Backpacking is one of the best ways to enjoy travelling. You are independent and free and truly experience the feeling of getting away from work and routine.
Make your trip safer and more enjoyable by reading the following 8 safety tips:
Always buy travel insurance
You may anticipate the joy of getting away on your own but may be less than thrilled when you return without your passport or ticket. You can get special travel insurance for backpacking trips – they cover you for lost belongings, medication and cancelled flights.
Plan your trip in detail
Make sure that you are aware of where you plan to go, where you plan to bunk down for the night and how you will buy fresh drinking water etc. Lack of planning may increase the likelihood of confusion, accidents and illness.
Inform a close friend/relative of your plan
Always inform a neighbour or a friend about where you plan to go and the date that you plan to return. Once every couple of days, call/email/tweet to update your loved ones back home. Remember to register your name in hiking trails and wooded parks; it helps improve safety and minimises the chances of being lost.
Avoid roaming at night
You may find it romantic to walk by the moonlight but let’s be realistic. In this day and age with crime on the rise, avoid solitary night time travel. If you are in foreign country, opt to sit in a place that has crowds like the railway booking office or a lively cafe.
Don’t flaunt your valuables in public
Avoid slinging your expensive Nikon camera over your shoulder. Once you use it, pack it away. Eagle-eyed local thieves will be waiting for an opportunity to steal it or worse make away with your entire backpack.
Carry a whistle and a torch
Make it a point to carry a whistle and a torch with you for emergencies.
Pack insect repellent
Pack some insect repellent to avoid being bitten or stung in the wilds when you are miles away from clinics and medical care.
Avoid eating strange fruits/berries
A lot of berries are poisonous. Only eat fruits from trees that you are able to recognise well. If it’s a plant/tree that you are not familiar with, don’t touch it and certainly avoid eating the fruit.