When it comes to packing for a trip, long or short, I think everyone struggles choosing what to take and what to leave behind. I personally end up not even wearing half the clothes I pack! But when it comes to backpacking you really are limited and this forces you to really think economically and efficiently.
I own a 45 litre pack and that isn’t very big for someone who goes backpacking for 3-4 months at a time. But after a few trips I’ve learned to carry only the things I actually need and somehow manage to survive with luggage under 10kgs. I admit I do still struggle deciding what to leave behind, but there’s definitely 5 items I don’t think twice about bringing!
- My 13” mac – This thing feels heavier every time I go backpacking with it! I’ve actually thought of downgrading to the 11” because it’s SO much more convenient. But alas, I never go without a laptop. I love researching and writing, managing/editing my photos, and it keeps me occupied when I have hours to kill (hello flight delays). The portability is also awesome for e.g. if I find a café I want to chill in and apply for a visa while I’m at it.
- My Sony a6000 camera – I’m so glad I did my research before I purchased this camera. I LOVE how user friendly it is, the fact that I can interchange lens, and the colour produced is just amazing. A main buying point for me was its weight. Unlike an DSLR it’s compact, but still retains great photo-taking functions. I forget I’m not trying to sell my camera here haha! Point is I never travel without it because, well how else am I going to record my memories!? Iphone does an average job sure, but I’m all for quality photos.
- A Power bank – This little gadget will save your arse in desperate times. I’ve had situations where I needed wifi to email immigration urgently, call someone, was so bored on the plane without music because my phone was dead, or got to the entry to Taj Mahal to find my camera battery was out. Any seasoned traveller you meet will have one these. If you don’t have one yourself GET ONE! They’re even good just to have if you’re at home and have a long day ahead. What are you gonna do when everyone at dinner is being antisocial on their phones and you can’t join in? 😛
I use the Anker power bank 5200 mAh – gives me about 3 full iphone recharges. The higher the mAh you buy, the more chargers you’ll get out of it but also the more expensive.
- Travel journal – Before I set off to Germany on my study exchange almost 3 years ago my friends got me a leather bound journal made of camel leather. To this day I still carry it every where I go as the time always strikes at random where I’m just in the right mood or place to write. Like sun-baking on an island in Bali, sitting atop Sigiriya rock in Sri Lanka, or just in bed in my hostel on a chilli evening. It’s sort of a safe keeping for my personal thoughts and it’s nice reading back on where I was and how I was feeling to reflect on my growth since 🙂
- A pen – Ok this isn’t much but you’d be surprised how many travellers find themselves without a writing instrument when they need to fill out that immigration form, a visa application form, spell out to the taxi or bus drive where you want to head, or just want to do that dam crossword because they have hours to kill! You think it’d be easy to ask a stranger but it’s a lot easier to avoid the stress and awkward confrontations, especially if you’re in a land where no one speaks English and you’re obviously a foreigner! Carry a pen people.
So there’s my 5! What can’t you travel without? Leave a comment below!
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