Packing for a gap year trek is not as easy as it might at first seem. However, separating “needs” from “wants” can help individuals get all the essential supplies they will need in order to live out of their backpacks for several weeks or even months packed efficiently. So, what essentials should be packed for a gap year adventure?
Anyone planning to go on a gap year trek will need to ensure that they pack adequate equipment including clothing, footwear, sleeping bag, and tent.
Choosing the correct outdoor clothing and footwear is as important as getting the right map. It is important to pack various types of clothing, including breathable and water-resistant clothes. Wearing polyester microfiber as a base layer will help to avoid excessive sweating. When considering footwear, durable yet lightweight and flexible hiking boots that provide good support are ideal in most environments. Sturdy, comfortable socks are also essential in the footwear equation.
When choosing a sleeping bag it is important to check the climate of the area you will be hiking in, and buy accordingly. Additionally, investing in a lightweight tent is an excellent idea as this will help to reduce total pack weight.
Medical supplies and toiletries
People who travel often know that anything can happen at any time, and that being prepared for emergency situations is a priority. Individuals setting off on a gap year trek are advised to pack antiseptic wipes, bandages, gauze, scissors, anti-inflammatory drugs, antihistamines, Imodium, sting relief cream, and water purification tablets. Also remember to pack any prescription medications.
Travel wash is another item individuals should consider packing, particularly for outdoor trips. Most sporting goods stores have an excellent selection of travel soaps, including antibacterial gels and all-purpose biodegradable solutions. Antibacterial gels can come in particularly handy, as they allow hikers to keep their hands clean and minimize the risk of cuts and insect bites becoming infected. All-purpose biodegradable solutions can be used to wash everything from clothes to fruits and vegetables; they are also environmentally friendly.
Biting insects can be a real problem not only because they cause a great deal of discomfort, but also because they can transmit dangerous diseases such as malaria and Lyme disease. For an enjoyable, risk-free adventure, hikers should arm themselves with a top quality insect repellent.
Sunscreen products can make or break an outdoor adventure; a severe case of sunburn can spoil the fun for several days, while long-term unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Unfortunately, most sun protection products contain chemicals that can be almost as harmful as ultraviolet radiation. Thankfully, there are many natural products which have proven to be not only safe, but also very effective in protecting against the dangerous effects of the sun. A widely recommended natural product is Argan Oil; pure, organic Argan Oil protects against the sun’s rays and can help to heal sore skin, which means that it can be used not only as sunscreen but also as a sunburn treatment.
Some other useful items those heading out on a gap year trek should consider packing include a map, a compass for traveling in remote areas, a flashlight, batteries, solar charger, cooking pots, cutlery, matches, masking tape, sewing kit, and – last but not least – a camera to record the best moments of the trip.