10 Essential Items For Backpackers

Monteverde Cloud Forest Costa Rica

Obviously a valid passport, Visas and travel Insurance is essential, but what other items do backpackers NEED? This blog covers my 10 essential items for backpackers.

1. Good Hiking Shoes and Comfortable walking shoes: If you are adventurous and like to climb mountains like I do, you will need a good pair of hiking shoes. They are the most valuable things that I carry. I also recommend you get yourself comfortable walking shoes. When you are backpacking, you spend so much time on your feet. Keep them comfy. I travel with these shoes. 

2. A comfortable backpack: When you are backpacking, it is likely that you will move destinations often, and sometimes you will carry your luggage long distances to get to and from the bus stop. A comfortable backpack at a comfortable weight will make your travels much more enjoyable. Trust me, trying to backpack with excessive luggage is not fun. I recommend a 50L backpack. 

See my Packing for South America Guide here…

3. A good camera and a Go Pro: You don’t want to miss the perfect shot. I travel with Canon PowerShot SX500 IS. I chose this Camera as it takes amazing photos but doesn’t take up to much room in my backpack, in comparison to an SLR. I am in love with this camera and would highly recommend it.  I also travel with a Go Pro to capture them action moments and of coarse the under water moments that I cant get on my Canon PowerShot SX500 IS. Go Pros are great for collecting video content to make movies with.

4. Travel Adapter and converters: Don’t forget to pack an adapter as it is a must have when you are travelling to a different country. If you do forget its not a big deal, you can purchase them once you arrive but it is much more convenient to be prepared.

5. Padlocks: If you are staying in hostels you will want to carry padlocks to lock up your valuables. Most of the time it is fine, but it is better to be safe and lock up your valuables than sorry.

6. Travel towel and Baby wipes: Some hostels don’t provide towels. Always carry your own so you don’t have any issues.

When backpacking, you might come across situations where you can’t shower for 2-5 days. For example in the Amazon and on my cruise through the San Blas Islands I didn’t shower for 4 days. I ALWAYS carry baby wipes (also know as a shower in a bag). They aren’t as good as a shower, but they certainly help.

7. Plastic and Zip Lock Bags: So convenient for so many things.

8. Pen & Paper: Always comes in handy, especially a pen.

9. IPhone with Google Maps: I think the convenience of this item speaks for itself. My Iphone is set up so I can see my location without wifi. This allows me to keep track of where I am and if I pin point where I am going, I can walk to my destination by following my location on the map. It has been soooo convenient. Who even uses paper maps anymore?

10. Mini First Aid Kit: I suggest making your own with items you will use, and putting them all in a zip lock bag. I carry Band-Aids, Disinfectant cream, Sunscreen, Bug Spray, Aloe Vera, Pain Killers, Vicks and Cold and Flu tablets. All items I have used. If you want to buy a first aid kit there are many to choose from.

Keep items such as Pawpaw (lip cream), baby wipes, hand sanitizer and deodorant close to you at all times.

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