Can Take Clothing
- Jeans – do not take if only going to hot countries.
- Long sleeved shirts.
- Smart shoes.
Can Take Toiletries
- Hair products/ Brush.
- After sun lotion.
- Wet wipes.
- Dental floss.
- Multi vitamin tablets.
- Vaseline. Cologne/ Perfume (transfer to a plastic bottle).
- Makeup : can be the difference between 0 and 2kgs for some girls.
- Shower puff/ sponge.
- Hand Sanitiser Gel.
- Lip Balm.
- Contraception/ Condoms.
Can Take Items
- Sleeping bag liner/ Sheet : if you think you may be staying in some grubby hostels.
- Travel Pillow. Backpack rain cover or just run to shelter.
- Rehydration tablets : not needed if you drink plenty of water.
- Tupperware : bulky, but can help you save you a lot of money when cooking food in developed countries.
- Re-sealable Bags.
- Laptop/ Tablet.
- Head Torch.
- Sink Plug.
- Discount/ youth cards.
- Sewing Kit, Duct Tape, String, Super Glue – great for fixing things, taking one may be a good idea.
- Compression bags – put your clothes in them and they squeeze out all the trapped air, saving you space.
- Diary : great for memories and taking up time on long bus rides.
- Pen Knife : I never used mine, but you never know.
- USB extension cable : so your phone can reach your bed.
- Plug extension/ multiplier – plug sockets are always in short supply, having one of these could make you very popular.
- Money Belt : bit outdated now, most thieves know people wear them, and with a currency card you should never have too much cash on you. Don’t look too cool when trying to make friends either.
Might Have To Take
Might Have To Take Clothing
- Beach Towel – if going anywhere with beaches. Can also be used instead of travel towel when staying in a place for a long time.
- Thermal/ winter clothing : destination specific.
- Job related clothing.
Might Have To Take Medical/ Toiletries
- Female Sanitary Items.
- Malaria tablets.
- Insect Repellent (with high DEET %)
- Water purification tablets – if you might not have access to clean water.
- Allergy Tablets.
- Glasses/ Contact lenses.
- Prescriptions/ Medications.
- Toilet Paper – some developing countries may not have toilet paper provided or even a toilet. Might Have To Take Items
Might Have To Take Items
- Camping Gear : if planning on camping for long periods of time only.
- Job related documentation.
- Rape Alarm. International Drivers License.
There are probably plenty of things not on this list or any other list you have read. If you think you are going to use something often, then take it. If you think “that may come in handy”, then you probably won’t need it. If it is large or heavy, you need to seriously think about leaving it behind.
How To Pack And Live Out Of Your Backpack
How to pack is obviously going to be very specific to your bag and belongings. With experience you will know exactly how you like it packed, but here are some general tips:
Items you use regularly should be near to top – such as clean tops, underwear and toothbrush. I now take two separate toiletry bags, one for everyday stuff, like toothpaste/ brush, body wash and shampoo, that I place right at the very top of my bag. The other is for less frequent items such as my razor, after sun, etc. which is placed further down.
Things you may need in an hurry should be in designated compartments – i.e. first aid kit or rainjacket.
Keep similar stuff together in an assigned compartment or bag so you know where to find them, i.e. electrical equipment (chargers, adapters).
If your backpack doesn’t have a dirty washing compartment, make sure to take large plastic bags to put them in otherwise your whole bag will smell.
Your daypack should usually contain, water, suncream, first aid kit, etc. However be aware most of these items cannot be taken on flights, so you may have to keep changing what is in there.
Think of packing like Tetris. Try to minimise empty space; fill those empty spaces with small or flexible items such as socks.