The Essential Backpacking Packing List
When you’re making your final decisions on your travel packing list, the key question to answer for yourself is:
“When it is 35 degrees and we’re running for a train/plane/taxi/tuk tuk/elephant, what do we want on our backs?”
Sharpens the mind towards the essentials, doesn’t it? Funnily enough, most people find it a lot harder packing for two weeks in Spain than an extended round the world trip. We’d also probably take more to Spain as well, apparently you can never have enough bikinis…
Anyway, we’re always desperate to take as little as possible with us on our adventures, why take stuff that you can buy en route for a fraction of the cost? With that in mind, here is our tried and tested travel packing list, and we’re delighted.
So what do we take? We’ve got two lists, one for Barry (male backpacking packing list) and Laura (female backpacking packing list). First up, Barry! A quick note to say that Barry carries the small carry on bag for planes which will be where we store our electronic items, thus the electronic items in this list are for two people! Read on for his comprehensive backpacking packing list!
My Travel Packing List
– 60 Litre Berghaus Backpack
We’ve used Berghaus for our main backpack for a couple of years now, and found them to be rugged and sturdy, even when we’ve exposed them to extreme conditions across the world from deserts to freezing mountains. They also cope very well being thrown into numerous cargo compartments of planes, trains and buses. We highly reccomend Berghaus and find them to be considerably cheaper than other brands out there.
Choosing the size of your rucksack is a tough decision, you’ll be carrying this around on your back so we wouldn’t reccomend anything bigger than 60 litres. We take this size as we carry a lot of equipment to create our travel films and articles, so if you’re not planning on doing this, you could take a smaller backpack.
We also carry a smaller backpack which is primarily used to carry our laptop and cameras, and any items we need for a day hike or day out and about. This is especially useful when we’re on a bus, train or plane for a few hours and we don’t want to leave our valuables unattended in a cargo hold.
It also means when we arrive at a destination, we can put our large backpack on our backs, and our small backpack on our front so we can keep an eye on it as we battle through crowds at train and bus stations. We prefer an 18 Litre Backpack as it is small enough to put on our front, but large enough to fit our laptop.
– Quiksilver Flip Flops
An absolute must for hot countries and for those beach escapes. I’ve gotten through a lot of flip flops in my time, but these flip flops from Quiksilver have lasted me years now and are really comfortable.
These trainers might seem like an odd choice, but there are times when flip flops just aren’t suitable and you don’t want to put on your walking trainers. I use these when we’re in cities, or the infrequent times we decide to go out for some drinks and something to eat in a nice place. They are light and fold away so take up hardly any space.
We choose to take walking trainers rather than walking boots when we travel. These Salomon walking trainers have taken me up mountains, across deserts and through rivers, and I couldn’t have done it without them! They are breathable, light and sturdy and take up much less space than a pair of walking boots.
- Travel Insurance (THIS IS IMPORTANT – don’t leave without it! We strongly believe if you’re going on an adventure of a lifetime, you should take out insurance to cover you. Use the form here to get a free quote from the insurer we use for our adventures! If you need persuading to take out insurance, click here for our reasons why you should take out insurance)
- Passports (and photocopies)
- Passport Photographs (for visas)
- Credit Card (with free cash withdrawals abroad – main source of cash with direct debit set up to pay off balance each month)
- Credit Card (for purchases and backup)
- Current Account (for cash withdrawals with small amount of cash in as a further back up)
- Drivers License (for your road trips)
- 2 x Head Torch (these will be invaluable if you plan on camping, or go on any treks that start before sunrise. You will want to keep your hands free!)
Technology Packing List
– 15 inch MacBook Pro Laptop Whilst we travel, we’re also working. As we document all our adventures on this very blog, we spend a lot of time on the road editing photos, writing articles and creating travel films. As a result we prefer this sturdy piece of kit and its not let us down yet! If you’re not blogging and just want to keep in touch with people and access the internet, then an iPad mini would do the job very nicely.
We’ve recently upgraded to this brilliant camera to shoot our professional films, but it is bulky and heavy for those who just want a good camera to capture moments on their adventures. For something a little smaller, check out the Sony A7.
We’re not Apple fan boys, but we do love the iPhone for quick internet access, photos and video. In fact, if you don’t want to bring a seperate camera then the camera on the iPhone might do a good enough job for you!
- Spare camera battery
Handy to clean lens of dust, sand and other exotic materials from your lens
– Manfrotto Camera Tripod
We debated whether to take a tripod with us but it has come in handy in many situations. When we’ve reached the top of a mountain and no-one has been there to take a photo, we’ve used it. We also use it to shoot stars at night and timelapes. I’ve used Manfrotto tripods for years and for the price there isn’t much better out there in terms of build quality and weight. (this we debated for ages but decided to go with a small, lightweight, cheap tripod)
Crystal Deodorant rock (lasts forever apparently)
Razor (I want to grow a beard but Laura is having none of it)
Malarone malaria tablets First aid kit
– Sunscreen (very important for my pasty skin)
Combination lock (rather than a key padlock which we could lose)
Compression pack (to reduce the size of our clothes in our bags)
Small waterproof bag (for electronics)
Online Clever Things
Spotify premium account (£15 a month for a constant stream of new music which we can download onto our laptop/iPhones. Friends can also share playlists with us to keep us up to date)
Photobucket pro account (£20 a year to store photos and videos)
Prey for mac (to catch any nasty person who decides to steal our laptop)
Skype on laptop and iPhones
Twitter account – Worldly Nomads
Facebook page – Worldly Nomads
WhatsApp messenger for iPhone (great app that you can group message friends for free over wifi)
Looking For Accommodation Somewhere?
If you’re looking for some accommodation ideas for your travels, we recommend you use Booking.com to check your accommodation options! Whenever we’re making plans for a new destination, we always research the accommodation options first to check what’s available. That’s just our travel style. If you want to get some accommodation ideas for your travels, check out the options here!
I’ve organised all of my recommendations in one place on Amazon! So if you decide to get any of my reccomendations, click here to find them all in one place!
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means if you choose to book somewhere though our link, we receive a small commission. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything more, and most importantly, we only recommend companies that we use ourselves so you can trust our recommendations!
Come and learn more about Laura and Barry here
So thats it, all of my worldly possessions as we travel! What do you think? Anything we’ve missed or recommendations let us know in the comments below!