Backpacking Tips

Backpacking is an enjoyable way to experience nature and access remote terrain. The folks at Camp Trails offer the following tips to help you get started:

  • Study a map or guide to know the terrain you’ll be hiking and estimate the time it will take to arrive at your destination. Pad your estimates with extra time to account for delays.
  • Obtain necessary permits and reserve campsites in advance and check local regulations to avoid fines. Know the area’s weather patterns and accommodate for time of year. Always be prepared for the worst weather.
  • Get to know your gear before heading out. Seam-seal the tent and familiarize yourself with its design and set-up.
  • Learn how to operate your stove so that you’re not caught in the dark or the rain trying to figure it out.
  • Know what you can carry and how long you can carry it without straining yourself. The pack shouldn’t weigh more than 25 percent of your weight, so take only what you need.
  • Remember, it is very easy to perspire, even in the winter! So dress appropriately in layers and be prepared for changing conditions, temperature changes at higher altitudes and evenings.
  • Wear polypropylene, wool or other breathable materials that wick moisture away and dry quickly and avoid wearing jeans or cotton clothing. 
  • Always pack rain gear.



Hotel Tips

Hotels especially four and five star category, are usually extremely safe and the reception area is usually being assisted with security guards. 
So here are a few useful tips when you stay in hotel:

  • If the hotel has an in-room safe, use it and keep all your valuables in there. However, if the safe room is electronic, wipe the touch keys down before operating it with a damp cloth, and then dry it before entering your secret code. Try to do this every time you use the safe.
  •  Also after you have keyed in your code close the safe firmly. Press all the other keys/numbers that do not make up your code, and press them firmly. Doing this may set off a small alarm from the safe but it stops quickly and no one will ever pay any attention to it ! The reason of doing this is because certain hotels have caught their own hotel staff placing a light oil residue or powder on the touch keys that glows when using a certain light to figure out which numbers were pressed. They managed to open the safe, and one very clever thief was taking only 1 or 2 US$ from each room. Would you have noticed? It is not a lot but in a 400 or 500 room hotel the guy was doing quite well for himself.
  • Never leave valuables in soft/material bags with pockets even if they are padlocked like Alcatraz. This avoids any potential of somebody simply splitting a seam to a pocket with a knife and removing select contents. This has happened to one of our friends and he didn’t even notice it until he reached into the and bag and pocket a while later.
    This should also apply to any other luggage that you check into the airplane.
  • Never get drunk and invite a stranger to your room. This seems funny, indeed, but better safe than sorry.




Departure/Arrival Tips

Whenever you arrive in any country whether by boat, plane or anything, all you have are cash, cards, documents and anything valuable and you have never been to that place before and the people around you too assume you haven’t, there are always people who are willing to “help”.

Every precaution you take will help avoid any potential problems. After all you do not want someone to “help” themselves to your belongings when you have just arrived. Here are a few tips that should help:

  • Before leaving for your trip, try to obtain some prior information regarding the rough layout of the airport where you will be arriving. This will help you to have a vague sense of where you should be going and where the taxis are located.
  • Whenever possible, especially in certain countries, we recommend taking either the airport limousine or a hotel pick up.
  • Never take a taxi that seems just to be hanging around offering its services when there is a taxi queue available.
  • Try to keep your wallet and valuables safely in a your handbag or hand luggage.
  • Change some money into the local currency before you depart. This gives you one less thing to worry about and will stop you from pulling a large amount of money out at the airport arrivals.
  • Keep a small amount of the local currency in you wallet. You will need sufficient cash for the ride into town, a tip (perhaps) and a little for unforeseen needs like toll ways or a bottle of water.
  • You can ask the airline or airport staff, or the government tourism booth (if available in airport) for some assistance or tips on the best way of travelling.
  • Most countries are safe but it is advisable to take as many precautions as possible. Nonetheless,the most important thing is that you have a great holiday.