5 Problems You Might Face on Your Backpacking Trip

Be prepared for potential mishaps while backpacking.

By Mathew S. Chan
September 22, 2015

Backpacker Travel

Traveling has its risks, and when you backpack, there’s a greater chance of you facing more of them. But no matter what kind of trip you’re on, you just have to be confident and prepare yourself well for any problem that may come your way. Here are a few things you might find yourself facing during your backpacking trip and how to deal with them.

1. Getting Lost
The whole point of backpacking is to really explore and see places on foot to better appreciate them. You may find yourself wandering streets and forests. Sometimes you’ll fail to notice you’ve strayed from the beaten path and into unknown territory. The first thing you should do is not to panic. Keep calm and check your map or GPS. If you can get a handle on where you are and realize the area is safe, you can just go ahead and keep exploring. If this doesn’t work, check if you have cell service and try calling for help. Also look around you to see if anything looks familiar. Try to retrace your steps, which will probably lead you back to the main road.

2. Assorted Body Pain
Your biggest asset during a backpacking trip is your body. You will be carrying most of your things in your backpack, and you’ll be on your feet 90% of the time. This means you may encounter some muscle soreness or develop blisters. To prepare yourself for your body’s aches and pains, make sure the shoes you’re wearing are comfortable and well broken in. Have some lotion, massage gels, band aids, and other first aid essentials with you. It also helps to make some pit-stops along your trip so as not to overfatigue yourself.

3. Lost Baggage
This could be a worst case scenario event, but sometimes you may lose your bag or misplace it. It may even get stolen. It helps to invest in travel insurance, so you won’t have to worry about losing valuables. You can also report your luggage missing. If you're lucky, someone will return it when they find it. It’s best to keep your essentials with you like your money, passport, and other important documents in a small pouch that’s strapped to your body under your clothes.

4. Upset Stomach
Backpackers are usually adventurous, even when it comes to food. If you happen to be like that as well, then having an upset stomach is something you are probably accustomed to. Always have some antacids on hand, and try to make sure that the places you eat at have good hygiene with food that is properly cooked. Because you are from somewhere else, your stomach is accustomed to different things, so pace yourself when eating.

5. Ruined Plans
They say that it’s best to have a small itinerary to maximize your time and resources, but if the weather suddenly goes sour or there are outside forces beyond your control, some of your plans may not see the light of day. Instead of wallowing and wondering what you should do on the spot, make sure you have a secondary itinerary planned filled with backup plans. You can also ask locals for suggestions since they know the place you’re visiting better than you do.