you’re in the middle of the northern Ontario wilderness, resupplying can pose considerable logistical problems, and you may be forced to carry a lot more food with you even for shorter trips.

It is also worth your while to discuss your needs with your local outfitter. Most of the better outfitters can give you excellent advice — the folks who work at such places are experienced backpackers who have actually field tested the stuff they sell. Read the reviews in the major outdoor magazines, like Backpacker and Outside!

Once you have determined your needs, you can choose from a fairly broad range of high quality brands. I will give you a short list of the better brands — for the most part, these companies categorize there packs according to type (internal frame vs external frame) and intended use. Do your research, and then browse through the list.

Word of advice: The packs designed for longer trips (7 – 10 days, e.g.) are designed to carry all the supplies that you’d need for a trip of that length. If you’ll be able to resupply every 2 or 3 days, then you’ll only need a pack good for 2-3 days.

There are many long-distance hikers who go with ultra light equipment, carrying no more than 20 lbs in a very light and relatively small pack (less than a pound, around 2400 cubic inches). But it takes pretty specialized equipment to go the ultra light route, and it’s difficult to pull it off in cooler weather because of the bulk of the warmer clothes that you’ll need. And even a 2400 cubic inch pack will be larger than you’ll need for most day hikes.

A lot also depends on the kind of day hiking and long weekend trips you have in mind. A day hike in the White Mountains or the High Peaks of the Adirondacks will require more equipment than a trip in lower elevations where you’re less likely to run into extremes of weather and temperature over the course of the day.

Use a small fanny pack for day hikes in the NY-NJ region, but in the higher elevations of New England and the Adirondacks, use a 2000 cubic inch pack to carry the warmer clothes you will need as you ascend to the higher elevations. And for 3-4 day hikes,use a frame pack (6+ lbs, 5000+ cubic inches) and carry enough amenities to make a comfortable camp. On the other hand, when you are out for 8-10 days of Appalachian Trail hiking, use a smaller ultra light pack (1.5 lbs, 3400+ cubic inches) and skimp on some of the camp comforts in favor of making hiking as comfortable as possible.

Backpackers Transport – How to Get Around Australia

Since Australia has a developed tourist trail for the thousands of backpackers each year that visit the land down under, making an ideal backpacking experience and exploring the outback is really easy. With a multitude of transport options including trains, planes and automobiles getting around and backpacking in Australia is easy. Knowing which method you use will depend on your budget and your time frame. Read more about getting around and backpacking down under.

Travelling by Car

If you are going to be in Australia longer than 3 months then it might be well worth purchasing a car to drive. Due to the large amount of travellers it is pretty easy to pick a car that is being sold off cheaply by another backpacker who wants a quick sale. But remember, Australia is a big country and these cars will have done the rounds and clocked up some mileage. Make sure you check how much the repairs will cost before you buy. Most travellers start and end in Sydney, here is where you will find the most cars and usually the cheaper deals.

If you aren’t there a long time but appreciate the freedom a car provides you could always hire one. Car hire is a great alternative and most companies allow one way car hire between cities which means you don’t have to return to the same destination.

Travelling by Plane

Though some hardcore backpackers think flying is cheating, if you are limited by time then flying from side of the country to another is well worth it. You can usually book a cheap internal flight with Virgin Blue or Jetstar in advance. Did you know it takes 5 hours to fly from Sydney to Perth? If you were to drive this distance it would take two days and that is without stopping.

Tour Buses

There are many bus services that run between cities and across the country. Greyhound is one company that offers routes to most touristic destinations. They are usually cheap and reliable but they don’t offer much flexibility and comfort compared to having your own car. Long journeys also seem to take longer because buses don’t drive as fast, but at least you can sit back and rest. Most buses tend to get booked up quickly so you ought to book in advance to ensure you get a seat.

Hitchhiking and Lift Sharing

If you are looking for a cheap ride then hitchhiking is always an option. It can be a great way to travel giving you a sense of adventure and freedom. It is also a great way to meet people and learn about Australia, and the best thing is it is normally free. However it is not for everyone and you ought to be careful who you share lifts with, never get inside a car with anyone you feel uncomfortable with. If you plan on hitching a lift, it would be a better idea to travel with other backpackers and share the costs. This way is probably safer than thumbing down a lift from a passing car. You can find other travellers looking for people to travel with to share costs of fuel on a large number of notice boards found in the hostels around the country.

Whatever your travel budget and whatever your time-frame you will find a suitable method of transport that best suits you. Backpacking in Australia is a great way to see the country and travelling around is easy. This is one reason why Australia is an ideal location for all types of backpackers.

Streetwise Travel – 5 Safety Tips For Backpackers

“You live. You learn.” 

