Many weblogs about Europe are by backpackers travelling around the continent. And many backpackers are on a budget, both financially as in terms of weight. Since I’ve got a wealth of backpacking experience in Europe and beyond, I have decided to share my wisdom with the world, and enlighten the backpacking crowds on some backpacking essentials. Hear hear the wise words of the backpacking guru!
Gear can be split in several types – essential, not-so-essential and trash. As a basic rule of thumb on what to pack and what to leave behind I will give you the same advice I once got – when in doubt, don’t pack it. Seriously, they have shops there, wherever you go. The amount of suffering from carrying useless kilo’s is totally not worth the money you could otherwise spend strengthening the local economy. While what’s essential and what’s not may differ, here are the most cost-effective items I consider a necessity on any backpacking trip:
- Get a buff – this simple piece of cloth is amazingly versatile. Its like a towel-plus (see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the towel issue). You can warm your head with it, pick up hot pans, cover your eyes on a plane or even wipe your… uhmm… nose. No limit to what you can do with a buff.
- Crocs. Yes, they’re ugly. But they’re so ugly they’re cute. Well, at least they’re better than Uggs, that’s for sure. Certainly more useful. Light, fast-drying and wearable with socks, too (I don’t do that outside mountain huts, honest). They don’t cost less than 10 Euros you say? Who said anything about buying the originals?
- Earplugs. Not the item to get cheap on, so spend some effort in getting good ones. I mean, people snore. And some people SNORE. And for some reason they always end up in your dorm. Good ear plugs have saved many lives. Of snorers who would otherwise be… let’s say… made quiet.
Next time – the not-so-cheap backpacking essentials. Stay tuned!