Backpacking is a popular pursuit because it is a way in which travellers can see the world on a smaller budget. The key to a successful backpacking trip involves taking all you need with you, but not so much that you are literally being dragged down by your own baggage.
To get around
- Backpack: one you can carry around comfortably but big enough to put everything in.
- Security/lock: some destinations are less safe than others, so protect your belongings and valuables from pick-pockets and petty thieves.
- Small bag: often referred to as a day bag, you need one of these because it will be impractical for you to have all your things with you when sightseeing.
To protect you from the elements
- Waterproof jacket or umbrella: a lightweight waterproof jacket will protect you from the rain and the wind; many being sold on the market will also fold into a compact size for ease of carrying around.
- Sunglasses: these are not just for looks; a pair of shades will help you see clearer on a bright sunny day.
- Hat: to keep your head cool.
- Woolly hat: to keep your head warm if you are visiting colder climates.
- First aid kit: this should include bandages, plasters, sun block, lip salve, cold or flu pills, antiseptic cream, diarrhoea relieve, painkillers, thermometer and any other medication you normally take at home.
- Hand gel: an essential no matter where you go, it will prove a godsend if you are heading into less developed destinations.
- Light weight sleeping bag: if you plan to stay in the basic types of accommodation that are popular with backpackers, then you are well advised to bring your own sleeping bag. You will likely be faced with beds that you are not entirely comfortable to sleep in, so carrying your own sleeping bag is a great way to deal with those situations.
- Sleeping bag liner: very useful in terms of providing extra comfort and hygiene, as well as an added layer if you are feeling cold.
- Travel towel: there are many brands of travel towels. These dry quickly, are lightweight and can be folded into a compact size for storage.
To help you explore
- Torch: for night reading and if you visit any caves.
- Plug adaptors: you need to bring adaptors suitable for use in the countries you are travelling to, if you plan to bring any electronic devices with you.
- Travel money: an absolute essential so that you are not desperately looking for a cash machine or a foreign money changer on arrival at your destination.
- Money belt: these allow you to secure money and other valuables such as credit cards and passport close to your body.
- Certificates of vaccinations: it may be required to be shown in some places, or could prove useful in the event of an emergency.
- Student ID card: If you’re a student, bring a proof of ID for discounts!
Rachel writes Travel articles for various people, whether you are backpacking or going on a family holiday, looking at a luxury holiday or want to travel for cheap. For more information on travel essentials such as travel money.