One good thing about backpacking is that it adds thrill and excitement to every backpacker’s life. For every backpacker, it is always a pleasure looking forward to the next backpacking adventure that you’ll have. Backpacking is even more exciting knowing that you’re living your life without carrying your entire wardrobe and toolkit along the road. However, this is also the same reason why most people don’t carry on with backpacking. Camping far from home and away from these comforts could sometimes leave them helpless. To avoid these cowardly reasons, here are 14 items that are essential for making backpacking comfortable.
First and foremost, the backpack that you will use to store your other things is very essential so you have to choose it carefully. You will have to consider the number of days that you will be traveling in order to determine how big the backpack should be. For multi-day travels, you will need a backpack that has the capability of storing more items. Such storage space is usually measured in liters. You must make sure that it is comfortable, durable, and fits well, too.
2. Pack cover or liner
This item is essential if you will be traveling on a rainy day or visiting a country during its wet season. In case it rains, you will need to fit the pack cover into the backpack. This way, your backpack will not get wet as well as the things that are inside it, most importantly your sleeping bag and your clothes.
3. Travel Documents
If you are traveling to a different country, it is important to bring with you all the necessary travel documents that you need in order to gain entry, such as your identification cards, passport, visa, and others. You might want to pack them in one place inside a zip-lock plastic bag so that you can easily get them in case you need to show them to immigration officers or scenarios like that.
4. Cash or debit card
You also need to bring with you some cash but not that much. Bills usually attract thieves and pickpockets. As much as possible, most of your money should be in the form of a debit card. You also need to designate a certain area in your backpack or even your clothes where you can secretly stash and hide your valuables.
5. Emergency shelter
Uncertain things do happen when backpacking. When stuck in the middle of nowhere after the sun sets, it is better if you have an emergency shelter to spend the night. Tents are good options but if you don’t want to carry heavy loads, reflective blankets are good alternatives. You may also opt for sleeping mats or sleeping bags.
6. Navigation aids
This is very important most especially when it is your first time to travel ins a certain place or if you are still not very familiar with the location. Maps and compass should always be included in your backpack regardless if you are traveling solo or with a group. Although getting lost is a good and adventurous way to explore the place, it is always better if you play safe. You wouldn’t want to get in trouble in a foreign land.
7. Rain jacket
There are times when a perfect sunny day can turn into a rainy one. In this case, you should bring a rain jacket that you can use during this change of weather. Not only will it prevent the clothes that you are wearing from getting wet, it will also protect your body from the cold that the winds may be bringing.
You also need to pack sets of clothes. When choosing the clothes that you will bring, you will have to consider a number of factors, such as the culture of the place that you are planning to visit, the climate, as well as your comfort, among others. You have to make sure that you will bring enough shirts and pants to last you for the whole duration of your trip.
Packing enough underwear is something that you should not forget. However, it will be best if you will not pack a lot. This is because you will not wash them frequently if you keep on thinking that you have a lot of underwear that you can change into. Those used ones can emit unwanted odors inside the bags where they are stored.
Lighting is important most especially during emergency cases. Pack with you some headlamps and flashlights with extra batteries. Never assume that you have already carried enough batteries with you. Always make sure to have a few more extra batteries in case of unexpected circumstances.
You also need to pack your toiletries and other essentials. You may have your own beauty products that you need in order to cleanse your face and your body. Although there may be bathing items that are available in the hotel that you will stay in, bringing your own products will ensure that you will get the same consistent effect as well as avoid the possibility of suffering from allergies caused by these bathing items.
12. First aid kit
A first aid kit is very important most especially when traveling to a remote location where medicines and emergency kits are inaccessible. If you have allergies, be sure to secure your medicines in case of allergy attacks. To be safe, secure a few more extra medicines. Also, include medicines for fever and vitamins to keep you protected. For minor injuries, bring along band-aids. When visiting a different country, check whether the medications that you will be bringing are legal in there. Otherwise, you might find yourself being deported or in jail.
Keeping a stash of food in your bag is a great way to keep you energized while in the middle of the road and at times when food is scarce at the moment. Be sure that the food you are bringing are ready to eat or can easily be cooked in your backpacking stove— if you have any. Also, do not forget to bring with you a lot of water so that you won’t get dehydrated.
14. Pocket utensils
These are very handy but are very important when backpacking most especially when you’ll need an extra hand to cut things off or repair broken stuff. There are pocket utensil tools which already have a knife, a screwdriver, a scissor, a wrench and etc. A Swiss Army pocket knife will be great.