So, you want to become a Global Backpacking adventurer, but don’t know where to start?


This will be my first post in a series that will go over everything you need to know to get by when backpacking abroad. The purpose of this guide is to go over the fundamentals of packing for a backpacking adventure abroad.

1. BACKpackingGlobal Backpacking Backpacker on a mountain

First things first, it’s called BACKpacking, not back and front and arm packing. One bag, for your back, and that’s it! Everything you need for even the longest backpacking adventure can be packed in one bag. As a suggestion I would go with a nice 25L to 40L backpack. You can even find some in that size range that have optional breakaway day packs. It’s a convenient feature in the event that you want to go on a day trip and would like to leave unnecessary items behind. Check out TheSavvyBackpackers post on choosing a good backpack.

2. Less is MoreVintage Leather backpack

Here is just a rough guide of what your backpack should contain as far as clothes are concerned. While backpacking, I like to pack one pair of trousers that also convert to shorts. Although these may be a blast from the past as far as fashion is concerned, they are very versatile and save space. In addition to these I like to also pack a pair of nicer slacks for going out to fancy dinners abroad. One pair of shorts that can play multiple roles: swim trunks, sleepwear, and day wear.

Underwear should be limited to 3-4 pair. You can wash underwear pretty easily in any bathroom sink or shower if you need to. You keep one pair on, and wash it the next day in the shower. That will leave you with two dry pair for the day until the washed ones air dry and can be put back in your bag.

It’s important to keep your feet dry, so I normally pack 5 pair of socks. That way you have plenty to keep your feet dry on long days. Also, like underwear, socks are also relatively easy to wash in a bathroom sink or shower.

As far as shirts, I typically only like to pack maybe 4-5 shirts, with one of them being a nicer formal shirt that I could wear to nice dinners. I like to keep two t-shirts, and one long sleeve and maybe even a jumper for cooler nights.

3. Backpacking Gear

Backpacking-Where to start?

While traveling, you can find yourself needing a variety of different gear, you may be doing some camping during one part of your trip, and then staying in hostels for other parts. So, because there is no one single perfect backpacking packing list, I am going to go over the basic necessities that should be found in every backpackers pack.

Camera- You can go with a point and shoot, a DSLR, or just your iPhone or Android camera. Either way, you are going to want to take plenty of pictures on your travels. If you want to share pictures with friends and family back home, your standard camera phone will capture the general essence of the scene. But, if you are trying to use your photos for commercial use or for a special project, you won’t regret traveling with a quality camera.

Toiletries- when it comes to your toiletries, you want to travel with travel size soaps, toothpaste. deodorant, and the likes. These items are pretty easy to find in just about every locale. And, if it isn’t available in that locale, then, chances are you don’t need them, or you could consider adopting the local remedy for the situation.

If you are going to be sharing stories of your travels, then you will need some way to connect to the Internet. The best way to do this is either a phone, tablet, or lightweight laptop. Because of my necessity to share pictures and stories, I like to take a laptop, so that I have a way to edit photos on the go. It’s also nice to have for plugging in USB devices or backing up photos from my camera.

For me, that just about covers all the big and important items. Look out for more extensive and destination specific packing lists in the future.