The average day of backpacking can involve anything from taking down and putting up tents, to walking for miles, to carrying heavy bags around airports and eating your lunch whilst sitting on a rock. As backpackers, we relish these challenges and if we wanted the easy life, we’d book ourselves a spa day rather than a hike into the mountains or a trek through the woods. But just because backpacking requires physical and mental strength and stamina doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to pamper yourself along the way.
Here are our top five stress-relieving tips for soothing your aches and pains en route:
There was a time, not so long ago, when the words ‘Travel pillow’ conjured thoughts of awkward, itchy, inflatable things that wrapped around your neck and generally made you feel like an idiot on long journeys. Thanks to the advent of Memory Foam, those days are over. For as little as £20-£30, you can pick up a Memory Foam travel pillow that supports your neck comfortably with a Lateral Head Stabilisation Support System, recommended by chiropractors and physicians. The pillows compress to make them compact enough to fit in your luggage no matter how light you are travelling.
If you’ve ever travelled across a country on a noisy bus, train or coach, you’ll appreciate the sheer luxury of being able to completely control the levels of sound coming into your ears. We believe this is a luxury worth paying that little bit extra for, so don’t scrimp on buying a pair of good quality earplugs. The very best earplugs on the market are those that you have custom moulded by an Audiologist to fit your ear and, though they might seem expensive at upwards of £120, they will last you your whole life and save you hours of audio torture!
Being able to sit down somewhere comfortable after a long day of backpacking is not always a luxury available to travellers. To protect your precious behind from the perils of hard, cold or damp surfaces, pack yourself a gel cushion. Foldable gel cushions are available from companies like Skwoosh and they come custom made for activities like Kayaking, rowing and cycling, as well as more common activities, like sitting down for a cup of tea.
Putting four AA batteries into your tee shirt might seem counter-intuitive when you’re sweating under the hot sun in a foreign country. But when those batteries power two small fans towards the bottom of the back of your shirt, you might just be tempted. Air conditioned tee shirts have been developed in Japan and are available now for around £150.
Designed to mimic the contours and shape of the human foot, Vibram FiveFingers are the latest craze in footwear and these innovative shoes are bringing new levels of comfort and durability to a new generation of walkers. With ergonomically shaped rubber soles and individual segments for each of your toes, Vibram FiveFingers aim to get your feet moving in accordance with more natural bio mechanics, lessening risk of injury and keeping you more comfortable.