Embarking on a backpacking adventure is an exhilarating experience, but it doesn’t mean sacrificing style for practicality. Navigating the trails and embracing the great outdoors doesn’t have to come at the expense of looking cute and put together. Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a novice explorer, there are savvy ways to ensure you maintain your sense of style amidst the wilderness.

From choosing versatile and comfortable clothing options to streamlining your beauty routine, this guide will provide you with practical tips on how to stay stylish and look put-together while backpacking, allowing you to embrace the rugged charm of nature without compromising on your personal aesthetic.

So, gear up for an Instagram-worthy journey as we explore the perfect balance between functionality and fashion in the heart of the great outdoors.

Packing a Cute Backpacking Wardrobe

1.    Choose Versatile Neutrals

Stick to versatile neutral pieces in black, gray, olive, and tan shades. Neutral colors pair together easily so you can mix and match for multiple outfits. They also hide dirt and wear better than bright hues. Focus on neutrals to get the most mileage from fewer pieces.

2.    Layer Light, Quick-Dry Fabrics

Lightweight, quick-drying technical fabrics are perfect for backpacking. Look for moisture-wicking synthetics, wool, and linen. Avoid bulky materials like denim that take forever to dry. Light layers allow endless outfit combinations.

3.    Include One Statement Piece

While neutral layers are key, don’t forget to pack one fun statement accessory or top. This could be a colorful scarf, funky hat, or printed tank. One eye-catching piece pairs with your neutrals to instantly turn an outfit from drab to fab.

4.    Pack Multi-Functional Clothing

Choose pieces that serve multiple purposes, like convertible pants, 2-in-1 jackets, and quick-dry dresses you can layer. Multi-functional clothing maximizes your options from just a few essential items. Look for strategic straps, zip-offs, and reversible options.

5.    Accessorize Smartly

Accessories take up little pack space but provide endless styling potential. Scarves add color, hats protect from the sun, and statement sunglasses complete any outfit. Jewelry like layered necklaces, bracelets and dangly earrings make you look put together, even on the trail.

Keeping up with Your Appearance on the Trail

1.    Refresh Hair with Dry Shampoo

Pack some dry shampoo to absorb oil and add volume when you can’t wash your hair. Focus on the roots and massage it in with your fingers. Let it sit a few minutes before brushing out. Dry shampoo makes dirty hair look and feel freshly washed.

2.    Add Bounce with Curl-Enhancing Shampoo

When you can shower, use a sulfate-free, curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner. The gentle cleansers won’t dry out your hair while boosting natural waves and movement. Scrunch in some curl cream or mousse while hair is damp. Air dry for spirited, bouncy locks.

3.    Braid Damp Hair

Braids disguise greasy roots while adding a cute, feminine vibe. Braid your hair while slightly damp and allow it to dry undisturbed overnight. For extra polish, sweep up front pieces and do a loose braid across the crown of your head.

4.    Use Dry Shampoo on Oily Scalp

If your scalp gets oily, massage in some dry shampoo right at the roots. Leave it on for 5 minutes to fully absorb grease, then brush it out. This mattifies and freshens up dirty hair at the scalp so you can go longer between washes.

5.    Pack Hair Accessories

Cute hair accessories like bandanas, silk scrunchies, clips and headbands transform the simplest braids and ponytails. Wrap a bright bandana over a ponytail for a pop of color. Pin back front sections with bobby pins for a chic half updo. Accessories glam up dirty hair.

With the right strategies, you can look just a chic backpacking as you do at home. Cute outfits, styled hair and natural makeup let your beauty shine through, even on the most rugged trails.

The key is packing smartly, opting for feminine yet functional pieces. With some creativity, you can use a minimal wardrobe to create varied looks. A little dry shampoo, makeup and accessories go a long way in pulling you together after dusty days hiking.

Have fun planning your cute backpacking ensembles! Wherever your travels take you, rest assured you can make a stylish impression.


It’s time to dust off your backpack and think about where to go next. If you’re on a budget, you may be wondering about the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world. The thing is, especially if you’ve been aching to get back out there, ‘budget travel’ can be a bit of an oxymoron. People go traveling to see something new, and once you’re on the road, the last thing you want to do is restrict yourself.

