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Essential Backpacking Tips For Absolute Beginners: Backpacking is no more a Challenge

Tourist backpack and sleeping pad on a background of mountains, Georgia (Svaneti)

Johnny took his first backpacking trip. He was an amateur hiker. In this particular hike, he had travelled a long way, hiking over mountains and through some of the roughest terrain known to man. It was a grueling task, one that required stamina, patience, and endurance. After all that way, all that work, and all that effort, surely our hero Johnny deserves a good, long rest. A good night’s sleep, safe from the dangers of wildlife is just what the doctor ordered. The place was pitch black, the night young and quiet. All he needed was the comfort of the big, comfy tent………………………… which was missing! Apparently, amidst all the excitement, he had forgotten to pack it in. Basically, it was going to be a long night.

Moral of the story? Don’t be like Johnny. Backpacking and/or camping requires thorough preparation, physical capabilities and adequate equipment to do so successfully, and without harm. Failing to do so could at best lead to minor inconvenience, at worst……….

Let’s not go there. Instead, let’s talk about how you, our beginner backpacker, can avoid doing as Johnny, and go have a great experience on your first, or early, backpacking experience. We have previously published a post focusing Tips of your first trip.

Preparations For Backpacking Trip

First and foremost, you have to take various preparations before the hike itself. There are several things to consider when preparing, including navigation, travel time, distance and security. Here is a list of things that will be absolutely necessary. Also, depending on whether you are going to a beach or a hike, camping or a backpack, stuff will change.

MAP and GUIDEBOOK

Tourist backpack and sleeping pad on a background of mountains, Georgia (Svaneti)

This one is a no-brainer. The map is the best way to navigate across the hike. It will show you the way, help you plan your route and indicate the direction of the nearest town if something bad happens. In today’s world, many people use smartphone map apps, which could be a more portable, water-proof option over bulkier, paper maps.
The guidebook will give information that will help alongside the map in deciding how to plan the travel, such as easier ways to go, shortcuts that may be harder to pass through versus longer, easier routes, and so on. It will also give details on campsites that are popular, frequented backpacking routes and rules specific to a particular trail.

GEAR

There are two basic questions to answer when deciding what to take.

  1. Do I absolutely, positively, most definitely need it?
  2. If I don’t need it, will it make my journey any easier?


If either of the answers or both, is a no, then you don’t have to take it with you. Even though it is understandable if you want to bring certain familiar items from home, carrying as little as possible will make it easier to travel, organize and pack/unpack. Basically, anything that does not help with traveling, food, organizing, or disposing of waste can be left back home.

FOOD

Arguably the most important on the list, taking the right type of food is essential in having an easy travel. Obviously, it is impossible to cook extravagant, fulfilling meals on a campfire. It is also impossible to carry very many items to cook (and cook with!) on your travels.

The best approach to food is having ones that are simple and easily cooked and cleaned. The easiest choice is having meals that need boiling water, such as instant noodles. All you do is add boiling water to it, and soon enough you have edible noodles. If that isn’t good enough, most one-pot meals such as ramen noodles or angel hair pasta is a good alternative, since they require very little work to be put in. Lastly, if you are willing to put
in the work and time, take food that can be easily cooked over a campfire. Marinated chicken can be grilled over a fire, and so can vegetables like tinned mushrooms.

SKILLS

Finally, you will need to learn some basic skills before you set out. Whether you plan on going alone or with somebody, you need to learn how to pitch a tent. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering offers an Adventure Course which will teach you basics for you adventure trip. While this may seem simple, trust us when we say, PRACTICE! Practice, so that you can do it fast. This will save plenty of time for doing other things and also save you from potential embarrassment!

Another handy skill to have is knowing how to light a campfire from items found in nature. We are sure most people have seen it done on Nat Geo or Discovery, but it is hardly as easy as they make it seem. This is why it is important to learn this as well. Most people will likely carry a lighter, but in the event that it goes missing, this skill will help loads. Better safe than sorry!
One last skill that needs a shout-out is, well, one that most people would not want to shout out. Dealing with nature’s call in the middle of nowhere, what a terrific thought! Sadly, you must learn how to answer it while in nature’s territory, without a single toilet in sight.
Never thought you would miss those seats now, did you?

Check Out: Create Your Trek Story at Hampta Pass

EXECUTION

Now that you are set, let’s look at some practical advice when you are on the road itself.

STAY ON ESTABLISHED CAMPSITES
Any good camper will tell you that established campsites have the advantage of being easy to locate, and containing certain amenities such as bear-proof storage, which makes it easier to keep food. There are also certain places where setting up camp is more convenient, and where fresh water is within reach.
They are also more likely to have other people setting up camp nearby. Having people nearby, especially campers with more hands-on experience, will help you learn and get assistance from them. It also provides mental comfort, having other people to socialize with. It also helps keep away wild animals, because they tend to steer clear of areas where more people are located.

DELAY TRIP DURING BAD WEATHER
During the wetter seasons, it is best not to go camping. Rain not only adds more pressure on an already difficult experience, but it also takes out the fun. Make sure you schedule your trip in a manner where the weather is dry during the entire trip. If rain is forecasted, it wouldn’t hurt delaying by a week. Why get wet in the middle of nowhere, while going long distances and carrying a heavyweight?

WEAR LIGHT CLOTHES DURING BACKPACKING TRIPS
Having lighter clothing helps to move faster. Wear something comfortable, helps absorb sweat and also protects from the wear and tear of nature.

CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
Always clean up whatever mess you make on the go. It is the right thing to do (you know it!) but it also makes it your campsite less prone to being discovered by wild animals.

