21 Reasons Why Backpacking is So Popular

Reasons why backpacking is so popular

The idea of traveling and seeing the whole world with your own two eyes with nothing but a backpack is such an exciting and exhilarating thought.

You get to meet new faces and try things you have never even imagined you can do. You go to a different place every time with no definite plans. You just simply let your two feet guide you where you should go.

Truth is, people don’t need any excuse to pack their bags and go backpacking for a month or even for a whole year.

But, if you haven’t given backpacking a try, you might be wondering why people even do it in the first place. Surely, there is more to backpacking, right?

Of course, there is! Now, brace yourself and go through this shortlist of the top reasons why backpacking is so popular and awesome and why you should try it yourself sooner than later:

See the world when backpacking

1. You Will See the Whole World

The most obvious reason why there is a rising number of backpackers is none other than the chance to travel and explore the world on a budget.

Even though you have to slightly lower your typical living standards, backpacking is still one great way for you to see, explore, and discover different environments with no need to break the bank.

2. You Get to Learn Things You Don’t Learn from a Book

You see, there is such a thing known as “life experience.”

If you will ask anyone who they would rather talk to, they will surely tell you that it would be people who have lived the experience.

When you go backpacking, you can join in more conversations because you were able to travel somewhere. This gives you this genuine knowledge that you cannot just learn from books.

After all, the best way of learning life is physically experiencing it with all of your senses.

backpacking lets you disconnect from everyday stress.

3. It Gives You the Chance to Disconnect

It is not surprising that you will lose phone service if you travel further away from civilization.

As constant noises and bright screens conquer every single aspect of your civilized life, it would just be so nice to be able to shut off things and really experience nature itself without your laptop or smartphone as a distraction.

It might take some time before you get used to it but you shouldn’t worry because your social media feed and work emails will still be there when you return from your epic trip.

4. Backpacking Allows You to Help the Economy

Tourism is the main source of income for some countries and this is what runs their whole economy.

The truth is that almost all countries you could possibly imagine traveling to consider tourism as among their economy’s top earners.

If people stopped traveling, this will put a serious hamper on the global economy and everyone will be experiencing the pains of the economic recession.

Now, if someone ever dares to question your motive for going backpacking or dismissing you as someone lost, you can always give them this reason.

When you go backpacking, you are practically doing your part for the global good. Just make sure that your trip is environmentally sound as well as you do your part.

The last thing you want is to pollute the planet while you are busy improving the economy.

Backpacking is a cheap alternative to travel.

5. Backpacking Lets You Save Money

Reasonably speaking, going on a backpacking trip is the cheapest alternative for a vacation that you can ever get.

As you don’t have to worry about hotel rooms or premiums for flights, it would be easier for you to stick to your budget and still have an experience you will treasure for life. Backcountry permits are rather affordable.

You could just rent your backpacking gear from the local outfitter and going to your chosen trailhead will just cost you several tanks of gas.

The price of a single resort-style vacation is enough to cover several of your backpacking trips that are definitely much more fun than staying in one place.

6. You Can Explore New Places

Yes, it is great to hit the trails in your own country. But, with the almost endless list of natural areas and trails in other parts of the world, there is still so much more you can enjoy.

As a backpacker, you can reach places that are not accessible to many travelers and you can also experience its unique natural fauna and flora.

What do you think about watching the sunrise behind the mountains with no one else in sight or experience a cozy night under the blanket of stars?

7. You Can Find Your Own Limit When You Go Backpacking

Backpacking trips could be as mellow or strenuous depending on what you life.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for your way to better fitness or you are already in your best shape, a backpacking trip is one of the best ways for you to test yourself.

You can set new mileage goals every day or climb new mountains and just let yourself get a tad dirty. Backpacking allows you to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

You will surely be surprised by the things you are capable of when you know there is no way you can give up.

Explore on your own and grow as an individual.

8. It Teaches You to Rely on Yourself More

This one is a bit straightforward. If you cannot find it inside your backpack, you will never have it during your trip.

The backcountry doesn’t have a pharmacy or a grocery store. Planning in advance is extremely important before heading out and if you ever miss just one key item, you only got yourself to blame and no one else.

While you shouldn’t find yourself in any life or death situation, expect that some moments will be a bit uncomfortable if you aren’t too meticulous when packing.

The ability to rely on yourself is something everyone needs to experience even once and you might find its benefits applicable to your day to day life.

9. You Learn How to Be Flexible

A backpacker basically lives on a day to day basis as they don’t follow a strict timetable.

Just say you like to travel somewhere up north and for some reason, you wish to spend one more day in that city.

All you need to do is organize a place where you can stay for the night then leave the following day. The day isn’t planned out and instead you just plan depending on how you feel at that moment.

There might be a time when you feel that urge of moving to see more of the country or maybe you would rather just stay in one place since you haven’t explored everything just yet.

Backpacking lets you do all of these so you never get that feeling that you miss out something. Your flexible timeframe makes it easier and more possible for you to enjoy every moment that comes your way.

Meet new people and practice on your social skills.

10. You Hone Your Sociability

When you go backpacking, you are pretty much on your own. You don’t have your friends around you so you can never hide behind them when you feel need to.

It can be very lonely to be alone so you need to make some effort to reach out and talk to others and engage in social interactions.

Or maybe you have gotten too detached from your own group of friends that you forget and ignore others around you and you have become an unpleasant person.

