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Ten Backpacking Essentials

By October 20, 2021February 4th, 2022No Comments

Oh, the experience of travelling ever so lightly and carefree, whether you are on a camping, hiking, or on a backpacking trip across Europe, Asia, or anywhere on Planet Earth, is simply exhilarating. It doesn’t matter if you are on a tight budget or not; if you are on a backpacking trip, the only rule you should follow is – to travel as light as possible!

Bear in mind that you have to pack gear that best fits your travel style and itinerary. If you don’t use what you carry at least once a week, it doesn’t belong in your luggage. So, choose what you decide to take with you and carry only the absolute essentials.

Here is a quick checklist of such items that may help you pack for such a trip.

1. Backpack

Invest in a super comfy, lightweight, durable & all-weather backpack, ideally between 40 -60 litre range or according to the weight you can carry. What works well is multi-purpose backpacking gear with plenty of pockets for organizing & finding things quickly without a hassle.

 2. Small Backpack 

Always carry a small foldable backpack to use for your day excursions that fit in things you would need for a day outdoors, such as a water bottle, snack box, towel, a pair of socks, cap etc.

3. Clothing

Pack in as few clothes as possible. Take the ones that use quick-dry material and are wrinkle-free. It would be best if you have with you – thin hiking trousers (2), t-shirts or tank tops (4), undergarments (5 sets), base layer (1 for cold weather), formal wear (1 set), socks (2/3pairs) and a microfibre towel & 2 napkins. You can make use of the laundromats wherever you are and that way you always have fresh clothes to wear for your next destination.

4. Waterproof Pouch

Find a belt pouch that you can attach to your body to carry your tickets, passport, cash, international Debit/Credit cards, ID cards, Travel Insurance and other important documents. It is the most precious piece of baggage amongst all the other things you carry with you. Hence it is crucial to have a good quality one that ensures its safety and organises these items well for speedy retrieval.

 5. Dry-bag for Packing Electronics

You will also require a small five-litre dry bag to pack your electronics items, such as a mobile phone, headphones, a light packing GoPro camera, laptop (only if you need it), kindle, tablet etc.

6. Medicine & Toiletry Kits

Keep separate kits for medicine and toiletries. Take your regular medication & a few over the counter medicines required for minor ailments such as Paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, bandages etc. The toiletries kit has a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shower gel, deodorants, and other items you may need.

7. Weather Protection

Always carry with you a light sunhat, sunblock cream, a bandana, a sturdy pair of sunglasses for places that have warm weather. If you are going to a cold place, pack warm gear like lightweight but warm jackets, gloves, warm caps that cover your ears, and warm socks. If it rains typically at your destination, use most things that are waterproof and quick dry.

8. Lifesavers

When you travel, sometimes you have to deal with minor irritants like a loose button. So, carry a small sewing kit, pen & notepad, mosquito/insect repellent, tissue roll & napkins, a multitool such as a Swiss knife, and water purification tabs. In covid times, never travel without a face mask, hand sanitiser & disinfectant spray, and wet disinfectant wipes.

9. Footwear

Find the best quality but lightweight trekking/trainer shoes that will let you walk for miles without giving bites or foot aches. Also, carry a pair of flip flops and a pair of sandals when you seek something easy to wear.

10. Sleeping Bag with a Light Liner

It will help if you have a good lightweight sleeping bag with you when you are a backpacking traveller. If you find yourself in a not-so-great hotel, you can get snug into your clean sleeping bag with an extra light fleece liner to keep you warm. If you are in warm weather, you can then remove the liner to make it airier.

After you are all packed and ready, walk around with it for a bit to check if it’s too heavy to lug around for you. If so, eliminate a few more things and make it light, lighter or preferably the lightest.

There you go! Now you are all set for that incredible backpacking experience that you have been dreaming of for so long!

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Priya Dubey

A wanderer of sorts. Always on the lookout for a new adventure. Not able to decide if I like the journey more or the destination. I share my stories so someone can find their own!

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