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Ah, backpacking; a wonderful friend and the ultimate foe. Good for your wallet, but quite the blow to your body/dignity/personal hygiene. While I highly recommend backpacking to anyone who’ll listen, everyone who is planning on strapping their worldly possessions to their back and jumping on a plane to a place they’re completely unfamiliar with needs to know what they’re getting themselves into. There will be struggles. There will be tears. There will be passive-aggressive stares across crowded hostel rooms. No one comes out of backpacking completely unscathed, so here are the 10 fails that will almost definitely happen during your backpacking trip.

1. You will not be able to fit everything into your bag.

Whether this happens while you’re still on home soil, or after a few months of your trip when you’ve collected a few hundred mementos, the packing fail will happen at some stage. You will probably need your travel buddy to sit on your pack while you struggle with the zip, but whatever you do, don’t break it. That will mean forking out a couple hundred for a new bag, and possibly a trip to the airport carrying all of your clothes in your arms.

2. You will have too many bags (and you will struggle to walk).

Sometimes, a big backpack just doesn’t cut it – on my trip, I carried a backpack, a front-pack (sexy), a large handbag and, towards the end, a second tote bag. Yes, I looked like a crazy bag lady. Yes, I needed someone to help place all these bags on my person. Yes, like a tortoise, if I had fallen over I probably never would have been able to get up again.

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