 – Alanis Morissette

There are some simple precautions you can take which can increase your security significantly while not being to much of a burden for yourself or keep you from enjoying your trip. Here are some examples on simple things you can do:

  • Add an ICE-number on your cell phone. If something happens to you someone might know that ICE means “In Case of Emergency” and will check for “ICE” in your phone directory. If you add the phone number to your spouse or parents they will be able to call them if you for some unlucky reason are not in shape to place the call yourself.
  • Avoid large crowds such as demonstrations which can get out of hand and turn into clashes with the police.
  • Large shopping malls can be an oasis of tranquility and order when you are in a chaotic city. Just riding the escalator a few times can give you some flashbacks of civilization if you are really suffering from home-sickness.
  • In order to protect your documents from rain it is useful to put them in some protective plastic.
  • If you need to read your map or guidebook go into a shop, restaurant or phone booth for some privacy.

 The Elbrus Experience 

Back in 2002 I was in Elbrus region in Russia close to the Chechnyan border. Late at night I went out to take some long exposure pictures of lightning striking. I thought it was a bit strange that it was not raining though. I was soon enlightened that the flashes were grenade fire in Chechnya! Oops. 

Happy  travels !

The Future of Backpacking is Flashpacking

Somewhere before my bus broke down in Australia, I was called a flashpacker. Despite  traveling  for 18 months, it was the first time I’d heard the term. A flashpacker is defined as someone, unusually in their mid 20s to early 30s, who  travels  like a  backpacker  but has more disposal income as well as electronics such as a camera or laptop. Flashpackers also expect better hostels and services.

Neither fully  backpacker  nor tourist, flashpackers are new to the  traveling  vocabulary. Flashpackers sleep in hostels, use a backpack, and want cheap transportation but blow their wad on meals, beer, tours, and parties. They usually aren’t walking into a hostel randomly or wearing the same shirt for a week. Many hostels are up scaling to accommodate the increasing wants and desires of flashpackers and you’ll find these hostels in all corners of the earth. Flashpackers still have no fixed journey and all the time to roam around but don’t pinch every penny. They are  backpackers  with means.

Backpacking is not about a look, it’s a lifestyle. Just because a person doesn’t have a certain style, doesn’t mean they lack the character of a  backpacker . It doesn’t make them less of a  backpacker . It goes against the  backpacker  mentality to look down on someone because they  travel  differently. Aren’t we supposed to be embracing different ways of life?

It all comes down to what makes a  backpacker  a  backpacker . That’s spirit. The desire to explore new places and experience new people. Backpacking is about opening your mind to new things and looking differently at the world. It’s not about the stuff you carry. As your spirit is the same, what stuff you carry shouldn’t matter.

We’re all flashpackers, whether you like it or not. We may not be driving up to the hostel in a limo but we all expect a little “flash” nowadays. According to a Hostelworld study in 2006, 21 percent of people  travel  with a laptop, 54 percent with an MP3 player, 83 percent with a mobile phone and a whopping 86 percent  travel  with a digital camera.

Think about your last holiday- how many travelers did you see with cameras? iPods? Laptops? I can’t remember seeing one person without a camera, and at least 3/4 of the people I saw had iPods.

The truth is we all  travel  with costly electronics now. We check our email and Skype our friends. We all have a camera and most of us have an iPod. We are flashpackers and it’s not a bad thing. All these electronics allows us to stay better connected with our friends, our family, and helps us better document our  travels . The key is to once in awhile to put down the camera, turn off the computer, and enjoy the culture you came to see.

The  backpacker  who set off with 1 shirt, a small pack, and two baht to his name is getting hard to find. Many of us have a little more money and want a little more but we still carry the  backpacker  spirit. We still seek new cultures, exotic locales, and long term  travel . We still look for cheap hostels and transport. We camp on that jungle trek. The divergence is that now we also want a place to plug in our camera, check our e-mail, and take a hot shower. We just want to be pampered…once in awhile.

Travel Guard Backpacker Travel Insurance: A No Ordinary Kind of Insurance

Anyone who is planning for a trip in a foreign land and wants to do some backpacking adventures should consider the risk involved such as stolen luggage, calamities and adversities in the destination countries, accidents and hospitalization, travel cancellation, and legal problems overseas. The years of savings for the most awaited trip can just vaporize in seconds. Travel Guard Backpacker Travel Insurance offers an array of products that is designed to every adventure a backpacker is planning. It provides numerous travel options; whether it is a short-term or long term vacation, it has products that are suitable to every need of an adventurer. It has provided millions of coverage’s for adventurous backpackers worldwide for more than two decades.

