Backpacking can be a life changing experience that will open you to exciting experiences, interesting people and new places. Many first-time backpackers however, struggle to know what to pack past the basics like clothes and a toothbrush. This list covers important and helpful items backpackers need which may be overlooked, or simply not considered by a first-timer.
1. Travel Comforters
Long-haul travel can be exhausting and at times even frustrating. Most of the time, the best thing to do is get comfortable and try to get some sleep, or at least some solid rest. Pack a travel pillow, ear plugs and an eye mask.
These things will also be helpful when you find yourself needing to sleep in a noisy hostel next to a chronic snorer.
2. Your Country's Flag
Flags are a great way to show off what country you're from and can be a lot of fun to wave around. Of course, they should only be taken out in appropriate circumstances and not just during normal everyday activities - that would be odd! Flags are great at festivals, parties, and group tours.
3. A Reusable Tote Bag
Instead of using plastic bags and creating waste, a good tote bag can be used and reused. Tote bags are also much stronger than plastic bags and will take up very little space. A tote bag will come in use for a surprising number of things such as carrying washing, groceries, dirty shoes and so on.
4. A Costume for Parties
If you’re travelling with a group tour or expect to be attending parties during your travels, chances are you'll find yourself at a costume party. In preparation for this, we advise you take a basic costume. This doesn’t need to be anything elaborate or big, just something simple and basic that can be turned into a costume if needed. This will save you time and money looking around a foreign city for a costume the day before a party.
5. A Portable Mirror
It only needs to be small but having a mirror is convenient. Not everywhere you stay will have a mirror readily available, and the time you find yourself needing one will be the time when there’s none around.
6. A USB Stick
A USB stick or even a small portable hard drive can be useful for storing all your pictures and videos in one place. Keeping them on a USB helps ensure they won’t be lost or stolen if your phone is.
Also, people you meet during your travels will have some cool and interesting things you might want. Games, movies, music, and pictures can all be easily transferred and stored on a small USB.
7. A Compact Umbrella or Raincoat
Taking at least one of these is very handy, depending on where you'll be travelling; if you’re in a dry area it’s obviously not as necessary. Either of these will only take up a small amount of space and will make travelling in the rain much more pleasant. Having a raincoat also means the rain is less likely to ruin hiking and similar adventures.
8. Duct Tape
Duct Tape might seem like a strange suggestion, however, it is likely to be useful on several occasions. A small roll will take up hardly any space and can be used for fixing holes or handles in luggage bags, setting up makeshift washing lines in hostels, as well as for a range of other miscellaneous uses.
9. Packing Spares
People lose belongings, and when you’re constantly on the move, it’s even more likely to happen. Packing extras of certain items is definitely worth taking up a little extra space for some peace of mind. Sunglasses, locks and power adapters are likely to go missing, and without these things you may be in some trouble. Take spares and if you lose one you can quickly and easily replace it.