Except for the flight tickets or hostel, what else comes up when you are ready to go traveling?
What really matters for the trip/journey for you as a backpacker?
not a good pic but thats my honeymoon pack for three weeks in Osa Peninsula
For me it's keeping it light. I never check a bag no matter how long my trip. If it goes in my pack it has to serve several purposes. Be willing and excited to wash clothes in a sink (the soap I bring is for traveling and is designed to wash me, my hair, and my clothes). I fill up my camel back with sink water every morning, and have an inline Sawyer water filter built into it. i save a lot not buying bottled water. Ultralight, fast drying clothing is a must. And it's not just for the guys, my Wife's pack is usually lighter than mine. She has some great lightweight dresses that take up no space. I think as far as clothing goes girls have it easier than guys. I always try an bring a set of clothes suitable for a nice meal and all the wife has to bring is a little black dress lol.
Im a backpacker so I see more than most and faster! when I see rolly luggage it hurts my heart because that person has probably never been anywhere interesting!
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One thing is that you don't need a 'backpack' to be a backpacker. I did 5 weeks in europe with a regular size backpack and a roller bag. It was really easy to get around. I looked really normal compared to the 'backpackers' who had enormous hiker style packs. They stuck out like sore thumbs in the middle of european cities. Also it looked really uncomfortable. Unless you are hiking and camping overnight you don't need this kind of giant hiker pack, it's silly.
In 1996 he discussed ideas related to backpacking with the publication of his Pacific Crest Trail Hikers Handbook, which advocated hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail in a much shorter time, using homemade lightweight gear and techniques including early start times with longer days and more mileage at a slower pace. The book was revised and retitled in 1999 as Beyond Backpacking, and revised and retitled again in 2009 as Trail Life.
His techniques were initially considered radical and risky by mainstream commentators. At the core of his philosophy was a primary focus on limiting the weight carried by a hiker. He advocated replacing one's tent with a tarpaulin, sleeping bag with a blanket, and using the post office to carry gear not needed for a trail segment. He recommended that a hiker make most of his or her own gear.
When traveling on buses put your pack over head on the opposite side so you can watch it better.
Language, street speak, colloquialisms...
I'm biased, but WHEN to go is an important aspect to research :)