Travel Guard Backpacker Travel Insurance offers a full travel insurance coverage. It includes hospitalization and medical coverage, cancellation of trip related to work that includes loss of jobs (involuntary), loss and stolen luggage and personal valuable items, accident insurance, and so much more; it gives twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week worldwide assistance to its clientele. One of the great features of this insurance is that, not only a backpacker is covered for trip cancellation but can also be covered on a unique provision if still a student. Such condition is called repatriation. It is when a student is backpacking on a holiday before the final grades come out and need to return for an exam retake; the insurance can cover the cost of the return flight. In addition, if a traveler gets arrested in a foreign land, an assigned agent will work out the legal matters and return the backpacker home safe.

Travel Guard Backpacker Travel Insurance is not your usual kind of travel insurer, and our insurance is not just an add-on to your booking rates. It is an insurance that travels with you that provide world class service and committed in delivering superior services. It gives protection that suits your travel need without wasting your money. This insurance always comes to your rescue when bad things happen or something went wrong during your backpacking adventure.

Travel Insurance For Backpackers is Not a Luxury

All backpackers have the dream of seeing the world and seeing it on the cheap wherever possible. However the one thing that must not and cannot be done on the cheap is Travel insurance for backpackers.The very nature of backpacking involves more risk to your person being alone at times and more risk of theft where many unknown others are gathered in the traditional backpacker lodgings.

While you are unlikely to have troubles you ought to anticipate the worst scenario as well as the best. Imagine you are stuck with a foreign country and its rules and government style and something has gone wrong and you are being perhaps questioned.or regarded with suspicion. Unlikely yes but also possible. Many young adventurers backpacking around the world have been caught up in such situations. So if you have done your homework before leaving home and have a well designed travel insurance for backpackers organised then you have a way out of many situations.

So with a solid travel insurance you can have a peace of mind knowing that you will have access to replacement of documents that might be lost or even stolen and knowing that illness or if foreign governments have you on the back foot then you are able to call upon the benefits of your policy to find a way through.

Finally don’t go into fear about all the things that could go wrong its just that being prepared is always the best motto and so do your homework and get a good solid travel insurance for backpackers deal. And also be in a prepared state of mind. You should have at your fingertips the contacts that are with your policy and how to contact them. You should not wait for a difficult situation and have a good policy but then cant contact the Insurance people who issued the policy so have the simple contact details right at hand and in triplicate to get that ease of immediate contact.

Backpacker Jobs – Make Money on Your Backpacking Journey

Traveling across the globe has often been viewed, by the majority, as a luxury affordable only to the rich. This is not true for the backpackers, especially those with a job. Backpackers are travelers that prioritize low-cost international travel. The idea of backpacking is to spend the least possible money and have the most exotic experience away from home, as most Backpackers could not afford high-end traveling. However, due to the mere fact that Backpackers have to place low-cost at the top of their mind, their trips are usually restricted by the tight budget, as a result they fail to get the most of their travel. Having said that, there is an effective option for Backpackers to further minimizes their cost and maximizes the fun backpacker jobs. It is now becoming more common for Backpackers to work on their journey. There are many reasons for Backpackers to work:

  1. To save the cost of trip
  2. Earn extra money to finance the expenses of traveling
  3. Some employers provide free accommodation for backpackers, this help to solve lodging problem
  4. A great opportunity to meet more of the local people as well as other travelers around the world
  5. Learn more about the culture of the locals. Backpackers would have a more unique experience and exposure when they indulge themselves in the community of the place they are traveling to.

The common jobs Backpacker Jobs are:

  1. Fruit picking. This is especially the case in Australia, south of England and New Zealand.
  2. Bar work. Backpackers could easily find bars hiring in many places from Scotland to the United States of America.
  3. Teaching English.
  4. Waiter/Waitress.
  5. Telemarketing
  6. Hotel work

Backpacker jobs are widespread in many countries like America, United Kingdom, Australia etc., offer jobs specifically to backpackers because of their flexibility of schedule. Depending on which country the Backpacker wants to work, the procedure will differ (eg. Australia only offers Working Holiday Visa once if one wants to work during their vacation, and will be restricted to a regular Tourist Visa the next time). It is advisable for Backpackers to research thoroughly on their backpacking destination before leaving for their trip to find out the procedure of obtaining the working permit to avoid working illegally, for example, while getting a job in the Europe is easy, there are certain requirements to be satisfied before working, those that do not meet the standard but chose to work regardless of that would be considered as illegal worker and would therefore be deported back to their own country with their own cost.

Why Use Travel Backpacks For Kids

Part of the build up to the holidays and a trip or vacation is choosing new luggage. It’s always a good idea to involve the whole family and go out and buy children their own piece of luggage from a range of  travel  backpacks for kids.

