Yes, this is certainly possible. Especially if you’re willing to prioritize things properly. Cause sometimes people tend to complicate and think of backpacking as a luxurious activity so they spend hundreds of $ for equipment literally taking the comfort of their home to the wilderness – which is absolutely ridiculous.
If you’re this kind of guy:
… then these tips are definitely not what you were looking for. (You better check these tips and stories here)
Now, when I think of a backpacking kit, three things come to my mind – a tent, a sleeping bag and backpack. I know, there are literally hundreds of other products that you can take with you, but since we agreed that indie backpackers focus on the road experience and not the home comfort taken to the wilderness – these 3 are really crucial ones.
Ok. I’ll probably surprise you with this one. When it comes to tents for backpacking – and summer season in Europe, mostly seaside area – the cheapest ones – Open Air – will do the job. I have one for two years, and over the last two summers I’ve made probably around 10k kilometers across Europe, and I never thought to myself that I need a better quality tent.
Yes, there are situations when a strong summer storm starts raging, and this tent won’t make a lot to keep you dry, but it’s summer season guys, and you’re not going to the business meeting, so just relax… Usually the strong summer sun will dry your stuff in less than an hour after the storm.
Price range: €15 – 20 (lowest cost option)
This is not a paid ad, it really isn’t, but again I’ll suggest Open Air brand. And the reason for that is almost the same as for the tent. First of all, in most cases I have slept under the open night sky on the beaches, and when I was in the woods, I always found nice little sandy spot to pitch a tent, so this basic sleeping bag was always all I needed. Even without the mattress.
I have their Aurskog bag labeled for festivals, weekends and summer, it weights 1200 grams and if you pack it properly it’ll take a shape of just 43×22 cm. Light and small bags and tents are essential, especially if you’re taking long routes by foot!
Price range: €15 – 20 (lowest cost option)
This is the most important piece. As you see, up to this point you’ll spend only 30 to 40 euro for the previous two things (depending if there’s a discount or not), but for this one you should spend a bit more. Why?
Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent travel and it includes the use of a backpack that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time. This is what you’ll find in the dictionaries under the term backpacking, and I’ll stress the part “that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time.”
I saw on amazon that you can find really cheap ones (like for 20 euro or something like that or even less), but I’m always for the more quality ones, cause ergonomic shape of the back, body contact back panel, integrated aeration channels and anatomically shaped hip wings really make the difference. Fancy terms, right? 😉
The key is that you’ll move a lot, and you’ll quite often take really long distances so very comfortable backpack is absolutely a must.
When it comes to volume, I personally think that less is more. Mine is of 30 liters and that’s really enough, cause people tend to overdo everything, and the same goes with taking stuff to your next adventure. Also, if you have experience in backpacking, you know that you really used like only a third of all the stuff you’ve packed for your first-time long distance backpacking.
Just cause of my own positive experience, I’m suggesting McKinley. And I bought mine on an awesome discount for only €40 (the regular price was I think around 80).
Price range: €40-100 (low-cost and still quality option)
Do you have suggestions on where to buy cheap camping equipment here in Europe? What’s your experience with tents, sleeping bags and backpacks? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Wanna visit some cool indie music festivals in Europe this summer? A festival in Iceland where the sun never sets? One of the best Central European reggae fests? Hippie retreat in Croatia? Check out Indie Voyager’s festival guide for this year’s summer season right here!