Going on a backpacking trip is the best way for you to understand every area of social interaction. 

If you’ve stayed somewhere for a long time and bonded with others in your dorm room, can you honestly say that you have tried talking to other people there?

There is a chance that you just stick to whatever you know.

But, everything changes once you move on eventually only to find yourself as the new one in another hostel with other people who have stayed there for a long time.

Backpacking lets you meet people from all walks of life and understand better how others feel.

As you live like a backpacker, you develop understanding, respect, and empathy of treating people the same way you want to be treated.

11. Backpacking Gives You Confidence and Strength

Backpacking allows you to experience your surroundings and the culture in a more intense and personal way.

At first, you may have difficulties with the new language or you might find the culture, food, and smell different.

But since you re on the road, you get to meet new people, new differences and new impressions unlike the once you had before.

The experience of being on the road gives you confidence and strength for the future.

12. You Get Tons of Stories You Can Share Throughout Your Life

Whatever you do, wherever you go, and whoever you travel with, backpacking will expose you to the greatest cultures and stories all over the world.

While it is up to you if you will be sharing your amazing tales or not, you will surely find it irresistible to tell the rest of the world of your experience of being able to make it through your trip riding a local bus that moves at turtle place with other people squashed inside with you.

You will also want to talk about that spectacular sunset while you are sitting comfortably at the edge of the rooftop of a stunning pagoda.

Just imagining all the stories you can share with others will be enough to convince you to grab your backpack and explore the world.

Experience things others just dream of.

13. You Have a Once in a Lifetime Adventure

Backpackers are the people blessed with an adventure of a lifetime.

Every time they go hauling their large backpacks to the bus station, airports, or by foot on streets, they know that a life adventure awaits them.

You don’t need to worry about anything because you got a goal where you will spend your day or month, or even year and you know will soon get there.

14. It Helps You Get in Shape

You will surely get in shape if you carry around a backpack on your back with a weight of 40 pounds.

You will be emerging from your experience in the wilderness with quads, calves, and perfect than other gym-goers will definitely be more than jealous of.

Backpacking will not only make you stronger as it will also test your cardiovascular system at the same time.

Even if you are a big fan of hiking, hiking and sleeping at elevation with additional weight can be harder than what you thought. If you find it a bit intimidating, you can plan lesser miles so you can handle it.

Picture of getting to know new people.

15. You Meet New People and Find Friends for Life

After you go backpacking alone or with a couple of people, it would be nice to run into new faces every now and then.

Not only do they share the same interests as you as it is also likely that they will know other things to do that you haven’t known of.

So, sit down with that new found friend, take off that backpack and share your meal because you might just have found yourself a lifelong friend that you can keep in touch with even when you go back home.

Food market on the river.

16. Have a More Intimate Experience of the Local Surroundings and Culture

Backpacking lets you interact with all the locals combined with the chance for you to free yourself from the usual confines of just a new visitor in the area.

Riding public transport, staying in one of the home villages or going on a trekking activity with one of the locals might just be what you need to have a unique experience like no other.

These are all made possible simply because backpacking gives you the kind of freedom you can never get anywhere else.

You will realize just how much locals be very helpful to backpackers and you can expect them to lend you a helping hand if you need it.

If your map suddenly fails you, the help of a local is the next best choice you can get.

Set aside any reservation you might have and dive into the local custom and learn some basic phrases of their local language when possible.

You will be surprised just how such small gestures can lead you to more meaningful interactions and wonderful coincidences.

17. You Become More Open Minded

An open mind is what backpackers usually have. As they get to experience many different events and cultures, backpackers usually look at life in a different light with a different perspective.

They have the tendency to become more laidback because somehow, they were able to make it through some difficult situations, some of which are a bit dangerous.

Big Buddha statue

18. You Let Go of Depressing Thoughts

Nobody ever wants to discuss depression so this conversation is sometimes over really soon.

But, this point is still valid. If your life feels a bit miserable at the moment, you should better do something else and allow yourself to be surrounded by other people who give off energy and positivity.

As they say, you only get to live once.

If it seems as if your life doesn’t go anywhere or you are unsure what you should be doing, do something that challenges you, then.

Do something fun you will remember for the rest of your life.

19. You Mark Something Off Your Bucket List as Early as Possible

Everyone got a bucket list and when you start to check your desires off of your own list sooner, the better it will be.

It allows you to finish up all the things you like to do now then add more new ones to your list that you can do in the near future.

Even though the whole point of a bucket list is completing it before reaching a certain age, the present time is always the best time, right?

20. It Gives You the Chance to Have a “Me Time”

This is now high time that you focus on yourself as well as the things you want out of your life. If this is traveling, go for it by all means.

Now is the best time to do anything you truly want to do, just when you want to do it and just where you want to do it.

It is one chapter in your life that you will look back on in the future and put a big smile on your face.

Young woman sitting on cliff next to the ocean.

21. Backpacking Gives You the Chance to Find Yourself

The last but not the least, backpacking allows you to find yourself. Without distractions and with lots of space to think, you might have that moment of clarity as you travel alone or relax in your sleeping bag.

Free from the demands of your day to day life, you get the opportunity to process and internalize things that you might have set aside for so long.

From unexpected strengths to weaknesses you can fix, you might be surprised about the things you will learn about yourself during your backpacking trip.

When you try backpacking once, you will never stop. These reasons above are what makes backpacking so addictive.

Do you think you are up for the challenge?