Backpacking Checklist for First-Time Travellers in Pakistan

Heading to your first big outdoors adventure? Or have you been wondering how to prepare for the first backpacking trip? Well, here’s a comprehensive backpacking checklist for beginners in Pakistan that you will need for a successful trip. From essentials like shelter and warm clothes to extras like sunscreen and trekking kits – we have covered everything in this blog. 

Backpackers in Pakistan have several travelling opportunities in and outside the country. Whether you opt for a short road trip or a prolonged hiking trip, there are a few backpacking gears that every backpacker should carry for a safe trip. Hence, we have combined a backpacking checklist that will help you pick the right things to carry for your trip – keeping it simple and extremely easy. 

So, without further ado, let’s start packing!

Standard Backpacking Checklist for Beginners 

Backpacking checklist for first-timers
Here is a list of essentials on your Backpacking Checklist

Clothes
Shoes
Food
Toiletries
Medicines
Electronics
Miscellaneous

If you’re heading out for your first backpacking trip and wondering what should you pack for backpacking? Here are a few things you need to remember. Whether you are planning an extensive trip to northern areas of Pakistan or just thinking about a small weekend trip to nearby areas, there are some things that will remain constant. 

To begin with, you will need a backpack. You need to make sure it is a heavy-duty, sturdy, and high-quality backpack. Something that is durable in the toughest situations. 

Note: The standard recommended size for a backpack is usually 18 inches in length, and 40 to 50 litres of capacity. 

Clothing 

Planning a weekend trip is comparatively easier than planning an extensive trip. You can make it through a weekend trip with a pair of jeans, a few shirts, two pairs of undergarments and socks, and a cap. An extensive trip, on the other hand, requires much more consideration. 

For a comparatively longer trip, you would need to increase the quantity such as:  

  • Three pairs of jeans
  • Five to six shirts
  • Five pairs of undergarments
  • Five pairs of socks

If you’re travelling to cold regions [such as the Northern Areas of Pakistan], the temperature might be lower than what you’re used to. Hence, it’s important to carry a thick jacket or coat along with woollen hat, socks, and gloves. 

Additional tip: You might want to keep a few thin sweaters to layer up, depending on how much cold you can tolerate easily. 

Shoes

The second thing on the backpacking checklist are suitable shoes
Having comfortable shoes are essential to a worry-free trip

The next item on our backpacking checklist for beginners in Pakistan is shoes. The general rule of thumb is to carry something that is both comfortable and warm. 

While flip-flops are great for giving your feet a little break, it is advisable that you keep jogging shoes and heavy-duty hiking boots if you’re headed to mountainous regions that require hiking or a lot of walking. 

For instance, Fairy Meadows in Pakistan require a lot of walking and trekking. You need to have a good sturdy pair of camping shoes or boots in order to keep a strong grip on your feet. It is advisable to keep a separate pair of jogging shoes apart from the hiking shoes for areas which are less difficult to walk on. 

Food 

Travelling with a tour group makes a lot of things easier, such as food and accommodation. However, if you are planning to visit independently, you’ve to carry an adequate amount of food. It’s always advisable to keep snacks for backpacking foods such as nimco, chips, biscuits, and candies with you. 

Backpackers often opt for canned food, which is easier to carry and deal with during travelling. Some people buy canned food; others get home cooked food canned. No matter what you choose, it is essential to make food arrangements beforehand. 

On a side note, a common practice with travellers is that they choose local eateries for food. It helps you experience the cultural qualities of the place you’re travelling to. 

Toiletries

Carefully picked out toiletries are essential
Carrying your own toiletries is an essential item on the checklist

For smaller trips, that extend to not more than just 3 days, all you need to carry is a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, mosquito repellent, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and rolls of toilet paper. 

On the other hand, for long trips extending up to 20 days, it is advisable that you take small travel-sized plastic bottles for shampoo, face wash, shower gel, conditioner, and other liquid toiletries. In addition to these, also carry toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, wipes, towels, and deodorant.

Your toiletries essentials should also include hair combs or brushes, hair ties, and clips. You might even want to carry a few cosmetics, if you’re habitual of wearing it. 

Medicines 

Backpacking primarily means that there will be a lot of walking and trekking involved. Some people opt to roam the mountain areas as well. And, accidents are bound to happen on such trips. You can expect minor cuts and scrapes. Therefore, it is essential to pack a first-aid kit including basic medicines, pain killers, cough and flu medicine, medicines to counter nausea, bandages, ointments, and any other prescribed medicine. 

If you’re travelling to developed or partially-developed regions, you can find basic medications easily. However, if you’re planning to camp in the mountains, then keeping a medical-kit of your own is the smartest move. It can be helpful during medical emergencies. 

Electronics 

The types of electronics you should keep
Whether to keep electronics or not will depend on the individual going on the trip

Frequent travellers choose to travel with lightweight packing, which is why they tend to only keep their cell-phones, earphones, chargers and power banks with them to hiking trips, instead of lauding their backpacks with extra electronics. 

Since, there’s little to no network coverage in the Northern areas of Pakistan, connecting to the internet or having any sort of communication to the outside world is next to difficult. The need for carrying electronics is mainly based on the place you’re travelling to. 

Some backpackers are keen on taking pictures and want to document every moment of their trip – they choose to carry their cameras or DSLRs with them. While keen readers keep their Kindles or iPads with them. 

Additional Tip: Carrying a laptop or a tablet would not be the wisest choice to make, they can break during travelling, however, the final decision is up to the backpackers themselves. 

Miscellaneous

Apart from the major items mentioned above that should be included in your backpacking checklist, here are some other backpacking essentials that will be needed during travel:  

  • If you’re planning on visiting mountain areas, you might as well carry a compass, torches, and a few batteries. 
  • Camping would require you to have a sleeping bag. 
  • Keep your own hand towel to maintain hygiene. Avoid using the ones available in hotels. 
  • Keeping padlocks is always a great idea – it keeps your belongings safe and secure. 
  • Keeping a pocket knife can be of extreme importance: they can be used for multiple purposes. 
  • Keep a sewing kit with you for a little wear and tear. 
  • Remember to keep a water filter so you can drink clean water.
  • You should have a sleeping pad if you plan on sleeping in a campsite.
  • Keeping sunglasses is essential for day trekking in the scorching sun. 

Tips on How to Pack Your Things for Your Next Trip 

Packing tips for backpackers
Here’s a list of packing tips for backpackers

Now that we have discussed the essentials for your backpacking checklist, let us discuss a few tips to consider when packing for your next trip. Some of the things you should be extremely careful are as follows: 

  • Do not go overboard with packing things; only pack things that you will absolutely need and can carry with ease. 
  • Prior planning for a trip is extremely important in order to have a fair idea of the conditions of the route you will be taking. 
  • Seek packing advice from people who have already visited similar areas as to gain a clear view of whether your packing will suffice the number of days you are going to travel or not. 
  • Avoid over-packing your backpack and pack only as much as you can carry.
  • Make sure you are following the backpacking checklist we have provided you, so you don’t miss out on any essential before starting your journey. 

We have given you a backpacking checklist for beginners who are recently planning a trip in the Northern parts of Pakistan. With our backpacking checklist, you can now move onto deciding whether or not your travel bag is sufficiently packed. I

If you have any queries regarding what you should be packing or not, contact us at blog@jagahonline.com

Meanwhile, read our traveller’s guide to Naran Kaghan if you are still shortlisting your options. If you already have your heart set on a particular destination, and wish to experience a little adventure, you should read about the most dangerous roads in Pakistan, and check if you want to experience the thrill. 

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