A trip to South West China in summer months tends to bring humidity, possible heavy monsoon rains and temperatures as high as 38 degrees centigrade; autumn and spring months are cooler although subject to bouts of rain and drizzle. Winter is cold but not as cold as the North of China.
Clearly backpackers who are travelling to South West China need to pack according to the time of year and what areas are being explored. However there are items which need to be included whatever the temperature and area.
Of importance to all backpackers is to remember that their rucksack will be with them most of the time and therefore should not be filled with unnecessary items. An overfilled rucksack can be cumbersome, tiring to carry and make it awkward when travelling on buses and trains. Many a traveller has arrived at their destination only to revise their possessions and give away unnecessary items to locals.
Prior to embarking on the journey to China it is also important to plan the holiday and rather than taking a heavy guide book backpackers are advised to use plastic covered paper copies of their itinerary, routes, places of interests and contact numbers. It is also helpful to print pictures of attractions to be visited which can be shown when travelling, if not able to speak Chinese.
Bearing in mind the limited space available to backpackers serious consideration has to be given to what clothing is required and also consideration given to the fact that clothes may need to be worn for more than a day and washed and dried without the use of modern laundry facilities. Depending upon how long the backpacker plans to be away the number of the following will vary, however, on any list should include at least one of the following, cotton tee shirts, long sleeved shirt, lightweight trousers with pockets, inexpensive jeans, swim wear, shorts, light weight fleece, waterproof jacket, protective head wear, cotton socks and underwear. Females may prefer to pack skirts but they should also ensure that at least one pair of cotton trousers is available.
Additional items are toiletries, camera, notepad and pen, torch and batteries and a good book.
A backpacking holiday to South West China is an experience that will not be forgotten. However, it is important to pack sensibly otherwise the adventure can result in frustration carrying a very heavy rucksack and expensive when items are discarded or bought during the trip.