The way to travel on a budget without feeling too limited is to go backpacking destinations where food, accommodation, and transport are cheap. This will allow you to stretch your budget and splurge on the occasional special activity to get the most out of your trip. The good news is, after you figure out a cheap way to get to your destination, it is possible to travel around some of the most beautiful destinations on earth for less than $20 a day. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be cheaper to be on the road than to stay at home considering your normal rent and daily expenses! 

So without further ado, here is our updated list of the cheapest backpacking destinations for 2023.

Bulgaria – The best Eastern European country for budget travel

Even though Bulgaria is the cheapest backpacking country to visit in Eastern Europe, it has an abundance of gorgeous landscapes that rival its neighbors. During our 5 days in Bulgaria were able to see Alpine mountains, forested countryside, sandy beaches on the Black Sea, plus beautiful cities like Sofia and Veliko Tărnovo.

The Rila Monastery near Sofia in Bulgaria, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world

The Rila Monastery near Sofia, Bulgaria

Because we were traveling in the off-season, we were able to splurge on the occasional high-end luxury accommodation for less than $100 a night. Of course, you can always find cheaper hostels in Bulgaria. Food and drink are also super affordable, with the average price of a beer being about a dollar.

Learn more: Backpacking in Bulgaria


India is one of those countries where budget travel is almost entirely dependent on your willingness to haggle. If you strike the right tone, India can be one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world.

When booking guesthouses, you’ll most certainly get a better price by booking directly with the guest house versus booking online through an agency. Transportation-wise, it is super cheap to get around in India. In the big cities, we recommend using Uber it’s actually much cheaper than the prices you’ll be quoted for a tuk-tuk ride. For intercity travel, trains cost between $8 – $30, and you can even find flights within that price range!

Learn more: Backpacking in India

Portugal – The cheapest backpacking destination in Western Europe

Portugal is a great option in Western Europe for travelers on a budget. You’ll be able to experience the vibrant European culture as well as world-famous food and wine at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in France or Spain. 

Learn more: Backpacking in Portugal


Cambodia has so much to offer, and you can travel there for about $20 a day. Private rooms in a nice guesthouse will cost you about $10, and tuk-tuk rides are a savvy way to get around. Our guest house helped us arrange a private tuk-tuk driver to help us visit the many temples of Angkor Wat for just $12!  You can even get a 30-day SIM card with 1.5 GB of data for $2.

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia, one of the cheapest backpacking countries

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex

Learn more: Backpacking in Cambodia


With medieval fortresses, majestic mountains, and friendly locals, the country of Georgia should be much higher on the list of top backpacking destinations. And with delicious meals starting at $3, and $1 local buses, it’s one of the best countries for budget travel. You don’t have to withhold on the cultural activities here, since most entrance tickets cost around $2.

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

Learn more: Backpacking in Georgia


In the Czechia, the old trope ‘beer is cheaper than water’ is actually true. While Czechia boasts much of the same beauty as its neighbors like Germany and Austria, it’s possible to travel here at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more: Backpacking in Czechia

Bolivia – the cheapest backpacking country in South America

Bolivia is one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world and is very popular with adventurers. Here, it is possible to get a 3-course meal for less than $2. Accommodation in a hostel dorm room costs between $8-$12 a night, and local and long-distance buses are a cheap way to get around. Even the most famous backpacker destination in Bolivia, the Uyuni Salt Flats, won’t break the bank, costing around $200 for 3 days, which is relatively cheap for this bucket-list destination!

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Learn more: Backpacking in Bolivia


Trekking in Nepal doesn’t have to cost as much as you might imagine. Other than the Everest Base Camp Trek (an exorbitant expense), there are plenty of beautiful Himalayan treks where it is possible to go by yourself. The Short Annapurna Circuit, for example, is well-marked with guesthouses along the path for about $5 a night, so you won’t have to carry tons of gear. (If you want to go all the way to Annapurna Base Camp, you’ll need to go with a guide). Food and drink in Nepal are also very affordable, with meals costing between $2-$3.

Learn more: Backpacking in Nepal

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is certainly one of those countries where you can travel on a budget or live in the lap of luxury for relatively affordable prices. Their infamous train system (a bucket-list item in itself) is the cheapest way to get around the country. Or, you could hire a private taxi to travel between cities with a few other people from your hostel. Keep a special travel budget set aside for entrance fees to nature reserves and UNESCO Heritage sites!

