After a full year of travelling a couple of years ago, through Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Colombia we put together a list of what to take backpacking which contains our essential items that have really stood the test of time – all of which have been truly invaluable throughout our travels. From cycling around Cuba to visiting ancient ruins, beaches and jungle adventures in Mexico, hiking up mountains and road tripping around Canada and even more adventures and getting off the beaten track in Colombia to now, living and working in our motorhome full-time – everything we mention here is still with us and more importantly has lasted with a little addition our very own natural and sustainable clothing range Nature Threads at the very end too!
Note from the author: This article has been written by me from my travel experience. I may recommend & provide links to products & services that I have used & may make commission from such links. This commission helps cover the costs of running this website & will be at no extra cost to you. Anything that I am recommend is from my personal experience & belief that it is worth using. Happy reading!
What To Take Backpacking – Our Essentials
This laptop has been unbelievably great for traveling. Light, hard-wearing and very, very reasonably priced. The Chromebook (powered by Google) offers everything you need whilst away with regards to using the internet, preparing and editing documents and also for us running and editing our blog. We have had no problems with it being packed away in backpacks on buses, on planes, up mountains and being heavily used pretty much everyday – we would definitely recommend this great little laptop.
You can also find the range of Acer Chromebooks here…..
Not a bad spot to catch up on the blogging for the next couple of days – check out www.destinationaddict.com to read more about our Cuban adventure including cycling & Spanish school & also keep an eye of out for more on our Mexican adventure……. ???????????? . . . . . #blogginglife #sunbedblogging #blog #blogger #travelblog #travelblogging #cubablog #mexicoblog #travel #traveller #travellerslife #travelling #traveltheworld #backpacker #backpacking #instatravel #travelgram #travelpic #travelpics #travelpicsdaily #explorationinspiration #destinationaddict
Next up in our what to take backpacking list is the Aleia 22 backpack with such a wide range of backpacks out there nowadays & with a fair few years of travel between us under our belts, for us the North Face Lightweight Aleia 22 has been the best by far. With a massive amount of pack space for 22 Litres we were always surprised at how much you could actually fit into this little rucksack. Perfect as a day bag or full travel rucksack the Aleia has plenty of great little pockets to stash stuff away as well as loads of attachment places for your bottles or attach things like shoes or flip-flops to!
This torch proved so useful to us in and outside of dorms and also came in handy with the huge amount of camping we did, we even used it as a bike light when we were cycling. Easily rechargeable by USB needing no batteries meaning this head torch can be recharged anywhere. The other things we liked about it were the different modes with light, dimmer light, red lights and flashing light, the sturdy strap which holds the torch firmly to your head and how compact and lightweight it is. We would highly recommend this as a must for your travels.
Completely waterproof even when submerged under water (trust us) we have taken this bag snorkelling, on boats and wading through rivers and the sea neck deep although we would like to point out that when we were fully submerged when scuba diving we left this bag on the boat. Perfect to put your valuables in when you are in the situation of possibly getting absolutely soaking wet or when you are not too keen on leaving your things on the beach.
What else to take backpacking; these refillable Contigo Water bottles were definitely put through the test whilst we were travelling taking them out every day everywhere we went. A great reason to invest in some of these is that most hostels nowadays supply free drinkable water so make sure you have a drinking bottle to refill as this can save you a HUGE amount of money but most importantly helps the environment massively by reducing the amount of plastic waste generated by water bottles! We would usually refill our bottles before heading out on a day or moving in between places. These proved invaluable to us throughout our travels and of course it’s always good to have water with you wherever you go!
Backpacking – What Else To Take
If you are anything like us and love reading the Kindle is the perfect travel companion. As much as we love books realistically they are not as easy to transport as 170g of Kindle. With endless books and all your favourites available in the Kindle store and a great battery life that will last a week or two, used every day, without a recharge. The paperwhite also has the added bonus of anti-glare for reading in sunlight and a built-in torch for reading at night. With all of this combined you can probably understand why it holds a firm place in our what to take backpacking list!
