Just like a turtle your home will be on your back. You might get a pretty hopeless feeling when you walk around in your house and see the tons of stuff. Of all that stuff, you can only carry a tiny percentage on your back.
- adult woman: max. 15 kg/33 lbs
- adult man: max. 18 kg/40 lbs
These are maximums for an average adult of normal height and normal Body Mass Index. Shorter, under- and overweighted people should carry much less than these maximum weights. These advised weights have nothing to do with how strong you are, or with your physical condition. It has to to with your spine and how much it can endure for a longer period of time.
A good backpack is half your trip
Your backpack needs to fit like a glove. If your planning on selling most of your stuff currently in your home, you’ll be very rich and you’ll be able to afford only the best products for your backpack. Enjoy it, because this is the last big pending spree you will do!
Obviously, you can do this low budget, and just throw the essentials in a random bag and start hitch hiking your way through the world, although we recommend some preparation as you will thoroughly enjoy being a little bit organised.
Inside your new home
Ideally, you will have to find a decent backpack.
Other stuff you might want to add to your backpack
- sleeping bag
- (inflatable) mattress
- first aid kit
- fishing hooks
- fishing rope
- decent walking shoes
- decent belt
- thermal underwear
- raincoat / poncho
- lightweight clothes for 5 average days (but warm and as windproof as possible)
- half a roll of toilet paper for emergencies
- coffee filters (to use as water purifiers)
- (optionally) a decent (at least 3 seasons) tent
There’s tons of stuff you can use from other people like towels, shaving gear, tampons, toilet paper, toothpaste, shower gel, cutlery (you can always eat with your hands), etc
The packing game
Put all your stuff in one bag. Put the heavy stuff like tents, mattresses and sleeping bags in the bottom compartment of your backpack. Then your clothes and then the light stuff. The stuff you need handy should go in the top, side and back compartments.
Once you’re done, get everything back out. Leave one fifth out and try making it again. This is your new home, you need to be familiar with everything. It is highly recommended to do a small 20km trip with your backpack to accustom yourself with it and eventually make additional changes.
- When traveling with a family, things can be distributed of the various backpacks, but make sure every backpack has the essentials: rain coat: energy bars for the kids (tell them to eat it slowly), water, knife (not for kids), first aid stuff, emergency whistle (S.O.S. in Morse code is . . . _ _ _ . . . )
- Watch the left-right balance of your backpack. Try to put heavy stuff as centered as possible. Remember you might not notice the difference while walking in your living room, but you will notice it after 20km travel.
- Food is everywhere, don’t overload your backpack with it. Again: compassionate people everywhere. Not one person on Earth is going to refuse food to a pale looking guy or gal asking politely for food. The main rule is: Prioritise Water over Food when packing your backpack.
- Always have 1L emergency water supply per backpack, which you don’t drink unless you have no other choice. 1L of water will get you half a day further, or between 15 to 30km, depending on terrain and you physical condition.