Packing for a backpacking trip is a fine art and a delicate balance. The trick is to pack as lightly as possible whilst ensuring that you have everything you need to bring. Things like socks and toiletries can be picked up easily from pretty much anywhere in the world so you can go lightly on these but some items you really do need to make sure you have with you at all times.
Here is our list of the Top Ten Items which no adventurer should be without.
1. Swiss Army Knife
It’s a knife, a corkscrew, a bottle opener, a screwdriver and loads more other implements that I don’t even recognise. At some point out on the road you will probably need absolutely every one of these functions for something or other whether it’s opening a cold beer, fixing your bicycle or slicing up Yak’s cheese.
Perfect for navigating your hostel dorm after lights out, finding the way home during a blackout and potentially saving your life when trekking and camping after dark. Try to find one that is USB charged to save on batteries and space.
- A boff is like a cotton swiss army knife in terms of sheer versatility It will protect your head from sunburn and stop sweat running into your eyes, it will protect your mouth from breathing in dust and can also double as a towel, cloth or handkerchief. They are also available in a wide range of cool, funky designs so you get an extra bonus of street cred.
4. Microfibre Towel (Quick drying)
Traditional towels are more space consuming than you may appreciate and they can take ages to dry meaning you sometimes have to pack them whilst still damp causing all manner of bad odours. Micro towels on the other hand take all of this hassle away; they pack up to hardly any size at all, are super absorbent so you dry in no time and then they dry off equally quickly!
Trekking and sightseeing in those hot countries is thirsty work and it’s imperative that you stay properly hydrated at all times. Bringing your own hard wearing, reusable water bottle is good for the environment and furthermore there are now entire ranges of bottles with built in filters and purifiers meaning you can drink safely from pretty much any source.
This one’s a no brainer. It’s a phone, a camera, a map and a 1000 other helpful apps all in one. Your smartphone really will be your best friend and constant companion and will help you convert currencies and translate road signs. Make sure you get the most out of it and utilise it to its fullest potential and just be mindful that in many countries it may attract the attention of thieves so be very careful with it.
Real adventuring can sometimes prove perilous from scratches and bites to countless bouts of diarrhea. Carrying a small medi-kit containing plasters (in all shapes and sizes) a bandage, antiseptic cream and some basic medicines will hopefully mean you are prepared for most problems and will never have to visit a Doctor or even a pharmacy.
8. Money belt
Whilst travelling is largely safe and the people of the world generally decent you still need to exercise some basic precautions to protect yourself from crime and theft. A money belt will not only keep your pants up but is perfect for concealing cash from pickpockets, bandits and corrupt police officers levying “on the spot fines”.
9. Hanging Toiletry Bag
Even hardcore adventurers need to maintain some basic hygiene once in a whole. A waterproof, hanging toiletry bag can be hung from any loose hook or door handle and means your toothpaste, soap and hair gel is all in one convenient place. A decent one will also have a built in little mirror so you can ensure that you are looking your very best!
10. World Travel Adaptor
That smartphone we told you to bring at isn’t going to charge itself now afterall is it? Most travellers these days carry a camera, a tablet and some form of MP3 player all of which will need some quality mains time once in awhile. Buying individual adaptors for various countries gets expensive and cumbersome so our advice is to buy a good quality world adaptor that you will see you right all over the world for a whole lifetime.
Well now that you’re all packed up I guess its time to go and have yourself some adventurers!