Learn more: Backpacking in Sri Lanka


Colombia is one of our favorite backpacking destinations because of the friendly locals, diverse landscapes, and of course, affordability. You could easily backpack in Colombia for a month with just $1000 in your bank account. By taking long-distance buses, staying in hostel dorm rooms, and cooking your own food in the hostel kitchens, you can visit destinations like Medellín, Cartagena, and Salento on a budget.

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

Learn more: Backpacking in Colombia

Honorable Mention


This country certainly doesn’t scream ‘budget travel’ but it’s the cheapest destination in Scandinavia. If visiting this part of the world has been a dream of yours, we can definitely recommend Denmark in comparison with its more expensive Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Sweden, or Finland.

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in Scandinavia

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more: Backpacking in Denmark

Backpacking is for everyone. There’s no cut-off age. Even in your later senior years, you can enjoy incredible backpacking and hiking experiences with family members or groups of friends.

However, as you get older, you’ll undoubtedly start to notice that your body probably isn’t moving the way it once did. While that shouldn’t keep you from exploring the great outdoors, there are a few things you should keep in mind now that you may not have had to consider when you were younger.

Let’s take a look at some of the best backpacking tips for seniors so you can safely enjoy all of your backpacking experiences through your golden years.

1. Don’t Go Alone

While there’s something to be said for a solo hike, it can be risky for anyone. That risk becomes elevated as you get older. While planning and preparing are important, you can’t predict every little thing that might happen on the trail. You could lose some supplies, suffer an injury, or get lost somewhere.

While we’re living in a tech-forward world, digital devices don’t always work on the trail. Don’t rely on your smartphone to keep you “safe” on your own. Instead, plan your backpacking trips with other people.

2. Plan, Prepare, and Pack

Even if you can’t predict everything that will happen, it’s no excuse not to plan and prepare as much as possible. If you’re an avid backpacker, you probably have a mental checklist of everything you’ll need for the trail. However, it’s never a bad idea to double-check that you have everything you need and take into consideration any new items you should bring along just in case. Some of the basics include:

  • Hygiene products;
  • Appropriate clothing, extra items for changing weather, and proper shoes/boots;
  • Any prescription medications;
  • A first aid kit;
  • A communication device.

It’s also crucial to make sure you pack enough food and water. As we age, our energy levels tend to drop. Packing nutrient-dense snacks and water for backpacking will keep you satiated and hydrated throughout your hike and give you a boost of energy when you need it most. Integrating some extra vitamins and supplements into your daily routine even before the hike can also make a big difference for active senior hikers, so you don’t burn out on the trail.

3. Be Mindful of Your Body

No one likes to admit that they’re “feeling their age,” but it happens. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone when you’re planning a backpacking trip. Instead, choose to be mindful of your body. Ask yourself if you’re really up for a strenuous hike or camping trip.

How do you feel? Do you tire out quickly? Do you deal with aches and pains each day? If so, you might want to hold off on your trip until you’re able to build some stamina and train for it.

Even if you’re already on a backpacking adventure, check in with yourself frequently. Listen to your body when it tells you to take a break or slow down. While it can be tempting to push yourself to your own physical limits, that will only put you at a greater risk of injuring yourself.

4. Research Locations

It’s a good rule of thumb to do your research on any location you plan on hiking. This is not only a backpacking tip for senior hikers, but for all adventure seekers. Whether it’s a local spot or somewhere across the country, make sure you’re fully aware of things like:

  • Terrain;
  • Trail length;
  • Common obstacles;
  • Local wildlife;
  • Weather forecasts.

Continuing to do your research, especially when it comes to weather conditions, is crucial right up to the day of your hike. Knowing as much information as possible about your hiking location will make it easier to pack properly, and mentally and physically prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

5. Talk to Your Doctor

Dealing with pre-existing conditions on hikes is something older individuals must think about. Some of the most common health concerns for seniors include:

  • Respiratory diseases;
  • Balance issues;
  • Cognitive decline;
  • Heart disease.

If you have any underlying health conditions, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before heading out on a backpacking trip. They’ll let you know if it’s safe to do, and can help you prepare by refilling your medications and offering suggestions on how to stay healthy.

