The essentials you may forget when backpacking

backpacking essentialsbackpacking essentials
backpacking essentialsbackpacking essentials


The essentials you may forget when backpacking

There are some things you instinctively know you’ll need when you’re about to go backpacking for a while. Then there are those things your mother or best friend has told you about, even though you probably won’t need them. And then, of course, are all the things you try to fit into your luggage even though you only think you might need them (you know, “in case of an emergency”). If you’re about to go backpacking for the first time ever, then you’ll know these three categories of items very well. You’ll also know you don’t have space for all of it. However, there are also the essentials that many backpackers forget about when embarking on a new adventure. They’re usually more useful than that fourth book you know you won’t have time to read or that third box of matches you could likely buy anywhere in the world.


So, if you’re about to head out backpacking for the first time ever, here are some essentials that you may forget or not even think about until it’s too late.


An actual hardcopy guidebook or map

Okay, so this may sound incredibly oldschool, but a hardcopy guidebook or map may come in handy more often than you think. If you’re a first time international traveller, you probably have no clue just how much data can cost you when you’re overseas. And since you’re trying to explore the world on a budget, you don’t want to end up spending your food money on looking up places to eat. We all count on Google every day for pretty much everything, but when you don’t have the option of checking your location online, you’ll be extremely thankful you bought a hardcopy along. Just make sure it’s the latest edition so you don’t end up looking for street names that have been changed or roads that no longer exist.


Skincare products

If you have sensitive skin that requires a certain product, don’t make the mistake of thinking a foreign country (or even town) will have it in stock. Your dry, ashy skin might need Ingram’s Camphor Cream in order to look and feel great again, but that won’t help if you’re nowhere near a store that sells the specific product you need. And even if you do manage to find it, it may be double the price if it had to be imported to that particular place.

Of course, you don’t just need to bring along your favourite brand names, you also need skincare products to protect you from the change in climate. If it’s going to be extremely cold where you’re going, you may need a more intense moisturiser than you’re used to. And if it’s going to be all sun, all the time, you’re going to require a sunscreen you know you can trust. It’s always best to bring skincare products with you as you never know what will be available at your destination, especially if you’re going to backpacking through different areas.  


A change of clothes for unexpected weather

Sure, you’re going to a place with a very definite climate. And you’ve even checked the weather online, although you already know it has a reputation for having a very specific kind of weather at the specific time of year you’re visiting. So, whether it’s clouds and non-stop rain or sunny skies and humidity, you’re convinced you know what is awaiting you. The thing is, in this day and age, you can’t count on the weather being reliable anywhere in the world. And even if there’s only a tiny chance you’ll need warm clothes during the dry, hot season on an island, it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

You don’t want to be without warm clothes if it’s cold and you don’t want to be without cool clothes if it’s hot outside. Yes, one outfit won’t exactly last you during your entire trip, but it will give you something to wear while you shop for another outfit or two to last your time there. Or at least it will last you until the weather goes back to what the forecast said it would be.   


A tech backup kit

We all know that smartphone chargers are extremely expensive. But can you imagine having an emergency and being in another country without your trusty phone? Or maybe you even find the idea of not being able to Instagram the highlights of your trip disconcerting? A backup charger is a must, whether you plan on using your phone for social media or only for emergencies. But a charger isn’t the only thing you should think about taking as a tech backup. What about an old cellphone, like one of those relics from before the iPhone (or even Blackberry) was invented? Smartphones are attractive to thieves, but phones that don’t even have a touchscreen aren’t exactly going to have pickpockets surrounding you. So, why not buy one of these phones for a cheap price, along with a SIM card, in case something happens and you still need to communicate with the people you’re travelling with or your family back home?


backpacking essentials