Small light and with so many uses this unlikely piece of equipment was another top backpacking product on our list! From sealing up all your toiletries when packing away to avoid toothpaste or sun cream explosions in your bag to even using as a make-shift plaster till you get back to your medi kit! We have found the electric tape surprisingly useful in so many ways whilst we were on our travels. We would recommend popping some in your bag!
Living out of a backpack and having all of your stuff at mercy of the elements while travelling between places can at times means that everything can become wet or even soaked within minutes. We invested in some rain covers which came in handy time and time again. Keeping everything dry and out of the elements was great when the heavens opened out of nowhere! Especially in tropical climates where this can happen at any time. The covers were also great on hikes with our day bags for exactly the same reasons, as let’s face it, no-one wants a sopping t-shirt to changing to at the end of a hike / day out!
Snorkelling, swimming, hiking or even cycling these multipurpose rash vests will keep you warm but also cool when you need it as well as protected from the sun. Most top surf brands you will find will all have SPF 50+ rating with all of their rash vests, they dry really quick and are comfy to wear. These are perfect for long days out doing activities for example when hiking with no tree coverage or a snorkelling session to keep yourself protected from the sun & not having to worry about constantly applying sunscreen.
A definite in the must have top travel products – compact, robust and a great camera with the option of photo or video. You can use the GoPro in all-weather and underwater with a full wide-angle lens and many different features, such as time-lapse, multi shot photos and many more. The GoPro is a must have for the traveller who is looking to document this, that and everything along the way. We have the GoPro 4 (Pictured) but are definitely investing in a GoPro 6 this year which we will be taking along with us on adventures everywhere we go!
We had a day of chasing the sun yesterday including sunrise at this misty, peaceful spot ???????? The 4am wake up call was alarming (hehe!) but so worth it & we even managed to capture it all with our @gopro so we can share it with you guys! Keep an eye, our next Vlog will be coming to a screen near you very soon…… ???? ???? In the meantime have you seen our most recent Vlog? The pretty tough Wedgemount Lake hike, the scenery was so spectacular ???? Check it out! Link in bio ⬆ • • • • • #vlog #youtuber #lakevibes #altalake #OnlyInWhistler #explorebc #hellobc #explorecanada #beautifulbc #sharebc #sunshine #early #instasky #skyporn #earlybird #mothernature #skylovers #sunrise_and_sunsets #nature_brilliance #EarthVisuals #welivetoexplore #ourplanetdaily #earth_deluxe #instanaturelover #travelblog #travelbloggers #leicacraft #leicaq #explorationinspiration #destinationaddict
10. Swiss Army Knife
There are a lot of penknife and hand multi-tools out there but you cannot beat the legendary Swiss army knife. Lightweight with a great compact design and everything you would need it fits effortlessly into your bag and has proved a definite invaluable piece of equipment to us. From chopping fruit and veg with the knife, snipping things when needed with the compact pair of sharp scissors to opening our baked beans when camping with the tin opener we really feel that one of these should be on everyone’s backpacking what to take inventory.
From camping to staying in AirBnB’s and hostels whenever we had a little bit of washing to do instead of sending for laundry this little clothesline proved so useful. Literally hooking to anywhere across two points was such a lifesaver when drying clothes ready to pack straight back in your bag. Trust us, worth its weight in gold!
12. Arteryx Cap
Keeping the sun off you in the midday heat is especially in Countries like Colombia is a must even with sun cream on. A cap is definitely on our top travel products not just for this reason, it’s also stylish whilst travelling and can even give a bit of warmth when needed.
Comfy travel clothes are essential especially when you are on long journeys and we have found that organic cotton t-shirts, hoodies and crew seats are the best when it comes to comfort, durability and keeping fresh wherever your travels take you. Keeping you cool when you need it and cosy when the temperature drops, we have always found that organic cotton is a must! Check out our awesome range of organic, sustainable clothing right here. Shipped worldwide in plastic free packaging and perfect for your backpacking adventure.
What To Take Backpacking – All-In-All
We hope you have enjoyed reading about what to take backpacking and also hope this post has given you a little inspiration to travel too! These are all products we have purchased and used for a whole year of travelling (and continue to use afterwards on our van life travels too) which is why we are more than happy to recommend them to you. If you have any comments or questions for us at all, please let us know in the comments below!
Adam and Kelly x