Even minor conditions shouldn’t be ignored. For example, you should treat dry eye before gearing up. Dry eyes can cause a sensitivity to light and make your eyes feel like they’re burning. That’s the last thing you want when you’re spending all day outside. Taking care of these small-scale issues before you go will keep you comfortable, safe, and healthy on your hike.

Backpacking Tips for Seniors – Our Takeaway

As you age, your needs change. No matter how many times you’ve been backpacking in your life, don’t ignore those needs. Your main priority should always be to keep yourself safe and healthy, so you can continue to enjoy backpacking for many years. Keep these backpacking tips for seniors in mind as you plan and prepare for your next trip, and you’ll feel better about it every step of the way.

If you are looking for a grand adventure, then a well-planned backpacking trip is the best way to find it because there is nothing quite like taking the long trail up a mountainside or through a gorgeous forest. However, while it may seem easy to just buy a backpack and start walking, there are many considerations and things you must do to prepare for a backpacking trip.

We are here to help. Whether you are an experienced hiker or you are just starting out, we have some great tips and pieces of advice that can be lifesavers during your next backpacking trip.

Choosing the Right Backpacking Gear

When starting to prepare for your a backpacking trip, then you will want to take some time to get your body and mind in tip-top shape so you don’t get out there to find out that you weren’t truly prepared.

For starters, you will need to choose the right backpack. If you are planning a long hike, then you will need to buy a pack that has all of the essential elements, including a top-loading design, extra pockets, and a water bladder pocket so you can always stay hydrated. Try on different packs and make sure that it is comfortable because you’ll have it on your back for long periods of time. 

As part of your training, you will want to find and purchase shoes or boots that are comfortable and durable enough to last throughout your adventure without falling apart or hurting your feet.

When shopping for boots, make sure to try them on before you buy. You’ll want to find boots that are snug around your entire foot but not too tight, and you should have a little bit of wiggle room for your toes.

You do not want them to be loose, or they could end up hurting your feet. Once you find what you need, wear them during your training.

Physically Preparing for Your Backpacking Trip

Next, you will need to get in shape and prepare your body for the long journey backpacking. You are going to want to practice by walking a lot in the months and/or weeks leading up to your hike.

You will want to aim for at least 10,000 steps a day. Once you get used to the motion, you’ll need to kick it up a notch by walking up and down hills or stairs so you can get your body used to that movement. As a final step, add weight to your backpack and walk with it a lot until you build up your muscles.

Basic First Aid for Your Backpacking Trip

It is important for both new backpackers and seasoned pros to brush up on the common risks and dangers that can occur out on the trail because if you are always prepared and you understand the potential dangers, then backpacking can be a very peaceful endeavor.

For starters, you never know when someone will trip or get hurt in some way, so it is essential to be protective and pack a first aid kit. Your kit should include basic hiking materials, such as gauze, bandages, sanitizer, and sunscreen, along with any necessary medications.

A common threat that can become a reality during a hike is the potential of ticks and other pests. It is important to know how to combat and prevent ticks, which includes wearing long pants, using insect repellant, always staying on the designated trail, and avoiding walking through long grass whenever possible.

Make it a point to stop at regular durations throughout your hike to check for ticks. Always look at the common hiding places, such as the back of the knees, between your legs, and around your waist. 

You will want to have a pair of tweezers in your first aid kit, and if you find a tick, use them to pull the head of the pest upward using even pressure. Once you are sure it is removed, clean the area with antiseptic.

Mapping Out Your Plan Ahead of Time

It is also a wise idea to research the trail ahead of time, so you don’t run the risk of getting lost or becoming stressed. If information is available, then get a general idea of the course that your trail will take and always follow all posted signage. Make sure that your phone is fully charged, and bring an extra charger so you can call for help if necessary.

Packing the Right Food to Optimize Nutrition

How you fuel your body before and during the adventure is an incredibly important part of preparing for your backpacking trip, so you have the physical strength to get through your journey. As you prepare for a backpacking trip, make an effort to change your diet and avoid the fast foods and overly sugary treats that can hinder your body and prevent you from enduring extensive periods of activity. 

