People were sometimes surprised by how little I carried on my long travel spanning the globe and 4 seasons. Along the way, I had learnt less is more. Less gives you more mobility and flexibility not to mention comfort, enabling you to do and see more. Here is my essential (and recommended) backpacker gear list.
You actually want to carry less on your longer backpacking travel where you will be covering more distance and can expect more of the unexpected. The longer your journey, the more travel experience and knowledge you will gain, and more resourceful and travel savvy you will become. The benefits of carrying less outweigh that of carrying more just in case of an eventuality.
Even if you know you will be coming back home in only 2 weeks’ time, you should not take all your home comforts with you on your travel.
Pack as little as possible then halve it.
Take as much money as possible then double it.
Most items are available to purchase locally if you need to.
Essential Backpacking Gear List
- Backpack and rainproof cover
- Identification (passport, international driver licence, student/ISIC card – good for discounts)
- Cash / cash card / credit card – Always good to have some cash.
- Clothes (long and short) and hat
– Pay special attention to clothes. They take up a bulk of your luggage in terms of both space and weight. Synthetic material has the advantage of being light, quick-drying and taking up less space.
- Waterproof jacket (and trousers)
- Suitable shoes and sandals
- Toiletries and a quick-drying towel
- Flashlight (head mounted)
- Swiss Army knife that includes a knife and can opener
- Pen & paper
- Guide book
- Travel insurance
- Pocket dictionary
- Audio player
- Sleeping bag – Only if you know you’ll be using it often.
* My list of ‘Recommended’ obviously depends on where you go, when you go, what you do and who you are.
Do you agree with my list? Have you found anything else extremely useful in your travels? Also see ‘Electronic Backpacker Gear List‘.