2017 has been a year when almost every other person on your Facebook wall or Twitter Timeline was bitten by the Travel Bug. There were who explored videsi destinations while there were others who went Swadesi way. From the vivid blue Pangong Lake in Ladakh (still on my bucket list) to the lush green hills of Ooty, people have covered the entire length and breadth of the country. And since the 2018 Holiday List is out for most of us, Travel plans are already in the making. I’m still undecided on this yet, but will surely explore some good places in 2018. And hence I decided to write about this India Solo Backpacking guide.
When it comes to travelling, there are people who love travelling with their friends and then there are others (like me) who love to explore place all by their own. Which group do you belong to ? Mention in the comments below. Travelling solo especially in India can be a little tricky as the terrain, culture and food changes rapidly. And since you are all by your own, there are a few things that you must have in your bag. Based on my Solo Backpacking experience in India, here are the 5 must have items in your bag.
India Solo Backpacking Guide – 5 Must Have Items In Your Bag
Power bank – never run out of juice
Not long ago we had those Cameras with photographic reels in them. We could click limited photos (reels were costly) and then had to wait for few days before seeing the photos. Come 2018, we instantly want to update the world about our vacations. Clicking photos and posting stories on Instagram and Facebook is the latest trend. With such criticality, having a dead phone is a nightmare. No matter how much your phone boasts about its battery, you should always carry a power bank with you. Your bus might be delayed or the place you are staying has a power cut, anything can happen. Hence always, always carry a power bank with you.
Travel Wallet / Passport Holder – simplify your documents
One of the good things that demonetisation has done in India is that most places are now accepting payments via cards. And considering the number of banks present and the offers they give, each individual has more than one card. Apart from all these cards, you have other id cards, licenses and what not. Managing so many cards isn’t easy and I would highly recommend having a Travel Wallet or a Passport Holder with you. These wallets help you keep things tidy and well organised.
I recently happened to use the Urby Wanderlust passport holder. This is a premium product hand crafted using genuine leather. The product packaging was great and the delivery was quick. The Urby Passport Holder has a lot of compartments to house your cards and Passport. What more, you can even customise this with your name so you never lose it !
Mosquito Repellent – stay safe
Thanks to Swacchh Bharat, places are getting cleaner, but still a long way to go. No matter where you travel in India, mosquitoes are a big menace. It’s best to pack a mosquito repellant in your back pack during your solo trip rather than falling sick. Especially when you are traveling to nature / wildlife spots, this is a must. Another thing that is a must during your wildlife/nature trips is a backpacking chair from Globo Surf. Lightweight and comfortable, these chairs are a boon for the tough terrains and one of the best ways to relax and appreciate the nature.
Thermos – water is life
Solo Backpacking means hiking long distances for long hours. Exploring never stops, no matter what time of the day it is. And one thing that you might always need is water. Unfortunately water is the root cause for many illness. Hence I always carry a thermos and fill it with water from a reliable hotel/restaurant. It’s essential especially during summer, chilled water is a boon. I always prefer a thermos over any other plastic bottle anyday, a must in your back pack.
ORS – staying hydrated is a must
When you are traveling solo, you often try to explore the place as much as you can in the least possible time. While doing so, you don’t ideally give the rest your body needs which leaves you feeling tired, dehydrated and what not. Trust me having a few packets of ORS really really helps. Whenever you feel tired or dehydrated or weak, ORS is the thing you need.
First Aid Kit – prevention is better than cure
This is probably one thing that most of you forget to pack when you are embarking on a solo backpacking trip. Having a first aid kit is probably the most important thing in your bag. Not an elaborate one, but at lease a few band-aids, normal OTC medicines for fever, headaches, nausea. If you are suffering from any other sickness/allergy, do keep those medicines handy.
Solo Backpacking in India isn’t easy. You need to have all the necessary items with you. This was a 5 Must have items in your bag. I’ve been backpacking for quite some time now and these are something that are always with me. I never leave for a trip without these essentials. If you are a backpacker too, I’m sure you’ll find this helpful. In case you feel that I’ve missed out on anything, mention in the comments below or tweet to me @atulmaharaj