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Advice/gear for a first time backpacker

Travel Forums Travel Gear Advice/gear for a first time backpacker

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1. Posted by ashwin547 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

I'm a first time backpacker (or rather will be) I haven't even bought a backpack yet, but i would like to know what gear etc I would need If I'm going to backpack through India and stay in hostels/budget hotels over there.

What size backpack would I need? What other important stuff would I need? I'm 18 Male if that matters lol.


2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

1st 2 questions (there'll be more - for sure).... How long are you planning to go for - and what's your approximate budget for kit??

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Size: about 40 liters.

It should not be more, but if you use a backpack and are very tall (over 1,90 m) it can be slighty larger (50 liters max.) Larger backpacks fit better on the backs of tall guys.

Since you are going to India I would take a backpack that has a mesh frame. I can recommend the Deuter Futura Vario 40+ 10 or the Deuter ACT lite 40+10. The Futura Vario has the afore-mentioned meshframe, the ACT lite is good because it has a chimney vent system and is very light compared to other backpacks. Deuter is a German company, depending on where you are their products can be easy or impossible to get. They make very good quality backpacks that'll last a lifetime. Downside is that they can be a bit pricy.

You should plan to pack 2 pairs of trousers (wearing a third) and several t-shirts/shirts and 5 pairs of clean undies. Essentially you pack enough clothes for a week and wash when necessary. If you are anywhere for 2-3 days the hotel will do laundry for you for a fee. Undies and socks can be washed in the sink if necessary.

No need to buy any special gear, but I like to take on my trips a clothesline, cheap shampoo for washing clothes in the sink (shampoo is a good laundry detergent), plastic silverware, plastic plate, metal or plastic cup, sewing kit, duct tape, pen, paper,...

Trekking pants (zip-off, leightweight, stain resistant, easy to wash) can be a good idea to have. There are also some shirts that are meant for hot weather, they have slits in the back that vent sweat very easily. I'm talking about shirts like the "Columbia Omni-Dry SilverRidge Plaid" or the "Royal Robbins Expedition". No need to buy these clothes specifically for your trip, it is usually better to take the money with you instead of spending it on such things, but if you feel that you must buy new clothes for your trip go for trekking clothes.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-May-2009, at 16:26 by t_maia ]

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Post #3# knows their stuff when it comes to rucksacks. The Futura range is good - amongst the very best, but also not cheap. Then again, you get what you pay for with Futura.
A very good budget range that I've used for years, is Wynnster. They do many different sizes of rucksacks that are extremely light and incredibly comfortable too.

5. Posted by ashwin547 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

I'm on a pretty tight/low budget, I want something cheap yet durable and useful maybe even waterpoof. I want something that wouldnt cost me over 60-70 dollars if possibl on the most expensive side maybe 100.

6. Posted by ashwin547 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

Also, I'm planning to backpack for a month.

7. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Then 40 litres will be fine. I'm assuming you'll be doing some overnight trips on the trains, so that'll save you changing. A month with a rucksack that size (along with the other info given here) - you'll do just great.

[ Edit: Edited on 14-May-2009, at 04:22 by Redpaddy ]

8. Posted by ashwin547 (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

So how much should I expect to spend on a backpack? whats the approx budget i should set aside for one?

9. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Difficult to talk about the exact rucksack to get - as you mention dollars and I'm in the UK. If you go along to a large camping chain in your country, they should be able to give you advice on what's best for your budget. Also, you might want to check out any local camping/hiking clubs that are local to you. The people there will have some knowledge on what's hot and what's not.
Good luck.

10. Posted by backlasher (Budding Member 29 posts) 7y

R.E.I. has their Lookout pack on sale for $32. It's 40 liters and pretty sturdy.