ExperiencesNature & AdventureBackpacking: Trend, passion or piece of youth?
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Nature & Adventure

Backpacking: Trend, passion or piece of youth?

Translated by Bing
One weekend with old friends, I chatted with them about the "fierce" backpacking trips

The outbreak in Saigon made people less likely to meet. One Friday night in August, the three of us made a video call, telling us sad stories, foolish times, and even sharing very real backpacking trips in recent times. 


Motorcyclists and young people who are passionate about moving


Mr. Thang and Mr. Loc are two brothers who are extremely close to me. We've known each other for about 6 years thanks to a part-time job when I just graduated from High School. The two brothers see backpacking as a passion, an experience, not a trip to "show" as many people often say. Sometimes, though, that's not entirely wrong. For them, backpacking is deeply ingrained in the blood. Without it, they will feel that life lacks meaning.


First trip to bring together teammates "Popeyes" (Low quality images but high quality teammates)


Hi you two! As people who have traveled many roads, felt the beauty of many places in Vietnam, can you tell me where you have traveled? For self-sufficient trips, what items are supposed to be necessary and what are most important?


Mr. Thang: The two brothers mostly go camping a lot: Kala Lake, Dambri Lake, Hon Bo Peak in Dalat, Tuyen Lam Lake, Ta Dang Lake, Trieu Hai Waterfall, Lieng Nung Waterfall, Ba Den Mountain, Da Xi Stream (or Da Ploa), Masara Grass Hill, Dau Tieng Lake, K58 stream in Thanh Linh, Central Highlands, Binh Thuan Yen Mui ... It's a lot, it's impossible to count them all. 


Mr. Loc: In my opinion, not only for me but also for all other backpackers, MONEY and HEALTH are the two most important things, without those two things, even if you prepare other things, the trip is only in your thoughts. In addition, a stable motorcycle, a cigarette lighter, a knife, a phone full of a strong wave battery are no less important. The rest depends on where the destination that my team chooses to be able to prepare related support items. For example, if you are not staying in a homestay, you will bring extra protective gear, tents, folding chairs, blankets, insect repellent, personal hygiene tools,... Here is his permanent luggage on long trips: 


Essential items for a self-sufficient  trip (Source: Anh Loc - left, Greenbelly - right)


For Mr. Loc, have you ever gone on a road trip alone? In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of going alone compared to traveling with a group?


Mr. Loc: He also often travels alone. The advantage is probably to be free, the decision to stop or rest is up to us. There are many difficulties, as we often say "1 billion difficult things". Transportation costs doubled, trouble moving on their own, higher odds of being in danger, lack of friends sharing joy or confiding along the way,..


Night barbecue with everyone at camping


Are those the reasons that led you to your passion for traveling instead of traveling by bus like everyone else? 


Mr. Loc: At the age of 16 due to the cost factor, riding a coach cost too much money for a kid like him. By 20, he probably liked the feeling of sun, wind and sand hitting his face rather than the air conditioning blowing on the back of his head, preferring to see the beautiful scenery around him rather than through the thick glass of the car. In addition, when I run my own car, seeing the beautiful scenery, I can stop to take pictures, but in the coach, I don't ask the driver to stop for me to take pictures, right? 


First time hunting clouds in Hon Bo


Mr. Thang: He likes the feeling of being himself when he sits in the car, runs wherever he wants, likes to stop to make some "pots" of photos so that he can look back later and have something to tell. Besides, backpacking is also an inspiration. He was a free man who didn't like to be bound by any factors. Therefore, backpacking is not only his choice, it is also his passion. 


Eating is also an important factor in trips, outdoor camping trips, how will you usually prepare, is it difficult to bring cooking utensils or food?


Mr. Loc: When packing, the group will plan what to eat during the trip. Since each trip usually lasts 3-4 days, the problem of eating for a long time is a problem if you do not rent a homestay. I have to prepare all the equipment and divide it for each member to bring for common activities. However, having said that, you must also choose and carefully consider the items so that they are as convenient as possible.


Mr. Thang: Depending on where you will be, I will have a specific plan. For example, there was a stop at a homestay, so cooking utensils were available, so he just needed to worry about the food. If we are self-sufficient in food, we usually bring pots, cups, forks, ignition items, oilwood, specialized cutlery and necessary food.


Who said that if you go on a road trip, you can only eat dry food and shrimp noodles?


During the time of embarking on the "backpacking" path, I saw that the two of you kept a lot of pictures. Can you share a memory of a photo that you like best?


Mr. Thang: He has traveled to many places, but to talk about memories, it is probably the trip through Vietnam last 4 months. He and a companion started from Saigon to the north of his country. Before he and his friend "fought", the close brothers went along to see off a section, friends around also texted to pay attention to safety. At that time, I felt that the love of my friends was the main one, the expectation from them was ten. But unfortunately, he has not been able to fulfill his long-cherished wish. However, during that 20-day period, he felt the most self, the most "already", the most clearly felt the support from everyone. 



Mr. Thang and his companions bid farewell to his teammates in Ninh Thuan to set off "through Vietnam"


Mr. Loc: For him, the most interesting photo is probably the first time his friend "Cloud" visited the tent. After more than a dozen trips to Dalat, it was a rare time that clouds were so close and numerous. The feeling at that time, he could only say was "happy as crazy". He just wanted to freeze that scene and keep it to himself.


"Clouds at Hand"


Have you two ever encountered any problems during your backpacking trips, how did you overcome it, did you learn anything for yourself as well as other backpackers?


Mr. Loc: Health and money were paramount, to get a lesson in those two things he also experienced an incident a few years ago. He was young, thought he was well, so he went out when his health was not really good. As a result, more than 50% of the trip he just lay down to rest and take medicine. Other times, he didn't notice, his pockets were punctured without knowing, dropping his wallet, really at that time, when he went alone, he didn't know how to deal with it, luckily there were some brothers with him. The experience shared with everyone is nothing new, it is important: 


  • Have to go when HEALTH is really normal, to enjoy the ride rather than endure it.
  • Have to divide MONEY into many places, backup 1 little money to the card, identity documents in many places.
  • Must CHECK the car carefully before going on the road, always carry all necessary car repair tools.


What is there like the feeling of being in harmony with nature


I see a time when backpacking has become a trend among young people, what do you think about this phenomenon?


It's just a trend. Until now, it is still a very hot trend for some of you, but for those who have a real passion, backpacking is and has become an indispensable piece of youth. When asked about backpacking, they are very proud to share about the journeys, the memories they have experienced, and sometimes there are those who cannot help but get emotional when talking about this endless passion. There are many roads, many natural beauty scenes that people do not know. I believe that when I embark on this path, the feeling of seeing the majestic beauty of nature with my own eyes, capturing it with these eyes, will be something that makes me stick forever!


"Every trip is a part of the passion, of youth, of memories that follow us throughout our lives."


Many thanks to both of you for taking the time to share your stories and valuable experiences, wish you both success in your work and will always keep your passion alive. 


Written by : My Dieu

Image source: Multiple authors
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