Backpacking Light – Suggested Kit List

What to take, what not to take?  When going on a long
backpacking trip it is difficult to choose what to take. 
You want to travel light, but you want a few luxuries as
well.  I’ll explain how you can carry less, but still have more with my
suggested kit list .

Suggested backpacking kit list

Here are the essentials for backpacking light

  1. Travel pack – I’d suggest a modern travel pack, rather than a traditional
    backpack, as these zip open like a suitcase allow easy access to your
    stuff.  Get one with a clip-on day pack to make life easy.  60
    liters is enough for traveling light.  Read more about travel packs and

  2. Day pack – Get
    a strong pack that will carry everything you need for a day out.  15 or
    20 liters is normally enough.  Buy one with a travel pack to make life
    easy. Keep in it:

    1. Sunscreen – for the sun
    2. Insect repellant – for insects
    3. Camera – for photos
    4. Notebook – in case you need to jot down something important
    5. A little local currency – in case you find something unexpected
  3. Wash bag – A small waterproof wash bag.  Fill it

    1. Soap – it’s easy to carry than shower gel.  You can also use soap
      to wash clothes.

    2. Flannel – a small piece of clothe to wash yourself with when the showers
      don’t work or there is no not water.  Put your soap inside the flannel
      to keep the inside of you wash bag clean.

    3. Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste and all the normal stuff.  Don’t
      forget sun screen though.
  4. Clothes – if you wash them regularly you really don’t
    need many

    1. 1 pair of trousers – lightweight trousers for hot countries(south
      Asia), 2 pairs if wearing them everyday in cooler environments
      (e.g. Europe in winter)

    2. 1 pair of shorts – 2 pairs for hot places, don’t bother for cold places.
    3. 2 t-shirts – for casual dress
    4. 1 long sleeved shirt – for smart dress, visiting temples and covering up
      from the sun

    5. 4 sets of underwear, just in case you can’t wash them everyday. 
      Just 1 pair of socks for hot climates.

    6. Jumper or fleece – even in hot climates there are cool evenings.
    7. Rain coat – thin storable item for hot climates, something warmer for
      cold places.
  5. Footwear
    1. 1 pair of shoes – a comfortable pair with grippy souls for long
      walks.  Even in hot climates shoes are useful for trekking, cycling and

    2. 1 pair of sandals – flip flips or strap on sandals for hot
  6. Double bed sheet and a pillow case – much budget
    accommodation has less than great bedding.  The pillow case doubles as a
    pillow if you fill it with clothes.

  7. Towel – travel towels are compact and dry quickly, but
    you only need a small or medium size.

  8. Guide books – get a good guide book for every country you

  9. First aid kit – essential for any trip
  10. Penknife – for picnics, opening tins and bottles and for
    making repairs.

  11. Torch – for
    dark alleys, power cuts and huts on the beach. Head torches are a
    good option.

  12. Candle and lighter
    in developing countries power cuts are common.

  13. Toilet paper – the majority of the worlds population do
    not use it.

  14. Notebook and pen – for important information and filling
    in visa forms.

  15. Padlocks – for you backpack zips, hotel rooms and
    lockers.  Combination locks are generally better as you can’t loose the
    keys.  Also good for couples as no keys are required.

Hot climates

  1. Mosquito net – if there is a risk and you are staying in
    budget accommodation.

  2. Swimming gear – something to go swimming in.

Cold climates

  1. Sleeping bag – provided bedding is often not

Luxury items

A few luxury items can make a big difference

  1. Knife, fork and spoon set – for picnics and when cutlery
    is not customary.

  2. Small plastic cup – for the hotel room or a day.
  3. Camera – a digital compact camera is the best 
    option for most.

  4. iPod or MP3 player – fill it with music before you leave
    home.  Make sure you can charge it.  Useful for storing photos.

  5. Travel speaker – for sharing your music with others.
  6. Book – for long bus rides or lazing in the sun
  7. Washing line – for drying your washing in budget

  8. Power adapter – if you have any mains powered
    items.  It’s normally better to buy locally, especially in Asia.

  9. Inflatable pillow – for long bus journeys.

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