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.
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.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Woolly bears, Great Lakes ice, Monarch caterpillar, gar: Notes, Chicago outdoors - Chicago Sun-Times
OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: DNR sets open house on Lake of the Woods regulations, North Dakota Game and Fish ... - Grand Forks Herald
How To Buy a Used RV - Part 1
If you are on a tight budget and can't afford a new model RV you might consider buying a used RV. Here are a few suggestions for finding a used, affordable RV:1.
A Hiking Guide to Easter Island
Ask me which Pacific island has the most to offer hikers and I'll probably answer Easter Island. Here on an island 11 km wide and 23 km long you'll find nearly a thousand ancient Polynesian statues strewn along a powerfully beautiful coastline or littering the slopes of an extinct volcano.
Samoa, Heart of Polynesia
The islands of Samoa are emerging as an exciting new South Pacific travel destination between Hawaii and New Zealand. This "Heart of Polynesia" is politically split into two distinct entities 80 miles apart.
Trekking Poles And Walking Sticks
Are walking sticks longer than trekking poles? What about hiking staffs and hiking sticks? Whatever you call them, and whatever their differences, they are supposed to help your knees more than anything. This they do very well, at least when you're going downhill.
River Rafting on the Salmon River
The beautiful Salmon River stretches through over 400 miles of Idaho. The legendary explorers Lewis and Clark traveled part of the Salmon River but thought it was too rough to navigate.
All the Way to Timbuctu
Yes, it's real. There is a place called Timbuktu and it is not just an imaginary figment at the end of an exclamatory statement.
Solo Backpacking Tips
Solo backpacking means peace and quiet. No one to talk to means no words are put between you and the beauty around you.
RV Camping at Casinos
There's nothing that will quicken the interest of RVers like the prospect of free overnight parking. Places such as Wal-Mart parking lots, and truck stops, are well known freebies, and if you are on the move in your RV, expanding the list of possible free overnight camping locations will broaden your options.
San Francisco Beaches
When you are planning a vacation to Maui or Rio de Janeiro you may put beaches on the top of you list of things to see. However, when planning a trip to San Francisco, you may have heard of North Beach, but North Beach doesn't have any beaches (though the neighborhood was named after a beach that used to be on its north shoreline).
Camping Stove Performance: Ease of Use & What to Avoid
Important information about camping stoves..
Alaska Hunting Guide
WHAT TO HUNT AND WHERE: Alaska is a hunter's paradise. Hunting here can provide the full scope of experiences- from caribou to deer and moose, from grizzly and brown bears to wolves, from Dall sheep and mountain goats to muskox, from waterfowl to ptarmigan and several grouse species.
Old Barney -- A Visit to Barnegat Light, New Jersey
Barnegat Light, NJ is the home to "Old Barney" a historic lighthouse located at the northern tip of Long Beach Island. Long Beach Island, or "LBI" as the vacationing folks like to say, is a narrow island nearly twenty miles long and six miles at sea off the coast of Ocean County, NJ.
Topographic Maps 101
The intricate details on a topographic map can be befuddling, even frustrating, if you are learning while out in the backcountry. But once you get familiar with the markings and symbols, reading maps will become a friendly aid, rather than a dreaded assignment.
Planning Your Own Gorilla Safari Will Save You Money - Heres How
Going on a gorilla safari must rank as one of the best wildlife experiences left in the natural world. Many people describe it as an overwhelming and awe-inspiring experience and worth every penny they spent on making it happen.
Maples for Autumn Colour
As the weather cools in late summer and the days shorten noticeably so the deciduous trees and shrubs begin to withdraw chlorophyll from their leaves in preparation for the winter shutdown. With less of that vital green pigment to mask them, the other colours within the leaves begin to show through.
Malaria Prevention - Five Ways to Avoid Catching It on Safari
Malaria is endemic to most of the areas in Africa where safari trips are still possible which means you will need to take malaria prevention precautions to protect yourself against catching the disease when you travel there.There are five things you can do to avoid catching malaria on a safari holiday.
The Kuan Yin Shrine, Bangkok - the Goddess of Mercy on the Chao Phraya
The Kuan Yin Shrine in Bangkok is in an old Chinese building within a community on the Chao Phraya River where time seems to have stood still for the last 200 years.The site originally had two shrines built in the reign of King Taksin (1767 - 1782) by his Chinese supporters.
Navigating on the Mountain, in Water, or in Woods there is an eTrex Unit For You
Truly a small wonder, the eTrex takes the best features of a 12 parallel channel GPS receiver and put them into a six ounce package that is only four inches high and two inches wide. The result is a unit that will literally fit in the palm of your hand.
Yachats, OR: An Outdoor Lovers Paradise on the Oregon Coast
There is something about a town tucked between the mountains and the sea. Often, it feels like one has reached the far end of the world when he or she arrives in a place like this.
Tent and Outdoor Gear Care and Repair
TENT CAREYou should seal all floor seams and those seams on the rainfly. This will make the tent waterproof.
|home | site map | Ocean Photography|