In this post, Nate Schrader tells us about some unique items to bring on your next backpacking trip.
Backpacking can be a daunting feat many people never risk themselves to do. But for those brave enough, we know that packing that “backpack” full of things can be even tougher because how you handle preparation can make or break your entire trip. Sure, there are items you can do without, or items to buy at your destination. But when you’re without a few precious travel goods, you get more than that feeling of “I’ll just get it down the street the next chance I get.” You get regret.
What things am I talking about? To an inexperienced backpacker, these items may not seem so important, but each has a specific place in a backpacker’s adventure. There’s surely more than ten, so if you have any other suggestions for future backpackers out there, leave a comment below and help a backpacker out!
1. Even the touring traveler knows you need a travel adapter for the different outlet shapes around the world, especially across Europe. But a backpacker only has room for one: a USB Universal Travel Adapter. When it works with over 160 countries’ outlets, this little guy might be even more prepared than you.
2. We’ve all underestimated cold weather before only to suffer through a night with numb toes from our ever comfy but ever thin walking shoes. A sturdy pair of wool thermal socks will take your mind off your toes and keep it on which trail to take next, and socks with a quick drying fabric will be even better the next day.
3. Waking up without a travel kit is like waking up if someone mixed up all your things in your vanity. I personally love these things because I don’t have to reach in four different book bag pockets for all my toiletries, and you can hang them within easy reach. It definitely cuts down on those awkward hostel bathroom trips.
4. The Swiss-Army utility knife is nothing new to travelers, but it’s not a fun trip without one. A knife, bottle-opener, screw driver, laser pointer, ballpoint pen, nail file & clippers, flash drives… they can have just about everything for any situation you can think of. And remember that they’re not allowed inside flight carry-ons, so be careful buying an expensive Swiss souvenir if your only storage is a backpack.
5. One thing a backpacker never travels without is a place to sleep. The only thing is, a backpacker may not always know where that place is. An emergency sleep kit with its inflatable mattress and compact thermal blanket is often overlooked until you spend a night on the floor wishing for it.
6. What’s something everywhere in the world for at least a few hours a day? The sun! And it’s as harsh on the eyes at the North Pole as it is at the South Pole. Backpackers might be apt to grab a pair of sunglasses from the foreigners’ train station knock-off stands, but make sure yours are UVA & UVB proof. For an added bonus, consider mirrored aviators for some impressive reflective scenery photos.
7. Unless you’re from the times of Renaissance art, you’ll need a shower sooner or later. Some backpackers may forget that flight security only allows a certain amount of shampoos and soaps in your pack. To lighten your backpack and ensure you don’t lose your 5 euro Herbal Essences you just bought, try some packable travel shampoo sheets. If there are enough sheets, they’ll last the whole trip at hardly any weight!
8. It’s been said that pictures are worth a thousand words, but when I look at photos I can’t always remember the thoughts and feelings rushing through me. You’ll want to relive those experiences when your trip is over, so keep a travel journal handy. Or make your own! You won’t regret it!
9. All backpackers have one thing in common: a backpack. Packing your backpack correctly could be one of the best planning actions you take for any trip. Don’t overlook your packing skills with a tip from an infographic at Rei.com.
10. Whether reviews are great or not, the people sharing your room is your real worry. Take it from someone who was robbed of a credit card and lock up your things with a heavy duty luggage lock! You’ll save a ton of money on the international phone calls to your bank and worry a lot less while your zippers are locked up on city walks.
Nate Schrader, writer for TravelProducts.com, uses his study abroad experiences to help people travel better by explaining travel adapters & converters and giving travel tips to future European-American students. When he’s not writing, he’s trying to plan his next trip to somewhere new! Safe & Happy Travels!