Take our word for it. Be prepared, be smart, and be careful. The fun and excitement will come as long as you stay safe and sound.

Career, Scope & Courses in Travel and Tourism in India

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All you need to know :Career, Scope & Courses in Travel & Tourism

There are a lot of questions spread across the forums regarding the available Courses in Travel and Tourism industry in India, which made me come up with this post.

Tourism and Travel are such words which catch a quick attention and interest nowadays. The generation today find it to be very cool if connected with travel, adventure & backpacking. If such things cheer you up too, then you can look up for a career in the field of tourism and travel. Field of tourism may look glamorous but requires a great sense of hard work, patience and challenges.

 

Life has become very competitive in the present era. To achieve benefits and success in future, you need to be well prepared with every aspect. Thus here we will help you with all the guidance you may need to make a career and look for Courses in Travel and Tourism.

There is a direct proportion between demand and scope of any field. As the demand increases the scope of earning and employment increases. Same is what we can see with the growth of travel and tourism sector. India is building scope in the field of tourism and hospitality. This is the reason for rising employment in travel and tourism sector.

List of courses in travel and tourism you can choose from:

  • Bachelor in Tourism Studies
  • Bachelor in Tourism & Travel Management
  • BA in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • BBA in Travel and Tourism Management
  • BSc in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • BVoc in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Masters in Tourism and Travel Management
  • MBA in Tourism and Travel
  • Masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • MA in Tourism and Travel Management
  • MSc in Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Masters in Tourism Administration
  • PG Diploma in Tourism and Travel Management
  • PG Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Diploma in Tourist Guide
  • Certificate in Tourist Guide

Also, there are many certificate courses offered by many public and private institutes for the specialization in particular adventure activities. Out of them, Adventure Course is a bliss to show your love for mountains & other land-based adventure. It’s a 15-day package of activities and training. If you are one of those adventure freaks, you should definitely read my review of Adventure course at NIM. There are similar courses on water and air-based adventure activities too. Ministry of Tourism promotes all types of adventure activities and has various centers for such courses.

 There are also many generalized courses for Hotel Management, Culinary Arts, Aviation, etc.

Image of Travel and Tourism Industry

Travel and Tourism course description

Every course provides knowledge of the core subjects & basic functioning of the field. Just the level upgrades according to the course. Some basic core subjects in travel & tourism are:

  • Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Tourism Policies and Laws
  • Transport Management
  • Air Ticketing
  • Tourism Marketing and Management
  • History, Culture and Heritage of India and World
  • Travel Agency/ Tour Operators Training
  • Tour Guide/ Escorts Training and Skills
  • PR and Communication Skills

Best university for travel and tourism in India:

Although the list is long. I will sort out few good institutes and colleges in the list which provide success in placements too.

  • Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management: IITTM is the autonomous university under the Ministry of Tourism. It is the most recognized university for courses related to travel & tourism. IITTM is known for the specialized and quality product return. It is situated in Gwalior with campuses in Goa, Noida, Bhubaneshwar and Nellore.
  • Pondicherry University: It is a Central University and is blended with perfection. Studies in southern India is always known to be best. University offers well training in the field with good job opportunities.
  • Banaras Hindu University: It is another top-ranked & government-owned central university. B.H.U brings out the best in a person. It polishes you to be a skilled professional.
  • Christ University: It is a privately owned deemed university in Bangalore. It trains students to be a perfect match of the market. Best in building a smart and active force with a great training of practical knowledge. Christ University provides opportunities to learn and expertise.
  • Kuoni Academy: These academies are IATA/UFTAA Authorised Training Centers, established in various cities of India. Kuoni Academy offers many courses in travel and tourism.
  • Lovely Professional University: LPU is one of the top-ranked private university in Punjab & central India. The university has one of the best infrastructures. LPU is recognized & accredited by approx 10 boards.
  • Thomas Cook Center of TrainingThomas Cook tops the list of the business provider in the travel industry. It also came up with the training centers to create the talented force in the field. TCCT have various courses in Travel and Tourism.
  • Amity UniversityOne of the top private & successful University in Delhi NCR. Amity has gradually reached a success place among the education organization. It helps students to groom into professionals. Amity University has also come up with courses in Travel and Tourism which got recognition from UNWTO TedQual Certification.

Also, read Nomadic Foot’s article on how you can travel and earn money.

Job opportunities in Tourism & Travel

Tourism and travel is a service providing profession. It is a vast sector and connects to many other sectors such as transports, hotels airlines etc. Therefore it demands smart and polished individual personality. It has jobs in both government and the private sector. Ministry of Tourism also looks for certified and trained professionals for the growth of tourism in India. The starting salary scope might not be much high as compared to other fields, but it provides good opportunities and higher packages with time and experiences. Few of the travel and tourism jobs are as below:

 

Image of Career , Scope and Courses in Travel and Tourism

List of Jobs in Travel and Tourism Industry:

Travel Jobs in Hospitality Sector:

Hospitality is another vast field which has many job opportunities for professionals from Travel & tourism industry such as:

  • Hotel Operations
  • Front Office
  • Food & Beverages
  • Accounting
  • Sales/ Maintenance/ PR
  • Security

Airlines Sector:

There is a good scope for professionals from Travel & Tourism industry in Airlines sector.

  • Ground Staffs (traffic assistance, booking, etc.)
  • In-flight Staffs (air hostess, pilots, etc.)

Every field of work demands hard work, loyalty and interest. If your heart beats for traveling then you can surely look up for a career in tourism sector irrespective of your gender, age, etc. India is growing, grow yourself! Happy Traveling!

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