10 essential items to pack when backpacking

With remote jobs and affordable accommodation, it’s easier than ever to travel the world. The world has become a global village and activities like backpacking are a way of life for many. Backpacking has been around for ages and is one of the most affordable ways to live a nomadic life.

It’s an outdoor activity that involves packing everything you need in a backpack or a suitcase while travelling from country to country to save on accommodation costs. The key to backpacking like a pro is to know what to carry and what to leave behind.

If you love travelling and are considering backpacking, here are some essential things you need to pack.

Cash, phone & passport

These are the three most important things you need while backpacking. Your passport is your identity while your phone is your means of communication. Cash is also important since you may need to buy something in an emergency and may not be able to use your debit card.

Essential clothes

If you opt for backpacking, forget about slaying. You need to pack only the essentials and keep your bag below 10kgs. Therefore, every clothing item needs to be well thought out. You need both heavy and light clothes for daytime and nighttime. Some of the essential clothes include socks, hats, sandals, hiking shoes, shorts, sweatpants, t-shirts, and a waterproof jacket.


Digital nomads are a fairly new type of backpacker. These are travel enthusiasts who have broken away from the typical 9-5 jobs to make travelling a full-time priority. For this type of backpacker, their electronics such as laptops, chargers and portable Wi-Fi devices are essential while travelling.

First aid kit

Anything can happen while you’re backpacking and when you’re out in remote areas, help may be hard to find. Therefore, a first aid kit should be part of your packing items in case of injury. You can quickly clean up and seal the wound before getting professional medical attention.

Lightweight tent & sleeping bag

Camping is one of the most common and affordable forms of accommodation while backpacking. You can hire a tent. However, if you’re trying to save costs, it’s cheaper to buy your own tent and sleeping bag. Some indoor accommodations also offer discounted rates for people using their own sleeping bags.


Whether you’re staying indoors or outdoors, you will need a flashlight. This helps you navigate at night even in indoor facilities since chances are they have poor lighting. A flashlight can also be used to signal for help and scare away potential attacks.


When it comes to toiletries, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You never know what to expect when staying in cheap hostels and camps. Even if they state that they provide toiletries, it’s always a good idea to bring your own to avoid disappointment.

Food & water

Whether you plan on eating out or cooking for yourself, you need to pack food and water. The chances are if you’re backpacking you will find yourself somewhere that doesn’t have food or water when you need to replenish.

Cooking utensils

Depending on where you stay, you may need to pack a few cooking utensils. If you opt to stay at a camping site, cooking utensils are a must. Some affordable accommodation options like hostels don’t provide places to prepare food so you need to check their websites and confirm if they do.


Most affordable accommodations lack a lot of entertainment options. Therefore, it’s up to you to make the most out of your stay. Headphones usually come in handy while backpacking since you can connect them to your phone or laptop and entertain yourself. You can also use them to keep yourself entertained while on the go.