Over the last few years, many said goodbye to luxurious and costly travels and embraced the backpacking style. Backpack travel is just what the words mean: traveling with a backpack containing all your essentials. It’s indeed low-cost and independent, and you can decide on where to go next often without adhering to an itinerary.
Although many people of different ages enjoy it, backpack traveling has become a favorite for millennials. This is because backpacking connotes independence, freedom, and energy usually witnessed in younger generations.
Backpacking allows travelers to witness the picturesque, often raw, beauty of a destination, far from developed resorts and man-made attractions. Not only that, this style of traveling has evolved to help people maintain their health and fitness. With all the destinations that allow people to hike and travel at the same time, backpacking has become one of the most favored ways towards fitness!
Best Backpacking Locations
Let’s look at the most popular destinations for backpackers aiming for that ultimate fitness.
● Sierra High Route – California
Image By US National Park Service – http://home.nps.gov/depo/planyourvisit/nearbyattractions.htm, Public Domain, Link
The Sierra High Route offers a challenging hike that lets you experience dangerous peaks and ridgelines. You’ll go through different spots, such as Ansel Adams Wilderness and Yosemite National Park. This rugged terrain is an excellent alternative to the more crowded John Muir Trail.
The Sierra High Route extends for 195 miles, so many hikers plan a five-segment route over separate trips, but if you’re really up for an adventure, you can finish it in 9 days. Hiking this route is surely a workout both for your body and mind.
● Franconia Ridge – New Hampshire
Image Source: https://newengland.com/today/travel/new-hampshire/white-mountains/franconia-ridge-loop/
A favorite go-to backpacking destination receiving approximately 700 hikers a day, the Franconia Ridge in the state of New Hampshire takes you to an amazing hike in the White Mountains. Extending for nine miles, this trail will allow you to traverse Mount Lafayette, Mount Lincoln, and Little Haystack while minding your step because of the steep, rocky paths, which all add to the fun of exploration.
With the fairest weather in autumn when foliage is at peak, you’ll be treated to picturesque panoramas of the scenery and beautiful tundra wildflowers. This hike can fit in your packed schedule, allowing you to taste nature and feed your fitness hunger at the same time.
● Olympic National Park – Washington
Image Source: https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm
The Olympic National Park in Washington offers a magnificent range of diverse elevations and has a significant role in protecting a vast wilderness and ecosystems. Taking a hike from Dosewallips to Lake Quinault allows you to experience an incredible temperate rain forest, a rhododendron grove, and beautiful alpine meadows and snowfields. You’ll also admire the magical beauty of the Enchanted Valley, where you can find elk and black bears.
The trail continues along the Graves Creek and the Quinault River, which water falls into Lake Quinault. Enjoy the serene scenery of wildflowers, wildlife, and history and renew your mind and body for holistic fitness as you hike this trail for a slow three-day backpacking trip.
● Te Araroa Trail – New Zealand
Image Source: https://www.newzealand.com/in/feature/te-araroa-trail/
New Zealand is well-known for its diverse landscapes and sceneries, which give off the vibe of a painter’s masterpiece. If you want a big hike, the Te Araroa Trail in this country is the best choice. With the trail split into 160 tracks, you’ll be welcomed with an almost 2000 miles of coastal sand, humongous bushes, and ridges.
If that’s not enough, you’ll also traverse farmland, volcanoes, and national parks. You can start the hike from the North in Cape Reinga to South Island’s Bluff. The Te Araroa, which means “the long pathway” in Maori, usually takes five months of hiking to finish. The hike is a good opportunity to explore river valleys, witness Maori’s beautiful culture, wander through forests, and pass by active and inactive volcanoes. Backpacking the Te Araroa trail is indeed a great treat to the eyes and the body!
● Tour Du Mont Blanc – France, Italy, Switzerland
Image Source: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/gallery/2015/jul/19/walking-tour-du-mont-blanc-alpine-odyssey-france-italy-switzerland
If backpacking is the topic, Europe will never lose out to other continents. The famous Tour Du Mont Blanc gives you the chance to set foot in three different European countries – France, Italy, Switzerland – and enjoy their breathtaking beauty. The trail will let you admire the magnificent Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak, and dramatic glaciers and other high points.
Aside from the diverse landscapes, you’ll also pass by different villages, which is a great opportunity to admire the local culture. Try their delicacies such as local cheese and wine, and immerse yourself in their charm. There are also several huts along the way where you can enjoy your nights in comfort.
Many travelers usually finish the trail in ten days, but if time is on your side, you can take it slowly. If you want, a hike towards Mont Blanc’s peak can also be arranged. Imagine hiking all the way up, and tell us if that’s not a great workout on its own.
What To Bring When Backpacking
Although the essence of backpacking is to get rid of unnecessary things when traveling and spend more time with yourself, a company of friends, and nature, it is essential that you have a checklist of things to bring. The packing list usually depends on the person, but we’ve listed the most important below to make things easier for you.
- Backpack – Of course, backpacking is no backpacking without a backpack. There are a variety of backpacks on the market today. Choose one that is lightweight but can fit many items inside. Make sure to check the material used as there are those that don’t last.
- Tent – If you’re a hiker, explorer, adventurer, and fitness enthusiast rolled into one, bringing your own tent is beneficial for when you need a comfortable shelter on a hike. Nowadays, bivy sacks are popular and widely used by those who like to keep their things compact and lightweight. Bivy sacks are recommended for camping, long-distance bike tours, and solo travels in the countryside. Search for the best bivy sack as there are a lot out there.
- Travel accessories
- First aid gear
The secret to a hassle-free backpacking trip is to pack light. You don’t want to be dragging yourself to hike and failing just because of a hefty backpack. Aside from going to the gym, taking a backpacking trip is also a favorite way to maintain fitness. It also allows you to keep in touch with your inner self and be one with nature at the same time.
About Author – Todd Green
Todd is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys traveling and getting back to nature. He enjoys camping, hiking, 4WDing and more. He currently writes for Scoresurvival.com and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.