Outdoors Information

Student Travel - Backpacking In Europe


For the fortunate few, life isn't complete without a backpacking trip through Europe. This right of passage is believed to further the maturation process of college students, according to sociologists. Of course, others have opined that copious amounts of alcohol, sun and Amsterdam have something to do with it. Regardless of your purpose, you still have to figure out what to take.

Backpack - Getting In Touch With Your Inner Mule

Obviously, the first critical item is your backpack. While one doesn't need to buy the $10,000 Himalaya Turbo Pack, you should also avoid the $12 blue light special. So, how do you pick a happy middle ground?

The best method for picking a backpack involves three phone books. Select/swipe/borrow three yellow page books from neighbors/friends/enemies and hit your local sporting goods store. With the books, head to the backpackapalozza section of the store and pick out a few sturdy/cool/outrageous rigs. Stuff the phone books in, adjust the straps and go for a walk. Now break out into a run to simulate future dashes for trains/ ferries/ toilets and make the sales people nervous. These steps should quickly reveal the perfect pack.

Now, you may have read other publications suggesting highly technical ways to select a backpack. Trust me, until you have run for the last ferry from Italy to Greece, you have no idea how to pick a pack. The three phone book test solves this nicely.

What To Take

There are a few mantras that every person should chant before packing for Europe. These chants were developed originally by the little known, Oh-My-Back Monks of Southeast Asia. The "OMB" Monks were known for traveling half way to far off cities, turning around, returning home and then traveling the full way to said cities. Religious experts opined as to the deep metaphysical meaning of such trips. They were later embarrassed when the monks revealed the back and forth nature of the trips was due to forgetting something, often whether they had turned off the iron. Nonetheless, such chants have become the guiding light of experienced backpackers.

Let us slowly and clearly chant together,

"I will pack only that which will not result in me being hunched over like a Sherpa."

"Remember, I can pick it [(lower voice) toothpaste, book, soap] up over there."

"I will not stuff thy pack to the point of bursting, for thy damn zippers always break/get snagged/refuse to work."

"I will learn humility through wearing incredibly wrinkled clothes and shall not bring an iron."

"I shall bring only one guide book, not one for each country that I MIGHT see."

"I accept that I will come home wearing something I didn't take and will have lost/traded/burned much of what I did take."

For female travelers and, okay, the occasional male,

"I will not bring high heels or a gaggle of make-up."

Admittedly, chanting these mantras will not bringing you immediate enlightenment. Fret, not. You can always throw items away or send them home in a box to your parents/friends/parole officer. For the resourceful backpacker, it is not unheard of to send particularly smelly/discolored/toxic clothing to an ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend/little brother. Follow these practical guidelines and you will soon happily be speaking in a loud voice to make foreigners understand you.

The Evidence

This is the hard part for most travelers to wrap their minds around. You will forget those special moments of your trip when you met the hunk Sven or babe Svenetta from Sweden and had a romantic evening/danced the night away/got arrested in Ios/Ibiza/the airport. Maybe not immediately, but you will eventually forget.

You will also forget or lose the contact information of people you meet, despite meticulously writing it down on the back of a coaster/napkin/your hand in a bar/poetry reading/jail at three in the morning. Surprisingly, said coaster/napkin/hand often survive the night/day/weekend and get deposited in your already trashed backpack. Of course, their presence is often forgotten when you later put a Oktoberfest mug/wet towel/toothbrush in. The extra padding at the bottom of your pack is specifically designed to deal with the decomposing result. Still, the information is gone and so is your future with Sven/Svenetta.

To properly record the magical moments of your trip, you must take a diary or journal. Don't worry, you can burn it later before you get married/your parents get nosey/you have kids. You want a journal in a water/beer/sweat resistant case. Of course, I prefer a Nomad Travel Journal, but just make sure you take something. When you have some extra time in the bus/train/jail cell, you can record how you got there and the people you met.

Trust me, when you, Sven/Svenetta and your nine children are sitting on the porch, you will greatly enjoy reading your journal.

Of course, that assumes you didn't burn it.

Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - Preserve the experience with writing journals for traveling and outdoor activities. Visit NomadJournalTrips.com to read more of this and other travelogues.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Chron.com

Outdoors report: Dec. 16 - Houston Chronicle
Chron.com
Galveston - Guide James Plaag of Silver King Adventures reported a good bite for trout on Bass Assassins before the front. Most of the fish have been in 5 to 12 feet of water. Matagorda - Tides were almost 3 feet below normal. Guide Scott Sparks ...

and more »


WCBD News 2

Hike It Baby gets parents, babies outdoors
WCBD News 2
CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – The Lowcountry chapter of Hike It Baby is here to encourage and help parents to get outdoors with their young children. The goal is to raise a generation to love the outdoors. The groups began in Portland, Oregon and now has 300 ...

and more »


Chicago Sun-Times

Ice sketchy, ducks, walleye/sauger and perch: WWW Chicago outdoors
Chicago Sun-Times
Yet ice is sketchy enough that perch fishing remains the lead for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors. There are other things, such as trying for lakefront lakers along with the perch; sandhill cranes are at a season high at Jasper ...



Baltimore Sun

Recreation and outdoors calendar (Dec. 17)
Baltimore Sun
Jay Bernstein jigged up this 32-inch rockfish on the Chesapeake Bay recently. He was fishing with Dale Morton and Martin Abel. (Courtesy photo). The Baltimore Sun. Duck season. Through Jan. 27: Last split of duck season. Daily bag limit is six birds ...



KHOU

Sutherland Springs family sues Academy Sports + Outdoors
KHOU
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – A Sutherland Springs family is suing the retailer that sold church shooter Devin Kelley the assault rifle that killed three of their family members. The Webster Law Firm confirmed the Ward family is suing Academy Sports and ...
Sutherland Springs family sues outdoors store where church shooter ...mySanAntonio.com

all 6 news articles »


KHOU

Win tickets to the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl ...
KHOU
The Texas Longhorns will face Missouri in the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Enter for a chance to win tickets to the big game on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

and more »


Naples Daily News

Grandview at Bay Beach residents to enjoy connection with outdoors
Naples Daily News
FORT MYERS BEACH — Residents of Grandview at Bay Beach, an 11-story luxury high-rise to be built by homebuilder and developer London Bay Homes within the gated Waterside neighborhood at Bay Beach on the southern tip of Fort Myers Beach, will enjoy ...

and more »


KTUL

Oklahoma model railroaders take the hobby to the extreme outdoors
KTUL
Oklahoma model railroaders take the hobby to the extreme outdoors. by Tyler Butler. An hour before our arrival, Hugh Keen had begun shoveling coal, stoking the fire and building steam pressure in his real, functioning steam locomotive. (KTUL). 1st.PNG ...



The Denver Post

GOCO awards $14 million to nine communities to get kids playing outside
The Denver Post
The City of Westminster's POWER-PODER group – which stands for “Promoting the Outdoors Through Wellness, Education and Recreation” and “Promoviendo Oportunidades de Educación Recreativas” gets $1.4 million to improve park and open space access in ...
$1.4 million GOCO grant will give underserved Eagle River Valley kids new access to outdoor adventuresVail Daily News

all 2 news articles »


Kokomo Perspective

Outdoors, travel, leisure: PF Hendricks has it all
Kokomo Perspective
“My slogan is outdoor, travel, and leisure,” said Fritts. “A lot of the things in here are really good for travel. You can wad them up in your suitcase, and they'll survive.” Dominating P.F. Hendricks is a display of Yeti merchandise, ranging from full ...


Google News

home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006