10 Ways to Stay Safe While Backpacking
Backpacking is today becoming a more and more popular form of travelling. Several advantages, like portability and compactness contribute to the preference given to backpack travelling.
It‘s a very convenient way of moving and carrying weight, proven by the use of backpacks for hundreds of years.
But backpack travelling, like travelling with luggage and bags, is not without inherent dangers and disadvantages, particularly in foreign places.
Below are some tips to help you move safely as you travel with a backpack:
- Select the right size and type of backpack. Too heavy or large and you will have a hard time moving. Too light or small and it will not hold all that you need. When buying a backpack, choose a hiking pack that is about as wide as your shoulders and as long to a bit lower than the small of your back, so you can sit comfortably with the backpack on.
- In a top-loading pack, you must remove everything on top to get something at the bottom. Find one that zips open around or frontloads so you can get easily what you need without unloading everything. Get one with zippers that can be locked (i.e., the zipper tabs have holes to put locks through).
- Select a backpack that dries easily and has a tarpaulin cover, but made of sturdy material. You will not want your pack to rip open while in use.
- Do not leave your packs unattended in public places. If they are not snatched or stolen, they might get slashed for whatever is inside. Do not stand too long in a crowded place with the pack on your back for the same reason. If you have to put down your pack, put it in front of your legs.
- Do not put your valuable documents like passports, your money or travelers’ checks, in your backpack’s pocket, as they might be picked, even while you are walking.
- Purchase an insurance policy that as much as possible covers virtually every emergency on travel, including medical needs, policy cancellation, per-item loss, activities and personal liability. You never know what will happen so it is nice to understand you are covered every which way.
- Have handy a smaller pack to hold your extra prescription glasses, passport, personal medicine, toiletries and similar items so you don’t have to put down and dig in your backpack for them when needed.
- You’d be doing much walking with a heavy load so use sturdy hiking shoes to reduce possible walking problems.
- Don’t wear expensive wristwatches, necklaces, rings and clothes. While these may make you a stylish traveler, they are magnets to every snatcher, pickpocket, and con artist in the places you will go.
- Finally, take every precaution just like when travelling with luggage. Be aware of your surroundings always, and be careful. Think twice before doing anything out of the ordinary, even if you believe it is quite safe to do so.
This was a guest post by Mark an employee of 0044, a supplier of international SIM cards for cheap international calls.