Whether you’re a backpacking beginner or a seasoned traveler the chances are that you’ve had a few worries about what to stock in your suitcase. Fortunately, when it comes to crucial backpacking essentials, so long as you have your first aid kit and a few of the tools in this list, you should be on the right track.
The following backpacking must-haves are the best way to stay safe, comfortable, and secure on your next trip, whether you’re heading out to the wilderness for a night, or visiting a hostel in a distant country.
While a TSA-approved padlock may not be at the top of your list of priorities if you’re heading out of town for a weekend of camping, it is something you’ll need to consider if you’re thinking of backpacking with the intent to sleep in a few hostels or cheap hotels. While many hostels will offer some kind of safety-deposit box or safe, padlocks make up part of the crucial backpacking essentials list because you’re bound to feel more secure with a tried-and-tested personal lock securing your valuables than the rusted, flimsy option they might supply.
Another necessary item in your crucial backpacking essentials checklist is a light or headlamp. These things come in handy far more often than you might think – regardless of whether you’re trying to find your way through trees on a camping trip, or simply read in the dark. If you’re sleeping with other weary travelers in a hostel room, you can avoid becoming everyone’s least favorite guest by flipping on your headlamp instead of the overhead light. What’s more, a headlamp leaves you with your hands free to rifle through your backpack for a new pair of socks or your phone charger.
An Alarm Clock
If you have any exciting activities planned on your next backpacking adventure, then you’re going to need a reliable wake-up call to ensure you get back on your feet in the morning after a night out with your new friends. Don’t count on a concierge service when you’re backpacking, instead use a travel watch or small foldable alarm to keep you on schedule. While your smartphone is also a good option, there’s always the chance that you’ll forget to charge it after a long night out.
A Universal Travel Adapter
An ideal investment when it comes to crucial backpacking essentials, the universal travel adapter makes sure that you can continue to charge up your gadgets wherever you go. These adapters will keep your phone and tablet at full-power when you need them most – but make sure that you use them properly, as the last thing you want to do is blow a fuse in one of your valuable toys. Check the voltage on your adapter and use it accordingly.
A travel Towel
Finally, while hostels generally offer more amenities than some hotels, they regularly neglect to provide towels. Don’t forget to pack your own travel-sized towel if you’re on a long-term backpacking journey or a budget trip. A standard towel won’t work as well – as travel towels are typically made out of highly absorbent materials that not only get you dry faster – but dry faster themselves too.