Backpacking: what to bring
Going alone with your backpack is an art, a philosophy. This is the easiest way to discover the world, in a minimalist way. If this is your first trip, you'll probably have lots of questions about what to pack and what to leave at home.
Did you find your bag? Great! Now let's see how to choose what to put in it. Indeed, when you go on a backpacking trip, you have to think about many things.
Don't worry, if the choices are difficult to make at first, with experience, packing your bag will become a breeze. Here is a list of essential items to pack in your backpack for a hassle-free trip!
1. Clothing suitable to the weather
This may seem logical, but it is easy to forget when packing a backpack for an unfamiliar destination.
Our best advice for choosing the right clothes for the weather is to start by checking the weather at your destination. Secondly, we advise you to plan the activities you plan to do once you are there, or at least to have an idea.
Depending on the country you are going to and the time of year, you will need to adapt the contents of your bag. Although the essentials are often the same, you won't need the same things if you go trekking in Thailand as if you go to Bolivia. Also, depending on the activities you plan to do there in addition to your daily walk, your needs may be different.
Whatever the length of your backpacking trip, we advise you to bring as much as possible to change for a week. You'll have enough to do your laundry regularly and if you can't do it in the washing machine you can always wash your underwear by hand.
Choose clothes that do not get dirty, that dry quickly, and ideally clothes with anti-odour properties. From this point of view, we have a clear preference for merino wool clothing. Merino wool limits odours, so you can wear your clothes for several days without washing them.
2. Accessories to stay plugged into the planet
Here, we immediately think of universal adapters, which will allow you to connect in any country in the world. It is best to choose one with several USB ports so that you can charge several devices at the same time. We also advise you to carry an external battery charger to avoid running out of power when you go on long hikes, far from any power outlet.
3. A first aid kit
You can't go backpacking without a first aid kit! It is often only when you leave without it that you realise how useful it is. Indeed, it is used much more often than one might imagine. It is important to remember that some wounds, even minor ones, can quickly become infected, especially in hot and tropical countries.
4. A bag sheet
In some hotels or hostels, hygiene is not really a priority. You may be tempted to choose 'cheap' accommodation and end up with beds with dodgy sheets.
To avoid direct contact, we recommend that you bring a sleeping bag liner (or "sheet"). Some hostels (although rare) may also not provide a duvet. Your lining can save your life if you find yourself in this situation.
Also remember to bring earplugs, which are very useful if the walls are poorly insulated or if you sleep in dormitories with several people. You will certainly have a better night's sleep if people are snoring next to you.
5. Camping accessories
If your backpacking trip involves camping or going out at night, remember to take a headlamp. It can be very useful for walking around in the evening or simply reading without disturbing your partner, even if you are staying in a hotel. A Swiss Army knife could also be of great use to you during your trip, for example for an outdoor meal.
By following our advice, you will be able to set off on your adventure lightly and with complete peace of mind! When loading your backpack, also remember to balance the weights, as this is important for carrying comfort.
You should position the heaviest items along your back. On top, it is better to put the things you might need during the day, so that they are easily accessible.
If you are planning excursions of a few hours, consider taking a lighter, compact bag with a small volume (about 20l), which will be used to carry water, a small first aid kit and some snacks!