People who love traveling the world might ask themselves one question very often: can backpacking be a hobby?
Being outdoors is a great thing- there are numerous health and fitness benefits, but more than that, the outdoors helps revitalize the soul. What if there was one activity that combined both groups of benefits?
Backpacking can, without a doubt, be a hobby. There is something special about hitting the road with nothing but a couple of necessities to get you through a few months. This sort of freedom is unparalleled. You can backpack around the world or even across the country.
The best part is that adopting backpacking as a hobby does not cost much. Other hobbies, such as hitting the gym, playing video games, or playing an instrument, require some amount of investment and skill. However, if you want to backpack, you can simply pick up some essentials and be on your way.
As avid backpackers, we are here to share with you why backpacking is a great hobby that you can definitely adopt. In this article, we will tell you what makes backpacking so great and why we recommend everyone else to try it out.
Can Backpacking be a Hobby? A List of Reasons to Convince You
If you are thinking about going backpacking or picking it up as a hobby, you should definitely do so. Here’s why:
You Don’t Need Any Experience
Outdoor activities usually require some level of skill, training, or experience. The best part about backpacking is that you need none of these. In fact, you can set off to backpack around the world tomorrow if you want. Of course, this does not mean that you do not need to prepare- you will have to pack some essentials based on how long you stay on the road.
You need to keep in mind a few things when backpacking- sun protection, first aid, clothing, water, food, lighting, fire, tools, shelter, and hygiene. Your backpack should essentially include bug repellent, a tent, a pocketknife, a sleeping bag, a torch, and a portable charger.
You Can Improve Your Fitness Levels
Backpacking is a well-loved hobby because it requires long hours of climbing and walking. This helps exercise and stretch every single muscle in your body. After backpacking for a while, you will start to notice an improvement in your physical strength, balance, and of course, fitness levels.
Generally, it is great to stay active. Backpacking helps relieve stress and alleviate depression while improving cardiovascular health and keeping you safe from strokes and heart disease. Moreover, it helps regulate blood pressure and is a great way to increase your overall stamina.
It Does Not Require Any Money
If you are looking to kickstart your hobby as a backpacker, all you need is a water bottle, good shoes, and a destination. You can also convince your friends to join you on this adventure as you need close to nothing.
Moreover, you do not even have to worry about making money. If you choose to backpack the world, you can easily make money in the places you go. All you have to do is pick up jobs as a freelancer, teacher, hostel worker, or any other jobs that would allow you to earn an income to stay in that city for a while and get to know its cultures, as well as its people.
Improves Your Mood
Even if you choose to travel within your own city, you can backpack to different places and explore sites you have never seen before. You are likely to come across beautiful terrains that are surrounded by beauty. Backpacking will also sharpen your senses as you will hear different sounds, and your skin will experience the breeze of different places while your nostrils take in the fresh breath of air away from the city pollution.
Backpacking will help you feel more connected to nature, and your body will start feeling more stimulated. You will find that your anxieties have started to fade away, and you will return to your work feeling more relaxed and grounded.
Backpacking can be seen as an alternate form of therapy. However, it is cheap and requires you to work around your schedule. Spending time around nature will help boost your self-esteem while giving you time to think about all the things you want to do in life.
If you feel burnt-out, exhausted from daily activities in your day-to-day life, or just feel like taking a break, backpacking is a great idea. Being surrounded by nature can help you gain inspiration and make you feel more grounded. This is because the quiet, peace and fresh air help soothe the body and the mind. In turn, this allows your creative mind to function as you finally feel yourself coming out of the rut that you have been stuck in for months.
Moreover, adopting backpacking as a hobby can allow you to explore different terrains, cities, and areas that you may never really have a chance to. If you cannot leave your job or have other responsibilities, you can take up backpacking trips that last a day or even a single weekend. This will allow you to stay sharp as you come up with solutions to different problems. Soon, you will find that when you come back to your responsibilities, you feel more at peace with yourself and might even be able to bag a promotion because of all the great ideas you have been having lately.
About THE AUTHOR
I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.Read More About Peter Brooks