19+ Essential Items to Include in Your Backpacking Packing List

Are you ready to embark on an exciting backpacking adventure but feeling a bit overwhelmed about what to pack? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a first-timer, nailing the perfect packing list is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable journey. Picture this: exploring breathtaking landscapes, meeting new cultures, and creating memories that last a lifetime – all made possible by a well-prepared backpack.

So, if you’re determined to avoid the classic newbie mistakes and ensure a hassle-free trip, look no further!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential items that should find their way into your backpack. From must-have gear to practical tips and tricks, we’ve gathered the wisdom of seasoned travelers to help you optimize your packing strategy.

Say goodbye to the stress of last-minute packing and hello to the confidence of knowing you won’t miss out on any crucial items.

Backpacking Essentials

Backpacking Essentials

Power Bank: Stay Charged, Stay Connected

In today’s digital age, staying connected is essential, whether you want to capture breathtaking moments or keep in touch with loved ones back home.

A reliable power bank is a must-have item for your backpacking trip. Opt for a power bank with a large capacity, ensuring it can charge your devices multiple times.

Look for one that is lightweight and compact, so it won’t weigh you down as you explore new destinations.

Travel Adapter: The Universal Plug Companion

Traveling to different countries means dealing with different plug types and voltages. A universal travel adapter will be your best friend during your backpacking journey.

Ensure it supports the plug types of the countries you plan to visit and can handle various voltage ranges. With a travel adapter in your backpack, you’ll never have to worry about your devices running out of juice or being unable to charge them.

 Travel Towel: Lightweight and Quick-Drying

Regular bulky towels can take up a lot of precious space in your backpack. Opt for a travel towel instead! These lightweight and quick-drying towels are perfect for backpackers.

They’re compact, easy to carry, and don’t retain moisture, making them ideal for beach days, hiking adventures, and even hostel stays. Plus, they won’t add much weight to your backpack, leaving more room for other essentials.

Daypack: Your Versatile Travel Companion

When you’re out exploring your travel destination, you won’t want to lug around your large, heavy backpack all day. That’s where a daypack comes in handy.

A foldable, packable daypack is an excellent addition to your packing list. It can be used to carry travel essentials like water bottles, snacks, a camera, and even your travel towel.

Look for one with comfortable shoulder straps and multiple compartments for better organization.

Lock: Safeguard Your Valuables

Safety is a top priority for any traveler, and securing your belongings is crucial.

A sturdy lock will give you peace of mind during your backpacking adventure. Use it to lock your main backpack when you’re not carrying it, and consider using it to secure your daypack as well.

Additionally, some hostels provide lockers for guests, and having your lock ensures your belongings remain safe while you’re out exploring.

Earplugs: Embrace Serenity Anywhere

While backpacking, you’re likely to encounter a range of accommodations, from bustling hostels to nature-filled campsites.

Earplugs are a true lifesaver in noisy environments, helping you get the rest you need after a day of exploration.

Be it a snoring bunkmate or street sounds, a comfortable pair of earplugs will ensure you wake up refreshed and ready for new adventures.

Hip Pack or Money Belt: Keep Your Valuables Close

Keeping your belongings safe and accessible is paramount while backpacking. A hip pack or money belt is an excellent investment for securing your essentials, such as cash, passport, and important documents, right at your waist.

It offers peace of mind, allowing you to explore worry-free, knowing your valuables are always within reach and protected from pickpockets or accidental loss.

First Aid Kit: Your Travel Safety Net

Safety should always be a priority during your travels. A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have item in your backpack.

It should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, adhesive tape, and other basic medical supplies.

Whether it’s a minor scrape, headache, or blister, your first aid kit will be your go-to for quick remedies, ensuring you stay healthy and can fully enjoy your adventure.

Packing Cubes: Organization Made Easy

Staying organized on the road can be a challenge, especially with limited space in your backpack. Enter packing cubes!

These nifty little organizers are game-changers, keeping your clothes and gear neatly compartmentalized.

You’ll never have to dig through your entire backpack to find that one t-shirt again. Packing cubes not only save time but also make packing and unpacking a breeze.

eSIM: Stay Connected Globally

In our digital age, staying connected is crucial. An eSIM (electronic SIM) is a virtual SIM card that allows you to access data and make calls without swapping physical cards.