It does not have to be a very large backpack. They come in various shapes, sizes, colours and themes. There is one to fit every price range. But, it would be a good idea to choose one that can be taken onto a flight as hand luggage. Many airlines now charge per bag if it has to go in the hold and it would add to the overall weight allowance.

The kids can pack it themselves, with whatever they need to keep them occupied during the journey. Particularly, with younger children this gives them a little responsibility. At the same time using packs can reduce the weight of the main suitcase and leave more capacity for the essential items.

Just remember to check, if you have to pass through security or passport control that the children have not packed any items which will cause problems, if they set the detectors off.

The backpack has to be sturdy and fit for purpose. Make sure that any straps are adjustable so that it can easily be altered to fit the child. They will be happy to carry a rucksack which fits properly rather than one that is heavy and uncomfortable to wear.

Fashion, style and colour will probably be more important to the girls than the boys and to get them to take ownership it is best to along with their choice. As many of the younger children are into various television themes or characters allowing them to make their own choice from  travel  backpacks for kids, could help to avoid a lot of grief later on.

Travel-American Backpacking Hostels

Do you ever feel like you know just enough about  Travel  to be dangerous? Let’s see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from  Travel  experts.

It is useful to be able to compare room rates at a number of hostels in your preferred destination. Backpacking can be a wonderful experience. Book a room in a hostel today, so that you aren’t roomless on your arrival.

People from all walks of life and every corner of the world stay in hostels.  Backpacker  Hostels are very affordable. Expand your horizons – Taking excursions away from your original plan is part of what makes backpacking fun.

Sometimes the most important aspects of a subject are not immediately obvious. Keep reading to get the complete picture.

Safeguard your important documents and money – Get one of those thin money belts that fit inside your clothes. That way you can carry your passport and money with you at all times. Tip of the day – Always carry your student or youth card because you may be able to get a discount. Many hostels offer a wide range of activities – from city tours to white water-rafting.

 Travel  in comfort – Bring a pillow with you for those long bus journeys. Almost all hostels offer lockers, either free of charge or for hire so that people staying in dormitories can lock up their valuables. During the daytime, there is usually a lockout time from early morning to late afternoon when the rooms are being cleaned.

Planning that seems so trivial at home can become complicated when you are in a strange place. Today, many hostels are not unlike budget hotels where the only significant difference is the price. Many hostels provide access for wheelchair users, and specially adapted rooms are becoming more common. Many hostels in the country are so quiet you can hear your heart beat.

So now you know a little bit about  Travel . Even if you don’t know everything, you’ve done something worthwhile: you’ve expanded your knowledge.

Traveling With a Backpack Around the World

Backpacking is the way to go for people who are looking for a low cost independent way to  travel . Backpacking and budget  traveling  go hand in hand as people who like to  travel  with a backpack are usually the ones who are looking for cheap, budget  traveling  options. People who backpack are quite different than your normal tourists. They use public transport as a means of  travel  and prefer youth hostels from the traditional ones.

 Traveling  as a  backpacker  can make your  travel  more interesting because you will be able to see more things and meet more interesting people too. Digital communication gives you the ease of planning and executing a back pack trip much easier than it ever was before.

Though there is no definite answer to the how far back this means of  travel  and vacationing goes, probably the most prevalent and far reaching backpacking of our time can be traced to the Hippie trail of the 1960’s and 70’s. The Green movement started off a new trend in re- creating the backpacking journey in a more comfortable way. It now expands to most regions throughout the world.

In many countries like Africa, new Hippie trails are being developed and budgeted airlines have also contributed a lot in this expansion. The advanced technological age has also brought about many different changes as traditional  backpackers  used to avoid carrying their valuable electronic gadgets with them when they  traveled . Now, with the advent of light-weight electronic gadgets, all of this has become possible and this new generation of  backpackers  can communicate and stay connected with the through their laptops and mobile phones.

Travelers from different cultures that often take long backpacking trips by using low cost airlines which is more of a non institutionalized form of  travel . These rugged outdoor adventurists  travel  with minimum luggage as they need to carry with them only the absolute essentials and mere frugal accommodations.

A backpack trip can be perceived as more than a vacation. We have more of an opportunity to get educated on the way by  traveling  the world. We also can learn more through interacting with the local’s community as they have firsthand experience and knowledge about their own part of the world. This concept of  travel  is still a controversial issue as more upscale people who prefer things handed to them on a platter criticize  backpackers  as vagabonds and low lifers. The reputation these days are somewhat improving as more and more people learn to enjoy this type of  travel .

Exploring the world with only enough goods that can fit and be carried on your back is a unique and fantastic way to  travel . Not only will you save money but you will be able to see and do things most hotel travelers wouldn’t. Get out and interact other fellow back travelers and learn more about our world through the eyes of the experienced  backpackers . It is a very rewarding and very exciting way to  travel .