The Ultimate Backpacker’s Checklist

Figuring out what you need and don’t need to bring backpacking can be quite the challenge, even though it doesn’t really seem like it. You have one bag and so much stuff you “need” to bring with you. The line of need and want is one of the biggest struggles of backpacking.

But not to fret – I’m here to help you figure out what you actually need to bring and what you don’t need!

The essentials

Now, I know that people usually start these lists out with their backpacks, but the actual main essentials are:

  • Your passport
  • Your bank – or credit cards
  • Money – take around $200 as the universal currency
  • Your driver’s license (that is, if you have one)
  • Your health and travel insurance
  • Prescription medicines (if you take any)
  • Spare pair of glasses/contacts (if you wear them)

I know that these three are obvious essentials, but I made sure that this is the main priority since you really can’t do much without them, they’re practically your life savers!

Note:Just in case, bring some extra cash with you and store them in an accessible place. In other words, I suggest hiding your passport and cards deep in your backpack and photocopying them. So if any of the above were to get lost somewhere, you’d still have a back-up!

A good quality backpack

Backpacking is the best time for you to finally invest in a good quality backpack. I’ve known people that buy backpacks and get shoulder pains during their journeys or even worse, tore apart right in the middle of their trip. You see, this bag is essentially your only possession during this trip, so it’s important that it’s comfortable and has plenty of storage space for you to put your stuff in it.

What you would need in your backpack are these things:
  • Foldable daybag
  • A travel towel
  • A padlock (for your backpack and hostel lockers)
  • Toiletry bag
  • A mesh laundry bag
  • Your clothes
  • Your gadgets


Packing the right clothes (along with the right amount) when backpacking is super important. There are 3 main tips that backpackers go along with when they’re packing clothes, and that is to pack light, wear dark clothes and finally, bring less clothes.

Here are our top recommendations for the best clothes to bring/wear whilst backpacking:
  • 5x underwear
  • x1 thin hiking trousers
  • Long sleeved mosquito repellent shirt
  • x4 t-shirts/tank tops
  • x1 base layer
  • Lightweight technical fleece – a way to keep warm on buses and trains
  • x1 evening wear – granted these are not technically a necessity, it’s nice to have something nice to throw on for a night out on the town!
  • x1 sunhat – to avoid getting heatstroke in hot climates, we suggest you bring one just in case
  • x1 Buff – this is a must as you can keep it on your wrist and it can be used to cover your mouth to keep dirt and dust out
  • Indestructible sunglasses
  • Trekking trainers
  • Technical sandals
  • Flip flops – definitely a must for wherever you decide to go


In this modern age, you can’t go around without at least some of these since as the saying goes “did it really happen if you didn’t post it?”

Below are our top gadgets that you can bring to a backpacking trip:
  • Camera
  • Laptop – not really a necessity unless you work online or just can’t part with your laptop
  • USB flash drive
  • USB card reader – if you brought your camera
  • World travel adapter
  • Smartphone
  • Portable battery
  • GoPro – this can be an alternative to a camera and is significantly lighter to carry with you

And that’s all you need to go backpacking! In conclusion, it depends on your preferences, but this is our basis for what essentials are needed for a backpacking trip, now go on and have your big adventure!