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Backpacking can be a fun experience, especially when you're far from home on a foreign continent such as Europe. There would be a lot to explore, so much to take in as you're constantly moving from one location to the next. However, an adventure such as this one can quickly take a turn for the worse if you happen to be unprepared for the various obstacles that could arise. These are the five things you should consider when packing for a backpacking trip through Europe.
First off, a sturdy, reliable raincoat is a must when traveling from one European hotspot to another. While the weather is often fair during the summer and autumn seasons, with most of the year's precipitation falling during winter and early spring, you can never be too prepared when it comes to surviving the elements. No one wants to get caught in a spontaneous rain shower without a decent layer of protection. A raincoat is a small investment; it should not only be waterproof (or water-resistant to a certain degree) but also well put together to last the journey through Europe, and well beyond that.
The next essential item you should consider for a backpacking journey is a pair of great walking shoes. Walking is ideal for getting around and sightseeing. A comfortable pair or two of sneakers or tennis shoes would support you on your trek whether it's over the rocky terrains of the countryside or through the concrete streets of major cities. If you suffer from any conditions of the feet, you should go the extra mile to protect them since you're likely to be walking for hours on end. A pair of shoe inserts for plantar fasciitis, for example, would make your journey all the more comfortable.
Towels, or more specifically microfiber towels, are another packing necessity that would prove useful in keeping dry. It is a virtual must if you plan on spending most of your time outdoors or in hostels along your travel route. Microfibers are able to absorb more water than cotton (about seven times more) and also dry faster (in about a third of the time). Their fine fibers are tightly woven during the manufacturing process; the resulting product is a tear-resistant cloth that is soft to the touch, a perfect towel to dry yourself after a shower or to wick away sweat repeatedly during an arduous hike.
A water bottle is the next item on the list, preferably one that is durable and capable of holding at least twenty ounces. Packing a reusable water bottle saves you money and has a good impact on the environment, eliminating the need to buy plastic water bottles. A high quality water bottle can also act as an insulator by keeping liquids warm or cool for a few hours.
The last essential item for backpacking through Europe is all too obvious. A large durable backpack is probably the most important thing you can use for this journey; it's in the name. A backpack is essentially your luggage, it holds everything you would ever need to get through the journey. The ideal backpack has several compartments to hold toiletries, clothing and a number of other things. Comfortable shoulder straps are another thing to look out for and also a suspension system or something of the like that equally distributes the backpack's weight on the shoulders of the wearer.
A backpacking trip, especially one through a place as wondrous as Europe, can be the experience of a lifetime. So long as you're prepared for the long haul with all the essentials.