Ready to set off on your big adventure? Don’t think about leaving until you’ve checked out our backpacking gear recommendations which will help to make life much easier for you!
Backpacking is an incredibly romantic notion. It means that you’re throwing a bag over your shoulders and then heading out into the wide open world to explore. And there’s nothing to hold you back, other than the restraints you impose on yourself.
Where will you go? Who will you meet? It’s all incredibly exciting and when you head out for the first time you’re sure to feel a buzz of adrenaline.
But what’s crucial to remember is that backpacking can also be challenging. When you’re travelling around strange lands with only yourself to rely on, it can be particularly difficult trying to fit everything you ever might need into a single rucksack! How can you possibly live out of such a small amount of space?
Welcome to your first challenge as a backpacker! The good news? There are several tips and strategies you can use to make backpacking that little bit easier and if you know where to find the best backpacking gear, this is a challenge you will be sure to overcome.
Table of Contents
The Best Backpacking Gear
Here are some of our top picks…
It should go without saying that you can’t very well backpack without a backpack! Choosing the right backpack is incredibly important then and this will determine how much space you have, how well protected your gear is and more. The TETON Sports Scout 3,400 Internal Frame Backpack features a range of great specs that will make your life easier for example, including handy storage, great comfort and more. Read our full review here.
One thing that every backpacker should invest in if they want to excel at ultralight backpacking is a microfiber towel. This is a towel made of the very thin microfiber material. It can be rolled tightly into a thin tube and packed into any large coat or rucksack pocket.
What’s more, is that a microfiber towel will dry nearly instantly. This means you’re not carrying around the extra weight that comes from a wet towel and it means you don’t need to worry about it coming into contact with the other things in your bag.
Ultralight Camping Hammock
As a backpacker you will spend a lot of time staying in hostels. But what happens when you find yourself out on a hike and the sun starts to go down? You can’t exactly fit a bed into your backpack…
Or can you? One great solution is to pack a hammock with you, which will be small and light enough to carry easily, while still giving you a great night’s sleep. The price is super-low as well! This is a must for ultralight backpacking and you can check out our full review here.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
This is a device that has been getting a lot of attention in the media and rightly so. Simply put, this is a straw that allows you to drink from nearly any water source and that can remove at least 99.9999% of waterborn bacteria. This is an excellent survival tool and one that could save your life. Our full review is here.
You’re going to be walking huge distances and exploring amazing foreign lands and of course your camera is going to be on hand to help you capture some of those moments. But what a camera can’t capture is how many steps you took when ascending that mountain, or how your heartrate peaked when you emerged at the top to drink in those spectacular views.
This is where any number of fitness trackers come in. The Suunto Ambit3 Peak HR is a great example of a fitness tracker for backpackers because it’s designed with hiking up mountains in mind and can track your altitude, your heartrate and more while you do. Many other smartwatches will do just fine as part of your backpacking gear too – such as a Garmin Vivoactive HR.
Backpacking isn’t much fun if you’re going to be spending the whole time in the city! You need to spend some time off the beaten track to really enjoy exploring, which is why you should carry some basic survival tools to your backpacking gear checklist.
That means a knife, something you can start fires with, a compass and a first aid kit at the very least. This doesn’t have to be expensive, we’ve reviewed one knife and fire start kit here. Our best pick for a first aid kit meanwhile is the MediSpor.
Mobile Tech Solutions
These days, we have become increasingly reliant on technology to the point where many of us will often be looking at two or three screens simultaneously even in our down time!
Backpacking is one way to try and get away from this and that’s one of the appeals for many people. But if that’s not your bag and you intend on working while you travel, or just staying in touch with friends, then you may want to bring some technology with you.
There are a bunch of different devices that will do the trick but one way to get around this challenge without weighing yourself down is to use a phablet (smartphone with a large screen). Look for one that is IPS rated (water resistant) and then buy yourself some back-up power bricks so you can recharge along the way.
Another very useful addition is a keyboard, like the Microsoft Universal Folding Keyboard. This folds small enough to fit into a pocket but then opens out to become a near-full-sized keyboard that you can use to type out emails. It’s also water resistant, which is very handy for travelling!
Of course there are many more items you might choose to bring with you backpacking but this is the backpacking gear you may not have thought of and that can make a huge difference to your experience.