Our Simple Backpacking Packing List

What to pack…? That is a big question. Especially when you’re looking at a whole year on the road. Use our simple backpacking packing list to help you get started below, but first, some tips:

  • Work out what you can buy and where if you don’t want to carry something all the way round the world. You can easily pick up equipment, clothing and toiletries in some countries, while others will be more difficult
  • Packing as light as possible will mean you’re able to get around more easily. We aim for a 60 litre backpack, weighing about 10-15kg when packed, for each of us
  • Layering with clothes is key – so make sure all of your chosen pieces will go with each other
  • Trekking shoes are much lighter and easier to carry than hiking boots. Unless you’re going to be climbing a mountain, consider these as a better option
  • If you require regular top ups of contact lenses, medication etc, speak to a health professional about the best ways of restocking as you go

The Essentials

Health & Travel Insurance
Debit Card
Credit Card
Pre-paid travel money card
$200 in cash as universal currency for emergencies
International drivers licence from the Post Office
Student card (if you’re lucky enough to have one!)
Photocopies or scans of all your important documents. Keep one set in each bag and digital copies saved in your emails. All in case you lose them!


Underwear and socks for seven days
2 x bikinis/swimming shorts
2 x shorts
2 x trousers
2 x leggings
2 x skirts/dresses
5 x tops in a variety of styles, including one long sleeve one for temples/to avoid mosquitos
1 x thermal fleece
1 x hoodie
Flip flops/sandals
Trekking shoes/trainers
Large sarong/thin scarf to cover up in temples, use on the beach etc


Travel toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
Sanitary towels or tampons
Sun cream and aftersun
Sink plug
Make up
Nail clippers
Shampoo and conditioner
Hair brush/hair bands
Cotton buds
SPF lip balm
Make up remover

Basic Medical Kit

Plasters and Bandages
Antiseptic cream
Antiseptic handwash/wipes
Antacid for indigestion
Diarrhoea relief and rehydration sachets
Baby wipes
Any prescribed medications or medications you take often for recurring problems
Contact lenses and solution
Spare glasses
Insect repellent and bite cream


Camera and spare memory cards
External hard drive or USB stick
Alarm clock
Rape alarm
Torch (head torches are best)
Digital watch
Plug adapter
Solar charger/portable charger
Spare batteries
Netbook or tablet
Cheap mobile phone


Safety pins
Sewing kit
Swiss army knife
Eye mask
Ear plugs
Travel pillow
Travel towel
Sleeping bag liner
Playing cards
Duct tape (for emergency repairs)
Bin liners (for emergency wet weather defence and wet clothes)
Pen and notebook/diary
Travel money belt
Waterpoof cover for your bag

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