This technology is a boon for backpackers, as it enables you to easily switch between local data plans while traveling in different countries.

No more hunting for SIM cards or dealing with expensive roaming charges—stay connected effortlessly!

Other Backpacking Essentials You Must Have

Other Backpacking Essentials You Must Have

Clothes and Footwear

These essential items are a must-have for your adventure. Whether you’re heading to a full moon party or hitting the beach, packing smart is the key. Opt for versatile clothes that you can mix and match to keep your backpack light and your style on point.

Consider the activities you’ll be doing during your trip to determine the right shoes and clothes to bring. And don’t forget to leave a little extra space in your backpack to bring back souvenirs for friends and family!

Take the weather into account too. No need for thermals in Thailand!

This comprehensive backpacking list suits all types of adventures, so feel free to cross out any items that don’t fit your journey:



Ankle and long socks (consider warmer pairs if needed)



Lightweight, versatile pants




A day backpack or bumbag


Multi-purpose trainers

Light waterproof coat

Hats and gloves


Health and Beauty

Now that you’ve got your clothing sorted, let’s focus on staying healthy and looking cute on your trip. To keep your backpack organized, consider using packing cubes, which are flexible bags that neatly store your belongings. An organized backpack is a happy backpack, after all!

Here are some helpful tips for your toiletries:

For short trips, opt for mini versions of your favorite at-home products.

If you’re going on a longer journey, invest in reusable bottles that you can fill before you leave and top up throughout your trip. This way, you won’t have to carry large bottles around, leaving more space for delicious snacks!

Now, let’s take a look at the essential backpacking supplies you should pack:



Shower gel

Baby wipes (great for the face and body!)





After sun lotion

Bug spray

SPF lip balm

Hand sanitizer

Feminine hygiene products



Additionally, don’t forget to pack any necessary personal medication along with the correct dosage to ensure you stay healthy and happy throughout your travels!


When it comes to packing this area, remember that less is often more, especially since you’ll be backpacking and making cherished memories. Embrace the opportunity to switch off and fully immerse yourself in the present moment.

If you do need to have technology on the go, here are some essential backpacking gear items to consider:

Phone (don’t forget the charger!)

Laptop (and charger) if you’re planning to work while traveling

Headphones to enjoy your favorite music and podcasts

A portable speaker for impromptu dance parties or sharing music with new friends

Bring a Kindle to satisfy your reading needs without adding extra weight from physical books!

Camera (and charger) if you enjoy capturing the beauty of your journey through photos.

Other Packing Considerations

When preparing for your trip, don’t forget to include these essential items that may not be traditional backpacking necessities, but are absolutely crucial for smooth travel. Without them, you might not even get past airport security:

Important Documents: Your passport is a no-brainer, but also remember to bring any necessary booking confirmations and visa documents.

Travel Journal: Pack a travel journal to capture your adventures and memories along the way. It’s a wonderful way to reflect on your journey and cherish the experiences.

Driver’s License or Government ID: Carry your driver’s license or any government-issued ID for identification purposes.

Travel Insurance: Don’t leave without your travel insurance policy documents. They provide peace of mind and protection during unforeseen circumstances.

Cash and Credit Cards: Ensure you have both local currency and international credit cards for convenience and emergencies.

Sewing Kit: A small sewing kit can be a lifesaver for quick repairs on clothing or gear during your travels.

Keep all these important documents together in a plastic sleeve or a document pouch, so they remain safe, organized, and easily accessible. There’s nothing worse than rummaging through your well-packed bag in search of a crucial piece of paper.

With these extra items packed, you’ll have a worry-free journey and be well-prepared for any adventure that comes your way. Happy travels and enjoy your unforgettable experiences!

Pack Your Belongings and Get Ready To Go!

With your packing all sorted and carefully selected essentials, it’s time to shift our focus to the next exciting phase: planning your adventure! And for that, I’ve got a fantastic recommendation for you – Travel-Wise.

Travel-Wise is a phenomenal trip planner that lets you explore and create travel itineraries and the best part? It’s absolutely free!

So why not try Travel-Wise and unlock a world of possibilities for your next journey? Create unforgettable memories, explore new horizons, and embrace the joy of travel planning with Travel-Wise by your side.

Happy travels, and may your next adventure be nothing short of extraordinary! Bon voyage!

Read Also: 

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Ferona Jose

Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.

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