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Inside The Outdoors

Backpacking Checklist

22.10.2014 | Kit Lists Travel

If you’re going travelling, be sure to use our backpackers check list to make sure you’ve packed all the essentials ready for your trip.

RucksackA 65 litre rucksack should give you ample space to carry all your kit. Remember you will have to carry everything you take!PadlockThis will help keep your gear safe on route to your destination. If you are staying in shared accommodation they will also give you some piece of mind!Travel Towel A travel towel is compact, lightweight and quick drying, ideal for travelling. As they dry very quickly you won’t have to worry about carrying a wet towel in your bag if you are moving on frequently. They are also antibacterial to stop the build-up of odour and reduce the need to wash them as regularly as a normal towel. TorchA torch is invaluable if camping but also useful if staying in hostels, especially if you are likely to be arriving or leaving at night. Document WalletA document wallet is useful for keeping all paperwork together.Passport and Travel DocumentsMaking sure you have all the relevant paperwork is essential. You’ll get nowhere without your passport and flight passes! If you’ve booked accommodation, travel tickets, attractions etc for when you’re away don’t forget this paperwork. If you have a camera phone, take digital copies of all paperwork too. Leave a detailed itinerary of your expected trip plans with friends and family so that they know where you are expecting to be at particular points on your trip.Sleeping Bag Liner This will allow you to use a lighter weight, smaller sleeping bag, saving you space in your pack. Some hostels require you to use a liner to sleep on and some don’t allow you to use your own bedding- always check with the hostel.Travel PillowYou will be spending a lot of time travelling between places on planes and trains and a travel pillow will be useful if you plan on getting any shut eye whilst in transit. It is also useful if you will be camping. First Aid KitWherever you’re going it is worth taking a basic first aid kit, including items such as plasters, antiseptic cream, rehydration sachets and paracetamol. You might also want to take antihistamine ‘bite and sting’ relief cream if you are going to a country where bugs will be an issue.

Printable Checklist

  1. Day Pack

    A day pack is ideal for when you’re staying in the same place for a few days. It is useful if you are heading out for the day and means you don’t need to carry your large rucksack around.

  2. First Aid Kit

    Wherever you’re going it is worth taking a basic first aid kit, including items such as plasters, antiseptic cream, rehydration sachets and paracetamol. You might also want to take antihistamine ‘bite and sting’ relief cream if you are going to a country where bugs will be an issue.

  3. Money Belt/Security Pouch

    When at airports or travelling between places it’s a good idea to keep your money and important items such as your passport safely on you. A money belt can be hidden around your waist, under your clothing, and a security pouch can be worn around the waist or neck.

  4. Maps

    Take a map for each area you will be visiting. It is worth familiarising yourself with your destinations before you go; mark on important areas, such as places you will be staying and attractions you plan to visit, on your maps.

  5. Compass

    Along with a map a compass is invaluable for finding your bearings should you get lost, especially if you plan on hiking off the beaten track.

  6. Pocket Travel Guide/ Language Book

    You might not be fluent in the language of the countries you are visiting but it is worth knowing a few token phrases. A travel guide is useful for finding local places to eat and areas of interest if you are stuck for activities.

  7. Hand Sanitiser

    Will be very useful in areas where clean running water is hard to come by or places that are not very sanitary. Use this regularly to avoid any germs or bacteria which could cause illness.

  8. Travel Adaptors

    It is unlikely that the plugs on your mains powered electrical equipment will work abroad. Using a travel adaptor will convert your plug to the mains units used in your destination country.

  9. Phone and Battery Powered Charger

    Most people can’t live without their phone and it’s great for keeping in touch whilst you are away. If you will be staying in a country for a long period of time it may be worth buying a sim for that particular country as roaming costs can be high when using your UK phone. Make sure your phone is unlocked before you go. You might also want to take a portable phone charger that runs off batteries; these are useful if you aren’t able to plug in.

