Solo Backpacking for Beginners: Your Complete Guide to Going Solo

Solo backpacking is a pursuit. You get a chance to escape from the chaos of daily life and enjoy some fun, adventurous, memorable time alone. 

Are you also planning to travel solo for the first time? 

Here is our ultimate solo backpacking for beginners’ guide and some great solo backpacking tips to help you prepare your trip. 

Choosing Your Solo Backpacking Destination

First things first: Where to go? 

You may choose any destination by doing some research. However, below are a few things you need to remember: 

Time-period- It makes sense to travel around the world if you want to take a year to backpack. However, if you choose to travel for a week or month, you may want to stick to areas that don’t take several days in transit. 

Budget- How much do you want to spend on your trip? If you have an attractive budget, you may want to pick an expensive location. 

Activates- What do you love exploring when going solo? History? Nature? Beaches? Choose a destination that offers activities you love doing.

Trail- You may want to get away from everything when going solo. However, we recommend picking a trail that has a few other backpackers, so you don’t feel all alone. 

Weather- What is the best time to visit the location? How often does it rain there? Do you need to pack warm clothes or a raincoat? 

Background- Do a little research about the native language, currency, geography, religion, and demographics of the country to have an amazing experience. 

Organizing Your Documents

Make sure all your documents are ready before you start the trip. Print out the copies of:

  • Your identity card 
  • Your passport (if required)
  • Visas (if required)
  • Train tickets or the confirmation email for flights 
  • Accommodation and excursion (if booked in advance)
  • Any other important documents


Backpacking Gear

Packing Essentials and Gear

Backpacking isn't cheap! However, it can be economical if you are willing to buy used items. 

Below is a list of a few essentials and gear that you’ll need for solo backpacking:

Backpack- Choose a padded backpack that comfortably fits your torso and shoulders. Pack in with assorted items to about 30-35 pounds- including clothes, shoes, underwear, socks, brushes, toothpaste, towels, makeup items, cords, cables, and laptop if you intend to bring one. 

Tent- A lightweight, two-person tent makes a brilliant choice. It offers plenty of space to accommodate yourself and your belongings.

Sleeping Bag- The choice of sleeping back depends upon the season and temperature of the location. 

Sleeping Pad- Consider the features of different sleeping pads and get one that you find comfortable for your sleeping position. 

Stove- A lightweight, single-burner camp stove might be a good option for your first backpacking trip. Your stove choice also requires to consider the fuel type. 

Kitchen Supplies- You can get items from your kitchen or a thrift store.  All you need to bring includes- enough plates, pots, cups, a water bottle, and utensils to cook food. Also, bring a sponge and quality soap for washing dishes. 

Water Treatment- You may buy a steripen, use iodine pills, or borrow a water filter to purify water. 

Food- How much food you’ll need depends on the duration of your trip. Bring ample snacks, noodles, nuts, and dry fruits along with other high protein, high-calorie meals. 

Clothing- You need to bring special clothes for your backpacking trips. Group them into layers:

  • The base layer- It’s next to the skin (long underwear) that you may need for colder nights. 
  • Insulations- A lightweight jacket, fleece pullover, gloves, thermal tops and bottoms, and a warm hat. 
  • Hiking layers- T-shirts, shorts, nylon pants, sun shirts, and a hat. 
  • Rainwear- Breathable, waterproof jackets, rain pants, and a raincoat.

Other Items- You may want to bring some other items, including a pillow, bug spray, toiletries, camera, headlamp, or a seat pad. 

Solo Backpacking Tips for Beginners 

Plan an Itinerary- Though your travel itinerary is affected by the duration of your trip, I suggest spending at least 2-3 days in any location. Make sure to plan what activities you will be doing in a specific location. 

Book Accommodation- I recommend booking the first night in advance at any new destination. Hostels are a great and cheap option. However, you may want to book a hotel room if you have a budget. 

Get Travel Insurance-Things happened when you travel solo- canceled trips, emergency evacuations, and whatnot. So, make sure your travel insurance is current before the fun turns into a nightmare. 

Managing Your Money- Are going to use a debit card or a credit card for most purchases? Whatever, make sure to keep some backup cash on hand.  

Find Offline Maps- Wi-Fi or mobile data are not reliable options when you are traveling the world. You should keep some physical maps handy, screen a map on your phone, or download an offline map app like MAPS.ME

Some Other Solo Backpacking Tips

  • Meet the fellow backpacker on the trails or by using online apps. 
  • It’s a good idea to share your traveling details with friends and family, so you don’t feel alone during the trip. 
  • Act like a local to enjoy the full cultural experience. 


And here is the bonus tip: Have a lot of fun!

Use the above solo backpacking tips for a great solo adventure. Don’t forget to share the experience with us! 



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