Continue this diet up until the day of the hike. In the morning, make sure that you have a smart and solid breakfast. This is truly the most important meal of the day because by including fruit, dairy, and whole grains, you get the essential nutrients that your body needs, which helps to control your blood sugar levels, manage your weight, and most importantly, provide a natural energy boost to keep you going during the hike. You should bring other nutritious snacks like granola and trail mix so you can stay nourished and energized until the end.

Of course, you also need to drink plenty of water during your expedition. By staying hydrated, you replace the fluids that you flush out by sweating, and drinking water also helps you to stay alert. As a general rule, try to drink a half-liter of water for every hour of walking in moderate temperatures. 

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before you head up the trail during your next backpacking expedition. Follow the guidance provided here, and you will stay in great shape during your next adventure.

Meditation has been tagged with some interesting stereotypes over the years. Many people think you have to be in a dark, quiet room with your legs crossed and eyes closed, doing some kind of “ohm” chant to meditate properly.

That’s just not true.

Meditation can take many forms – including hiking and backpacking. If those are hobbies you already love, it’s time to consider how they can help you feel re-centered and reduce your stress levels while you’re on the trail.

Many spiritual leaders have touted the effectiveness of walking meditation, and you can apply those principles to your hikes by being more mindful on each journey. If you’ve never meditated before, it can take some practice to connect physical activity to a clearing of the mind. But, hiking is already a great way to improve your mental and physical health. Adding meditation to your walks can help you feel more connected with the earth, and yourself.

Let’s cover some of the benefits of hiking as meditation and how you can set clear intentions for your treks.

The Benefits of a Mindful Hike

There’s no question that simply spending time in nature is good for your health. It reduces stress and anxiety and can offer a boost of energy. Taking things one step further (no pun intended) through walking meditation can offer even greater benefits to your physical and mental well-being. Some of the “perks” you can expect from being more mindful on your hikes include:

  • Increased blood flow
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved circulation
  • Better sleep quality
  • Enhanced balance

Walking meditation also helps with symptoms of depression and anxiety and can boost your creativity levels if it feels like you’ve been in a slump lately. Combining mindfulness with regular outdoor exercise, like hiking, is also a fantastic way to naturally boost testosterone levels (which can decrease with age). That will lead to a clearer mind and greater physical awareness while also promoting strength and vitality.

How to Meditate On the Trail

Ready to give hiking as meditation a try for yourself?

Again, you don’t have to worry about specific chants or keeping your eyes closed while you walk – that would probably do more harm than good with trees around! Walking meditation is easier than you might think. Try the following steps to break down the process until it becomes more familiar.

  1. Find a spot on the trail or a clearing in a wooded area that will allow you to freely walk back and forth about 10 to 15 feet.
  2. Stroll throughout that area slowly as you breathe deeply and take in your surroundings.
  3. Take slow, intentional, mindful steps, and focus on sensations that you usually don’t notice. That could include how your feet and legs feel while moving, or the rhythm of your breathing. It could even include the gentle “thud” your feet make with each step. The more you focus on yourself and the world around you at that moment, the more mindful and present you’ll be.

You may have other thoughts come to mind. That’s out of your control, and you don’t have to work to “block” those thoughts out. There’s nothing you can do to prevent both positive and negative ideas from entering your mind, but think of them like clouds passing by. Don’t hold onto them, and do your best to refocus on the present.

You can continue to be mindful throughout your hike, paying attention to how your body feels with each step forward while also observing the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. It’s a wonderful way to manage your anxiety while hiking and to feel more relaxed by the time you’re finished.

Staying Safe

While meditating on a hike is a wonderful way to feel more connected with the earth and your natural surroundings, it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew. If you’re new to hiking, familiarize yourself with certain trails and build up your strength and stamina before you try to meditate on your journey. You’ll still enjoy wonderful mental and physical health benefits, simply by exercising in nature.

Additionally, if you deal with chronic pain or you’re trying to recover from an injury, use a pain scale to determine if you’re ready to be active again. Pushing through the pain or trying to force yourself to get back on the trail can end up hindering your performance. You’ll also be so focused on that pain that it will be nearly impossible to be mindful and present.

Whether you’re just getting into hiking or you’ve been hitting the trail for years, there are more benefits than we could ever think to list here. Using hiking as meditation, however, adds to that list and can help you feel more in tune with the world around you while reducing your stress levels. If you’re ready for that step, try to introduce walking meditation into your next hike.