  10. Spare Batteries

    For your electronic equipment. Of course it is possible to buy these whilst away but it is better to have some just incase.

  11. Waterproof Pouches

    A waterproof pouch will seal from the top and keep anything inside dry. These are ideal for any electronic equipment, especially in humid, tropical climates.

  12. Travel Clothes Wash

    This can be used if ordinary laundry facilities are unavailable, if you were camping for example.

  13. Suitable Clothing

    Consider the climate of your destination and pack for that. If you are heading somewhere cold, thermal tops and bottoms along with fleece will keep you warm. Alternatively, if you are going somewhere warm then lightweight t-shirts and zip-off trousers would be better suited.

  14. Waterproof Jacket and Trousers

    If you are going somewhere where it is likely to rain a lightweight waterproof jacket will be invaluable. Consider waterproof trousers too if you are expecting it to be very wet. If it’s not likely to rain then save on the space.

  15. Full Change of Clothes in a Watertight Bag

    Just in case you end up getting your pack wet, you will still have a change of clothes that are dry for you to change into.

  16. Suitable Footwear

    Consider waterproof walking boots or shoes if you plan to be trekking or hiking whilst away. If you’re not planning to spend a lot of time hiking and instead plan to spend a lot of time in towns and cities, then a basic pair of walking shoes or trainers would be okay.

  17. Flip Flops/Sandals

    To use when in the hostel or camp site. This will allow your feet to breathe and recover from the day as you will be relying on your feet a great deal over your coming trip.

  18. Socks

    If you plan on hiking during your trip it is worth investing in proper hiking socks and liner socks. Always take a spare pair just in case they get wet.

  19. Water Container

    Will be useful if you choose to go hiking for the day away from any shops or water sources

  20. Rucksack Rain Cover and Liner

    Using these will help keep the contents of your bag dry should you find yourself out in bad weather. A liner will also allow you to pull all of your kit out in one go and keep it all together should you need to dry your pack.

  21. Sleeping Bag

    Check the expected climate of your destination. Sleeping bags are rated in seasons. A one season bag would be ideal for warm countries and if sleeping indoors. These will save you a lot of space in your pack. If you are going somewhere that you expect to be cold, then a four season sleeping bag may be needed. These will be heavier and bulkier but also necessary in very cold climes.

  22. Sleeping Mat

    If you plan to camp then a sleeping mat will provide insulation from the ground, even in warm countries if you sleep directly on the ground you will be cold. These can be attached to the outside of larger rucksacks, saving you valuable space inside. No need to take a sleeping mat if you plan to stay in hostels.

  23. Knife or Multi tool

    Useful for more ‘wild’ trips where you may be camping and required to set up camp or catch and cook your own food. They can also be used in an emergency situation to cut clothing or caught material should you need to. Remember to pack in your main bag when flying.

  24. Insect Repellent and Mosquito Net

    These are useful if you’re travelling in countries with a hot or tropical climate, or anywhere with mosquito’s, midges and tick, etc. Mainly combats Malaria.

  25. Survival Kit

    A survival kit is a small tin with some very basic needs for an emergency situation. This should include items such as a small sewing kit, waterproof matches, small knife, whistle and a mirror (used for shining sunlight toward aircraft and ships should you require emergency help i.e. stranded). If you are unlikely to be in an emergency situation you can leave this out.

  26. Water Purification and Neutraliser

    This can be used in any country where you aren’t sure if the water is safe to drink, or if it hasn’t come from a mains source.

  27. Toothbrush & Toothpaste

  28. Razor

  29. Shampoo/Conditioner

  30. Sun Cream & After sun

  31. Sun Hat

  32. SPF Lip Balm

  33. Sunglasses

  34. Beanie Hat

  35. Gloves

  36. Thermal Top and Bottoms

  37. Insulated fleece/jacket

  38. Stove/Fuel

  39. Cook set

  40. Plate

  41. Knife, fork and spoon

  42. Cup

  43. Camera with Charger & Spare Battery

  44. Watch